Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Bill To Legalize MMJ Under Review in Wisconsin
Posted by CN Staff on April 15, 2010 at 04:56:03 PT
By Jessica Bedore 
Source: Advance Titan 

medical Wisconsin -- If Assembly Bill 554 is voted into law, Wisconsin would be the 15th state to legalized medical marijuana. Area residents who support the bill, also known as the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA), are hoping that the state legislature will vote in favor of the bill before it ends regular business on April 22.

Among the supporters of this bill is Gary Storck, president of Wisconsin NORML and director of communications of Is My Medicine Legal Yet? Storck, who has congenital open-angle glaucoma, has been an advocate of medical marijuana for over 25 years.

He explained that a bill was passed on April 20, 1982 that authorized the establishment of therapeutic research programs to provide cannabis to patients.

Unfortunately for patients, the bill was written with the expectation that the federal government, who holds a monopoly on legal marijuana supplies, would be the provider.

This is what the new medical marijuana bill is trying to change.

Storck says medical marijuana is a safe and effective alternative to harmful prescription drugs.

“Many people are being harmed because they are being forced to take these drugs that are bad for their bodies,” Storck said. “Many of the patients who are on these drugs say that they don’t work well, were addictive or gave them symptoms that were intolerable.”

According to Storck, the benefits of using a natural medication versus a synthetic one are great.

“Marijuana has never been proven to be harmful,” Storck said. “It has never killed any lab animals during tests, and it doesn’t mess with serotonin levels in the brain. It is a natural herb that has been used for thousands of years, so it has a long-term history of being very healthy.”

According to David Nordstrom, a professor at the UW-Whitewater who recently debated with Storck, said we should be doing more test on this drug before we legalize it.

He said that he is not an ac tivist on the issue and is not lobbying for or against the legalization of the drug.

“There are those who want to throw the FDA out the window and go through the legislative political process to choose drugs. That’s not right in my opinion,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom also said he doesn’t think there is much backing for the drug by health officials or medical providers.

William Stephan, student nurse’s aide at UW-Oshkosh’s Student Health Center, said marijuana has many adverse effects a lot of people are not aware of.

“Marijuana is a harmful drug that has adverse effects such as psychotic disorders, increased anxiety and depression. Research has also shown that the drug affects heart rate, coordination and memory and could cause learning difficulties,” Stephan said.

Stephan believes that if more people would take the time to research the drug’s true effects, they would no longer support the bill.

A recent poll by ABC News showed that 81 percent of Americans support legalizing medical cannabis, including 75 percent of Republicans.

“I think it has a good chance of passing, but I think that the use will be so limited that many people will not be able to obtain a prescription,” Stephan said.

Storck said the thinks most Democrats in the Wisconsin State Senate will vote to pass the bill. He is unsure about the response from the Republicans.

“No Republicans have come out and said that they will vote for the bill,” Storck said. “Many have said that they support it, but aren’t actively working to make it happen.”

Storck said he is keeping his hopes up for the bill to pass, although, many are beginning to think it won’t.

“We have until April 22 for it to pass out of both committees and have a floor vote,” Storck said. “So far, no vote has been scheduled at this time. We really aren’t seeing a lot of movement.”

Storck said if the bill fails, it will be heartbreaking to many people in Wisconsin.

“The benefits outweigh the risks,” Storck said.

Source: Advance Titan (UW @ Oshkosh, WI Edu)
Author: Jessica Bedore
Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Copyright: 2010 Advance Titan
Contact: atitan@uwosh.edu
Website: http://www.advancetitan.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/g4Ug5uN3

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Comment #10 posted by Hope on April 17, 2010 at 15:19:30 PT
Afterburner
I'm not sure what to think about that.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #9 posted by afterburner on April 17, 2010 at 14:41:30 PT
Hope #6
I agree completely that cannabis should not be scheduled & that the whole scheduling system needs a shake-up.

However, the federal government & other federal governments seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Now, several countries already have "harm-onized" with the Codex Alimentarius (food code), which will restrict access to healthy food. In the name of "food safety" several recent US bills (like S.510) are moving in the direction of Codex.

If we do not oppose this, food will be completely controlled by large Agribiz corporations, reducing its nutritive content and increasing the sickness of the populace.

Google Codex Alimentarius for more info on this threat.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by runruff on April 16, 2010 at 08:28:16 PT
Petition To Reschedule 'Marijuana' to....
...Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages of Review by DEA.

Ater eight years? That was a grand stall if ever I saw one! The ol' stonewall treatment to everything nowdays like what they did to Dr. Craker.

I sent my argument that Marijuana is now without federal authority since the DEA has failed to reschedule it. I said I will be in court May 3rd with this argument and as you can see I will win and you will look decrepid!

I sent my legal argument to every fed law agency, the Prez, the DoJ, two week ago.

After eight years they are going to gracously come out and do the right thing... I think not!!!

I you don't remember it here is the stake that I drove through the heart of the beast!

Marijuana's illegal placement in an incorrect schedule renders its status as a controlled substance a nullity.

The State alleges that marijuana is a "controlled substance" when in fact marijuana's illegal placement in an incorrect schedule renders its status as a controlled substance a nullity. Based upon marijuana's current "accepted medical use in the United States", marijuana can no longer be in Schedule I. To be placed, or to remain, in Schedule 1, a substance must meet ALL of the following : the substance "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", "has a high potential for abuse," and has "a lack of accepted safety for use . . . under medical supervision." United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483, 492 (2001).

Since 1996 when California AND ARIZONA, recognized "accepted medical use", 14 States and The District of Columbia , have made the same determination that marijuana has "accepted medical use". 15 States currently have laws in place recognizing "accepted medical use" of marijuana and accept the safety of marijuana for medical use. Twelve states allows medical users to cultivate marijuana at home. See: Alaska: Alaska Stat. § 17.37.070(8) (2008); California: Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11362.5 (2008); Colorado: Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, Section 14(b) (2007); Hawaii: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 329-121(3)(paragraph 3) (2008); Maine: 22 Maine Rev. Stat. §2383-B(5) (2008); Montana: Mont. Code Anno., § 50-46-102(5) (2007); Nevada: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453A.120 (2007); New Mexico: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 26-2B-2 (2008); Oregon: Ore. Rev. Stat. § 475.302(8) (2007); Rhode Island: R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.6-3(4) (2008); Vermont: 18 Vermont Stat. Ann. §4472(10) (2007); Washington: Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 69.51A.010(2) (2008).

The fact is, Marijuana does not belong in ANY of the federal or state schedules. The only other substances one can manufacture at home are alcohol and tobacco, which are both specifically exempted from the act. Even back in 1970, marijuana was the only controlled substances which Congress expressed any doubt about including in the Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, in 1972, the "National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse" recommended that personal use and sharing of marijuana should not be criminalized. EXHIBIT A.

Furthermore, the findings of a DEA ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, authorized under the Controlled Substances Act to make findings of fact, found that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." See EXHIBIT C.

Because marijuana's placement as a Schedule 1 controlled substance is a legal nullity and the state has not acted in accordance with provisions of the Controlled Substances Act to move marijuana into any other schedule, marijuana cannot be legally considered to be a "controlled substance" for purposes of any state or federal laws or ordinances against it.

The points made above are not and should not be construed simply as an argument that marijuana has "accepted medical use in the United States". Rather, they are offered to support the argument that marijuana is incorrectly and illegally placed as a controlled substance. Because marijuana has not been "moved" to an legally enforceable schedule within the CSA, its present scheduling results in a jurisdictional defect for the present case. Accordingly, the complaints and charges against the defendant should be dismissed.

I you don't remember it here is the stake that drove through the heart of the beast!



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by dongenero on April 16, 2010 at 08:26:46 PT
DEA power
The level of power and control given the DEA is ridiculous, one would think they are a Constitutional 4th branch of government.

There's something real for the tea partiers to focus on.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 15, 2010 at 20:36:10 PT
Schedules?
I don't think cannabis should be in any of those schedules.

What schedule is caffeine in? What schedule is Lipton tea in? What schedule is aspirin in? Is alcohol scheduled? What about tobacco?

This scheduling business needs a complete shakeup.

Cannabis doesn't need to be in any of these schedules.... especially the one it's presently in. It's outrageous that it is. It's just a lie, the way it is. A pure, stupid, ignorant lie.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 15, 2010 at 20:29:24 PT
Michele Leonhart!
"Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future."

*sigh*

Michele Leonhart? Making the decision? A mean hearted, compassionless, vindictive narcotics cop?

I don't feel very hopeful about that coming to much good.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 15, 2010 at 20:12:48 PT
Press Release From DrugScience.org
Petition To Reschedule 'Marijuana' to Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages of Review by DEA

***

WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by DrugScience.org:

As scientists and researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US participate in the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, a coalition of medical marijuana advocates is calling on the Obama administration for prompt action on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use. The petition, filed in 2002, argues that marijuana should be classified as a drug with "accepted medical use" based on growing scientific evidence and acceptance in state law. Since the petition was filed, even more scientific studies and state laws have recognized the medical efficacy of marijuana.

President Obama's Administration now has the opportunity to reclassify cannabis (marijuana) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to make it consistent with state medical marijuana policies and that of its own Department of Justice. After nearly eight years of agency review, including an analysis of existing scientific evidence by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the petition is finally approaching its ultimate phase.

A final decision on the rescheduling petition will be made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however DEA can not place marijuana in a more restrictive schedule than recommended by HHS. Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future.

Jon Gettman, a spokesperson for The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, states that, "Rescheduling marijuana is an urgent priority that needs this Administration's immediate attention. Medical marijuana patients have waited too long for the federal government to catch up to scientific research and state laws that recognize that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe, effective, and most importantly not criminal activity. We demand that federal policymakers recognize and accept their responsibility to regulate marijuana under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act."

The CSA classifies marijuana and other drugs in various schedules. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, designating it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

The CSA provides a procedure to have scheduling classifications changed in response to scientific research and other relevant factors, such as recognition of a drug's accepted medical use and its dependence liability as compared to other controlled substances. Schedule I substances include heroin, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy). Cocaine and oxycodone are both Schedule II substances, which allows for severely restricted medical use while maintaining the assertion that its abuse may lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence. Marinol® a synthetic form of THC (marijuana) that is widely prescribed medically is a Schedule III substance designating that it has a currently accepted medical use in the United States and that's its abuse may lead to only moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

The case for rescheduling marijuana has been strengthened by several recent developments. Fourteen states now recognize marijuana's medical use. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also recognized that marijuana is used medically under these state laws and directed the DEA and US Attorneys not to prosecute individuals for such use in these states. In addition the reclassification of marijuana under the CSA is now supported by the American Medical Association. The Iowa Pharmacy Board, using the same criteria as the CSA, has recommended rescheduling of marijuana under state law. Furthermore, recent studies by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have documented marijuana's effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. Most recently, on April 16th and 17th Patients Out of Time and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will hold The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. This accredited educational event features cannabis/cannabinoid researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US.

The members of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis include the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, High Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New Mexicans for Compassionate Use, Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, and Patients Out of Time.

The petition and supporting research can be found online at: http://www.drugscience.org/index.html

Copyright: 2010 PR Newswire Association LLC

URL: http://drugsense.org/url/EG0Kphm2

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by MikeC on April 15, 2010 at 19:44:17 PT
Let's go Wisconsin...
We need this!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by Hope on April 15, 2010 at 18:36:45 PT
Wisconsin Legislators
Get up off your rear ends and get this passed into law.

Right now!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by happy on April 15, 2010 at 16:57:37 PT
My Fingers
are crossed for you Wisconsinites. This will be a long awaited victory...I hope.

[ Post Comment ]

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