Pubdate: Fri, 22 Apr 2016
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2016 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck


News reports on the rapidly rising use of Narcan by Wisconsin first 
responders to revive people suffering opiate overdoses show the 
state's opiate crisis is continuing to escalate. This comes despite 
passage of many laws over the last two sessions intended to address 
this situation.

Wisconsin could address both the issue of opiate abuse and the huge 
need for safer pain medications by passing state medical cannabis legislation.

In Maine, where medical cannabis was legalized by voters in 1999, 
work has begun on adding "addiction to opiates and drugs derived from 
chemical synthesis" to the list of qualifying conditions that may be 
treated with medical cannabis.

Wisconsin lawmakers' irrational fear of the cannabis plant is 
literally killing state residents. A study found a nearly 25 percent 
reduction in opiate-related deaths in states where medical cannabis is legal.

Not only is a new approach needed, but the absolute failure of the 
current majority to allow public debate for six years running 
demonstrates it will take electing a lot of new faces later this year 
to make the reforms needed to truly address the opiate crisis in our state.

- -- Gary Storck, Madison
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom