State Bill Could Legalize Medical Marijuana

 State Bill Could Legalize Medical Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on October 03, 2005 at 22:35:41 PT
Source: Daily Cardinal 

Wisconsin -- Individuals suffering from AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other painful diseases may soon be able to alleviate their pain with marijuana, pending the approval of a state bill proposed by Rep. Gregg Underheim, R-Oshkosh. The bill, introduced Monday, would allow physicians to prescribe marijuana at their own discretion.Medicinal marijuana is currently legal in 10 states, and a survey reveals that the majority of Wisconsin residents are eager to join them. Despite support from U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and Gov. Jim Doyle, Assembly Speaker Rep. John Gard, R-Peshtigo, denied discussion of the bill in the state Assembly last year. There are fifteen co-sponsors for the bill in state Assembly.
"The task is to let people know that this is something that can be beneficial. The public believes that, and perhaps it's time for the leaders to lead," Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said. In 1980, a car crash left J.F. Oschwald with limited mobility and a spinal cord injury. He currently uses marijuana to prevent muscle spasms, allowing him to sleep calmly at night."For me, it's a matter of independence and being able to live at home without caretakers," Oschwald said.The properties of marijuana can alleviate the symptoms of a variety of illnesses. It can be used to create an appetite, relieve pain and reduce the symptoms of glaucoma. Also, victims of these diseases can self-regulate how much they smoke, which is impossible with tablets.Despite the bill's support from such groups as the American Nurses Association and Wisconsin Public Health, some are still skeptical that marijuana may fall into the hands of younger recreational users. However, there has actually been a decrease in younger people using marijuana in states that have legalized its medical use, according to Mikki Norris of Human Rights and the Drug War. Younger people are probably viewing the substance as more functional than glamorous, Norris explained.Other skeptics maintain there are alternative medicines that will relieve the pain. Marinol contains THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but many patients say it is not as effective, according to Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison. Many doctors are hesitant to undermine prescription drugs, though, explained court-certified marijuana expert Chris Conrad.Another complaint facing the medicinal marijuana movement is the danger of marijuana smoke. According to Conrad, cannabis-only smokers are no more likely to get lung cancer than any other person.Although Conrad supports the legalization of marijuana in general, he is currently focused on medicinal uses. "In the war on drugs, I think it's extremely important that we remove patients from the battleground," said Conrad. Source: Daily Cardinal (WI Edu)Author:  Jeff RumagePublished: Tuesday, October 4, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Daily Cardinal Contact: letters dailycardinal.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Chris Conrad Rights & Drug War Marijuana To Be Proposed in Assembly Marijuana Advocates Rally in Madison

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Comment #27 posted by FoM on October 10, 2005 at 09:49:56 PT

Related Green Party Press Release
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on October 06, 2005 at 08:26:33 PT

Spectator Editorial: On a Higher Note
Physicians should be able to prescribe marijuana legally.Published: Thursday, October 6, 2005 A bipartisan group of state representatives is working to introduce a bill allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. If passed, the bill would allow physicians to prescribe marijuana for patients, who then could obtain the drug legally. The bill also stipulates the conditions patients must meet before a prescription may be given. The issueA bipartisan group of state senators are proposing a bill that will legalize medical marijuana. The lead author of the bill, Rep. Gregg Underheim, R-Oshkosh, started writing the legislation after he was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Underheim said by passing the bill, people with painful conditions such as cancer or multiple sclerosis will be able to benefit from the relief marijuana can provide.Currently, federal law does not permit medical marijuana. However, several states, including California, have passed legislation legalizing the drug for medical purposes.States such as Wisconsin and California are taking a step in the right direction by approving marijuana's use for medicinal purposes. Thousands of people's pain could be alleviated if they had access to this drug.While it's understood that federal law supercedes that of state governments, states show an important opinion when they support legalizing marijuana for medical uses. Preemptive measures such as these state bills are necessary to show the federal government that it needs to change.While marijuana is an illegal drug now, we should stop pigeonholing it in this category. As a country, we constantly make arbitrary distinctions between which drugs are OK because they're prescribed and which ones aren't because they're illegal. The fact is many prescription drugs have more hazardous effects, if taken without the supervision of a physician, than marijuana.Additionally, a prescription policy would track those who can legally use marijuana, because people can't fake a terminal illness.To allow a cancer patient to use marijuana in the privacy of his or her own home won't hurt anyone. It will simply make a dying man or woman's last days a bit more bearable.
 Copyright 1999-2005 The Spectator

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Comment #25 posted by runderwo on October 05, 2005 at 21:13:00 PT

the debate
I don't understand why Fay got the majority of the talking time. She was clearly making no point that had any supporting evidence at all behind it. If it weren't for the status quo behind her, she would be having serious trouble making her case. All I could tell is that:- She thinks marijuana is dangerous, esp. smoked marijuana- She thinks marijuana is the gateway drug, as opposed to alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, or spinning in a circle to get dizzy- She thinks lying to children is the best way to keep them from being curious about drugs- She thinks prohibition worked for alcohol as a social issue- She thinks prohibition is required because marijuana is such a serious health issue, even though tobacco required no such prohibition for people to voluntarily reduce their tobacco usage levels to that of today- She thinks doctors who say they would prescribe marijuana are actually so confused that they don't know the difference between an herb and a pill (Marinol), and they would be shocked if they knew patients were actually SMOKING itAll of these points are ludicrous. She has no credibility on the topic, yet she gets the air time. It makes no sense.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on October 05, 2005 at 17:29:50 PT

Thanks for the heads up. I just watched the debate. My reaction to the debate was confusion. We shouldn't get frustrated but maybe try to make those who oppose us answer a question or two. These questions. So SAY it publically that you believe we should jail people who possess and smoke Cannabis. How long should they have to be jailed? What if it was your child? That's my opinion.
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Comment #23 posted by runderwo on October 05, 2005 at 17:08:10 PT

muddled thinking
Is it really cannabis use that creates a lack of reasoning capacity and muddled thinking? Anymore I'm beginning to think it's prohibitionism. Especially after skimming the debate with "Jake".
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Comment #22 posted by kaptinemo on October 05, 2005 at 16:55:56 PT:

I saw a part of the debate
It got cut off just as the umpire said "there's no common ground" or some such. But Allen St. Pierre managed to zing ol' Calvina with the 'prohibitionist' barb. And it was obvious that it stung. She was immediately on the defensive, after trying to overwhelm the debate with cross talk. Good job, Allen!
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Comment #21 posted by potpal on October 05, 2005 at 03:51:57 PT

Find it here, go to...
http://www.usatoday.comChoose video. Choose Debate from below. Freaky indeed to see and hear a prohibitionist. Strange breed.
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Comment #20 posted by Max Flowers on October 05, 2005 at 00:51:18 PT

The Marijuana Problem
I read it. The writer is suffering from a very common delusion---thinking that he knows what is best for all other people in the world. This affliction is extremely widespread, so I forgive him for having it. He's only 23 also, and that has everything to do with it. When he gets older, into his 40s let's say, he will begin to realize that the world is far more complex than he now perceives it, and that what works for one (him) is not at all necessarily applicable to all.
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Comment #19 posted by runderwo on October 04, 2005 at 23:06:38 PT

The Marijuana Problem
Here is some "insight" for you guys. A pro-prohibition message that isn't from the government or a vested interest. Not that he fares any better with his message than the government does with its.
The Marijuana Problem
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Comment #18 posted by E_Johnson on October 04, 2005 at 22:14:06 PT

I fired off a good one today
At the NORML site, I replied to this: said if Mr. Keinz equated legalizing marijuana with legalizing rape and murder, then maybe he's the one who belongs in prison. If he can't tell the difference between giving someone marijuana and raping or killing someone, then he presents a clear danger to society and we'd all be safer if he were off the streets.
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Comment #17 posted by ekim on October 04, 2005 at 20:56:32 PT

thanks FoM- Howard on FOX morning show 7:09 am
TUE, October 4, 2005 12:15am EDT Cowboy Cop Lassos North America - Again!
Los Angeles to New York City on horsebackHOWARD'S LAST LOCATION: At 2:00pm, Howard and Misty were in Times Square with Jack Cole being photographed by a NY Times Reporter, and were surrounded by people.The ride tomorrow will begin at 67th St, between 2nd and 3rd Ave, at the FOX studios. Howard will be a guest on the FOX morning show segment at 7:09 am. Howard will continue to Broadway, then to the tip of Manhattan, ending the 3300-mile (5300km) journey on Wednesday, the 5th, at Battery Park with a press conference at 3:00pm.Yesterday, Howard rode down Broadway from Tarrytown to West 207th St at the north end of Manhattan."You are my hero!" -- An unidentified Yonkers, NY, policeman to Howard on Oct. 3.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 20:39:49 PT

I looked because it said it was available with Direct TV but it would cost another $10 a month for what it's on. Showtime is all I can afford. It's on High Definition channels. 
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Comment #15 posted by ekim on October 04, 2005 at 20:35:12 PT

jose saup----still crazy after all these years
Allen St. Pierre of N.O.R.M.L. squares off against Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation in a debate over whether or not marijuana should be legalizedanyone catch this--USA TODAY's reader editor Brent Jones wraps each episode with feedback from viewers and readers. Alex Walworth, formerly of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, is executive producer. For more information on i could not log in at this site Debate, please log on to
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Comment #14 posted by mayan on October 04, 2005 at 18:27:10 PT

Glad to hear from you, Jose. You are invaluable to our cause and as a human being, period.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...9/11: An Inside Job in the White House? Griffin to Give Explosive Presentation in New York on 10/15/05:! Newsday Gets Selective:'s peers sympathize:,0,4378327.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines 
WELCOME TO DENMARK, MR. GIULIANI: Action Looks Like: Going Viral with 9/11 Truth:
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Comment #13 posted by kaptinemo on October 04, 2005 at 17:36:56 PT:

All I can say is "Thank God"
Jose, dammit! We *need* ya, guy! (Mutters) I jumped out of 'perfectly good airplanes' as part of my job description, and it damn near killed me. Please, please, PLEASE don't 'git yerself kilt'! We need all the good people we can get!
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 04, 2005 at 14:56:02 PT

Now I've got something else to worry about.
Jose sky diving!Prayers already in the spirit-sphere, Jose. Hope your friend heals.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 04, 2005 at 14:46:59 PT

I sure do miss your comments, man. Miss you a lot.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 11:36:12 PT

Wisconsin Radio Network
AUDIO (Bob Hague reports :64 mp3): Proposes Medical Marijuana BillBy Bob HagueA proponent of medical marijuana says he has no interest in legalizing the drug for recreational use, but the legislature ought to debate the drug's merits as medicine.Oshkosh Republican, state Representative Gregg Underheim, said his proposed legislation would establish a medical necessity defense and immunity from arrest or prosecution, for users of medical marijuana. "That defense is activated after one's physician writes a recommendation that one would benefit from the use of medical marijuana, and after one obtains a card from the Department of Health and Family Services." Underheim said the bill was inspired by his own recovery from cancer and subsequent discussions with chemotherapy patients, and he has no interest in any broader lifting of criminal penalties for marijuana.But Gary Storck with the advocacy group, Is My Medicine Legal Yet, said he doesn't see a conflict with the effort to decriminalize marijuana. "We need to first of all get the patients off the battlefield, and protect patients from arrest and jail," said Storck. "It would be a lot easier for patients if marijuana did not have the illegal status that it has today."Underheim has introduced his bill for cosponsorship and said it will receive a public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Health, which he chairs.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 10:47:26 PT

NORML: 68th Anniversary of Marijuana Prohibition
For the anniversary NORML has compiled some 'fun' facts and resources to help you get through another birthday.
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on October 04, 2005 at 09:30:03 PT

Congratulations on a successful event and for the great progress you are making. 
Thank you.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 08:59:15 PT

Thank you for all these years of hard work. Hopefully the tide will turn in our favor in the near future. 
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Comment #6 posted by Gary Storck on October 04, 2005 at 08:48:54 PT

press conference
This article resulted from a press conference I put together and moderated in the Assembly Parlor at the State Capitol. We had Jim Miller, Osch, another patient plus Chris and Mikki.It went very well, then we delivered several hundred signed postcards to lawmakers from constituents that we collected Harvest Fest weekend.We had a very successful event, perfect weather and lots of great media coverage. And with guests in town like the above plus Keith Stroup, Dr. Tod Mikuriya and others, it was really a celebration.Hopefully, people will continue to participate and we can move the mmj bill this session.
Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on October 04, 2005 at 07:42:03 PT

thanks, Dan
We are all a bit stunned, but everyone survived and apparently the pilot is stable. As Jim mentioned, I was not on the plane. The outpouring of calls from friends was certainly humbling.Thank you all for your concern and kind words, and please pray for the pilot . . . 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 07:25:06 PT

Upcoming TV Event: NORML
'Debate' on HDnet Makes Its Debut Tonight at 9 P.M. E.T.First Weekly Television Program Produced by USA TODAY LIVE  
MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- "Debate" on HDNet, a weekly television program in which guests question each other on controversial topics, makes its debut tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. In tonight's program, Allen St. Pierre of N.O.R.M.L. squares off against Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation in a debate over whether or not marijuana should be legalized. Debate's moderator takes hot national issues and triggers intellectual discussion, bringing about heated dialogue between guests from opposing sides of the issues. Guests have the opportunity to override the moderator and ask questions directly to one another as well. In upcoming programs, Debate's topics include: abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, sex education, the war in Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina. The program attracts a wide variety of guests, including respected authors, heads of national organizations and U.S. Congressmen. Content and topics for Debate are chosen from the editorial pages of USA TODAY. The show's moderator is Lauren Ashburn, managing editor and anchor for USA TODAY LIVE. USA TODAY reporters and editors offer journalistic expertise on selected topics. USA TODAY's reader editor Brent Jones wraps each episode with feedback from viewers and readers. Alex Walworth, formerly of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, is executive producer. For more information on "Debate," please log on to

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 04, 2005 at 07:00:48 PT

Dan B
I'm not sure where Jose has been but he has dropped in now and then. Maybe he is writing a book or something.
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Comment #2 posted by Jim Lunsford on October 04, 2005 at 04:06:23 PT

Can't comment on the incident, but Jose is okay and wasn't on the plane. Thanks for looking out for him. Rev. Jim
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Comment #1 posted by Dan B on October 04, 2005 at 01:43:39 PT

Are You Okay, Jose?
I saw this article and immediately thought of Jose Melendez. I hope everyone there at Skydive Deland is okay. I thought the rest of the Cannabis News folks would at least like to know about this story. Even if Jose was not there at the scene (or if, perchance, it was a different skydiving outfit in DeLand, FL), I hope that his co-workers, customers, and friends there are okay.I'll apologize ahead of time if I am overreacting. I know that Jose has skydived thousands of times without serious incident, and I do not want this post to leave the impression that the good folks there aren't entirely safety-conscious. The fact that everyone came out of it alive is a testament to their impeccable saftey standards.Dan B
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