Today’s the day state lawmakers take public testimony, on whether Wisconsin ought to legalize medical marijuana. Mike Meno with the Washington, D.C. based Marijuana Policy Project, says the bill is about protecting sick and dying patients, many of whom have not gotten relief from traditional pain treatments. “For thousands, and perhaps millions of Americans, marijuana is a medicine, nothing more, nothing less,” Meno says.
Opponents fear legalizing medical marijuana will send mixed messages on drug use, but Meno says it’s about fairness and compassion. “These people are not trying to get high, they’re trying to get better,” he says. And Meno says it’s not just about decriminalizing medical marijuana – it’s about patients no longer having to obtain the drug from criminals. “We shouldn’t force them to subject themselves to harm by trying to get this effective medicine on the street, from drug dealers.”
Assembly and Senate health committees are holding a public hearing on the bill today at the Capitol. SB 368 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana without fear of arrest or jail if their doctor recommends it. Qualifying patients with doctors’ notes could grow their own marijuana or obtain it from “compassion centers” around the state. If approved, Meno says Wisconsin would become the 14th state to allow use of marijuana as a medicine.
Bob Hague (1:05) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:05 MP3)