Published: Jan 25, 2017, 2:57 pm • Updated: Jan 25, 2017, 6:14 pm
Via The Associated Press. The following editorial was published in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Jan. 19:
Medical marijuana use should be legal in Wisconsin.
Twenty-eight states — Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Ohio joined in November — and the District of Columbia allow for such use. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana 11 years ago.
There are signs that Wisconsin may eventually adopt that stance. Although Republicans in the state often have opposed such measures, The Associated Press reported that state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, is circulating a bill that would make possessing a marijuana extract used to prevent seizures legal with a doctor’s certification.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, also recently told AP he would consider it, though Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Gov. Scott Walker remain opposed. Advocates have said it’s less harmful than opiates as painkillers. Approved drugs often are as intoxicating as marijuana but can be more habit-forming.
“If you get a prescription to use an opiate or you get a prescription to use marijuana, to me I think that’s the same thing,” Vos said. “I would be open to that.”
Democrats have rekindled the issue as well. The AP reported that state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, are looking for bill co-sponsors. “They say … the public supports such a move to help those who are suffering with debilitating illness,” the story reads.
A new report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine addresses the issue in detail.
“One of the therapeutic uses of cannabis and cannabinoids is to treat chronic pain in adults,” the report reads. “The committee found evidence to support that patients who were treated with cannabis