Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 2015
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2015 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck


Considering the article in Wednesday's paper "State rep plans 
anti-heroin bills," if Rep. John Nygren really wants to curtail 
opiate abuse in Wisconsin, he should consider sponsoring legislation 
legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

Research recently published by the nonpartisan National Bureau of 
Economic Research found that states that allow patients to access 
medical marijuana through dispensaries have reduced rates of opioid 
addiction and overdose deaths.

In addition, a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American 
Medical Association found that enactment of statewide medicinal 
cannabis laws is associated with a 24.8 percent lower state-level 
opioid overdose mortality rate.

Cannabis is not a gateway to harder drugs but a gateway back from 
addiction. Legalizing medical cannabis would not only offer patients 
safer pain relief but reduce Wisconsin's opiate abuse problem. A 
clear majority of Wisconsinites have long supported legalizing 
medical cannabis. It's time for lawmakers to catch up and be 
proactive about fighting addiction.

- -- Gary Storck, Madison, co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom