For immediate release Wednesday, April 20, 2022
IS MY MEDICINE LEGAL YET?: APRIL 20 Medical Marijuana Hearing: Let patients choose what works best for them
IMMLY's director of communications, Gary Storck, a Wisconsin medical cannabis pioneer and longtime advocate who first discovered cannabis could treat his painful glaucoma symptoms 50 years ago this Oct. 3, offers this statement on the medical cannabis bill hearing Wed. April 20th at the Capitol:
"We've been told the bill being heard today does not allow access to cannabis flower because supposedly some Republicans have concerns about smoking. Yet they appear to have no such concerns about people smoking legal Delta 8 hemp products sold in Wisconsin, the effects of which are similar to legal cannabis products available in the many states where cannabis is legal either for medical use, adult use or both. It looks like a huge double standard.
Due to a recent injury and hospitalization I'm unable to make it to the Capitol Wednesday to testify at this hearing. During my time in the hospital I was constantly reminded of how critical having daily access to inhaled medical cannabis was to controlling my glaucoma symptoms after 3 days of going without. Not only were my glaucoma symptoms becoming extremely painful, but chronic pain from arthritis and cancer usually controlled solely with vaporized cannabis flower flared and opioids needed to be substituted.
Wisconsin actually passed a medical cannabis bill, the Therapeutic Cannabis Research Act (TCRA), which was signed into law on April 20, 1982 by Republican Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus after clearing both houses by huge bipartisan majorities. While earlier versions of the bill would have allowed cannabis flowers, the TCRA was watered down where it was basically symbolic, allowing only the prescribing of synthetic THC capsules. Inhaling, whether via smoking or vaporizing, is the best way to titrate cannabis dosing. A patient knows exactly when they've reached their therapeutic dose.
With 38 states and the District of Columbia now having some form of medical cannabis program, certainly the authors of this bill had a lot of positive examples of programs that worked well and patients were satisfied both with the product quality and affordability to draw from. The question is, why did they come up with this? Wisconsin has long polled super majority support for medical cannabis legalization. SB1034 is not what most citizens have in mind. Few Wisconsin patients would use this program as they can get a wider range of products by simply motoring to legal pot stores on the Illinois and Michigan borders. Due to low patient interest few providers would be interested in making an investment in the state.
Finally holding a public hearing gave citizens a long overdue opportunity to weigh in on this important issue. But SB1034 is nowhere near any kind of solution for our patients in need. This bill is not about compassion."
Is My Medicine Legal YET? is a Wisconsin based grass roots patient and caregiver organization dedicated to advancing public education about medical cannabis. IMMLY is a project founded by Jacki Rickert with Gary Storck serving as director of communications circa 2000. Jacki passed away in Dec. 2017 and Gary continues to carry on the group's advocacy, publishing his book, "The Rise & Fall of Cannabis Prohibition in Wisconsin" in Nov. 2019. For further information contact Gary Storck at 608-395-1958 or firstname.lastname@example.org or view the archival IMMLY website at www.immly.org.