People like Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids) need to do basic research before they talk to the media about medical marijuana policy in Wisconsin. Avoidance tactics and anti-medical marijuana catch phrases might work for people in Wisconsin that aren't educated on the topic of medical marijuana. However, to those in Wisconsin that have done some research, people like Mr. Krug look like neo-con puppets that would rather perpetuate pain and suffering in Wisconsin than take a sensible approach to medical marijuana policy.
Admittedly, I am not from Wisconsin, and I've never been there before. But, as a long time medical marijuana patient from Oregon, and someone that has fought for medical marijuana nationwide since 1998, I know first hand the need for medical marijuana in Wisconsin. My reasoning is very simple. Marijuana has been proven to help alleviate pain and suffering for certain medical conditions such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, etc. If there are people in Wisconsin (or any state for that matter) that are suffering from these conditions, they should be allowed to SAFELY AND LEGALLY consume medical marijuana to alleviate their pain and suffering. I've never been able to understand why neo-cons can't agree with that reasoning.
However, Wisconsin conservatives are using their classic maneuvers to try to sideline the issue. Let's breakdown a quote from Rep. Krug. In an article that was recently published in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, Rep. Scott Krug said, "I don't think the science is there yet..." This is a standard defense mechanism that has been used for decades by idiots like Rep. Krug.
Here is a quote from Dr. Donald Abrams, a cancer specialist at San Francisco General Hospital, taken from an article cited in the link. "Every day I see people with nausea secondary to chemotherapy, depression, trouble sleeping, pain," he says. "I can recommend one drug [marijuana] for all those things, as opposed to writing five different prescriptions." The article goes on to quote very reputable scientific studies touting the benefits of medical marijuana.
'Marijuana has been shown effective against various forms of severe, chronic pain. Some research suggests it helps with migraines, cluster headaches and the pain from fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome because these problems can be triggered by an underlying deficiency in the brain of naturally occurring cannabinoids, ingredients in marijuana. Smoked pot also proved better than placebo cigarettes at relieving nerve pain in HIV patients, according to two recent studies by California researchers.'
'Cancer: The active ingredients in cannabis have been shown to combat pain, nausea and loss of appetite in cancer patients, as well as block tumor growth in lab animals, according to a review article in the journal Nature in October 2003.'
'Some studies that have looked for a link between cancer risk and marijuana have failed to find one, including a key paper from UCLA published in 2006. "We had hypothesized, based on prior laboratory evidence, including animal studies, that long-term heavy use of marijuana would increase the risk of lung and head and neck cancers," said Hal Morgenstern, a co-author and an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. "But we didn't get any evidence of that, once we controlled for confounding factors, especially cigarette smoking.'
You see Rep. Scott Krug, there is A LOT of scientific research out there. All I did was Google 'medical marijuana science' and one of the first things that popped up was an article from the Los Angeles Times. If I really wanted to, I could compile scientific research about medical marijuana all day and mail you a document the size of a phone book. However, I suspect you wouldn't read it, and would cling to the 'Reefer Madness' era arguments that will probably use the rest of your (hopefully short) political career.
If Rep. Scott Krug was really saying what he really believes, he wouldn't say 'I don't think the science is there yet.' He would say something more like, 'I know that the FDA hasn't done any research yet due to political purposes, so until they do, I'm going to cling to the one argument that I have left in order to appease my neo-con constituency in my district of Wisconsin.'
The most ironic thing about reading the article that was recently published in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, is that the Wisconsin Medical Society itself 'recognizes the therapeutic effects of marijuana.' I thought Rep. Scott Krug was representing the great state of Wisconsin, not the federal government. Even Wisconsin's medical professionals recognize the science of medical marijuana, yet Mr. Krug continues to try to spread propaganda around like no one is going to call him out on it. I'm sorry Rep. Scott Krug, but I hope you get voted out in your next election for someone with more common sense and compassion.
I will admit, there are some within the Wisconsin medical community that have one reservation about medical marijuana. A quote from the same article that was recently published in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune - "If, in fact, we are doing so much on tobacco (prevention), why would we approve a product that you're smoking?" said Dr. James Cleary, a palliative care physician at the UW Carbone Cancer Center in Madison. Of course, if the reader scrolls four paragraphs up, they will see that I already addressed this issue.
I would like to point out another very big point in the conversation of consuming medical marijuana. MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS NOT ALWAYS SMOKED. Yes Dr. Cleary, a lot has changed since 'the good old days' when you developed your stereo types about marijuana. On the West Coast, smoking marijuana 'the old fashioned way' out of a bong, pipe, or joint is becoming less prevalent. There are numerous ways to consume marijuana without smoking it.
I always point out to neo-cons that I argue with that if 1) I have a legal medical marijuana card/prescription, and 2) I consume my medical marijuana through edible form or by using topical applications (both VERY effective) and I don't smoke it, then they should all be OK with it right? I'm not smoking it and I'm not breaking the law, so by their own logic they should jump on board, right???
Usually, the anti-medical marijuana crowd is led my members of law enforcement who have been brainwashed into thinking that marijuana is the devil, and that medical marijuana should be fought at all costs. However, in a delightfully surprising way, Wisconsin is at least ahead of the curve in this regard. In the same article from the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune 'Wood County Sheriff's Department Investigator-Sgt. Scott Saeger, the county's drug enforcement officer, said making medical marijuana legal likely would not affect the way law enforcement agencies handle drug cases. He compared the bill to the recently enacted concealed carry law.' Mr. Saeger said, "If they had their identification on them -- if they've got their proper credentials -- they're OK."
I really hope that the citizens of Wisconsin take a hard look at medical marijuana facts for themselves. I hope they don't just simply let the false stereotypes of the past dictate the policies that they live with in the future. Citizens of Wisconsin, please research this issue for yourselves. There is overwhelming evidence that medical marijuana is an effective, affordable, and safe alternative to the pharmaceuticals that are being pushed on you every time you go to the doctor. Once you have researched the issue, confront your politicians that are supposed to be carrying out your will, and demand that they do what is logical - BRING MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION TO WISCONSIN!