Dear editor,

On November 6 Marathon County voters will get the opportunity to weigh in on the issue of legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin. 15 counties and two cities in Wisconsin containing millions of citizens will be voting on a variety of marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Gratefully these ballots have forced many government representatives and candidates to go on the public record as to their views and values on this timely health care matter. It is nice to eradicate vague statements by politicians that they are undecided, still evolving, or having no comment on issues of the day.

Locally Democratic candidates Nancy Stencil, Margaret Engebretson and others have stated that they support the legalization of medical marijuana. Disappointingly, Republicans like Scott Walker and Sean Duffy stick to sketchy arguments like ‘marijuana is a gateway drug and it will make society worse’ no matter what valid studies elucidate, and the rational realities demonstrated month after month in states and countries that have legalized marijuana.

The Republican-led legislature in power for years refusing to act speaks volumes. That barricade motivated citizens statewide to respond locally and produce ballot measures.

To achieve constructive change on the issues you care about replace those garden-variety politicians who stand for entrenched obstruction, choosing the office-seekers that will work for genuine advancement.  Vote Yes on Medical Marijuana. The future is ours to make, so let’s actually live up to Wisconsin’s motto as ‘The Forward State’ – and vote smart.

Kurt Hase, Wausau

Editor’s note: The views of our readers are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email or mail to P.O. Box 532, Wausau, Wis., 54402-0532.

8 replies on “Letters: It is not enough just to vote YES for medical marijuana”

  1. Kurt, put the roach clip down for a few seconds and realize the FACT that mary jane IS a “gateway drug”, PERIOD. Is it that for everyone who tokes up? Obviously not, but for many, it sure as hell is.
    Legalizing medical marijuana would be a “genuine advancement”? LOL. Go ahead and keep on using your drug of choice, but I’d bet your consumption is far from anything medical related. The guise of legalizing pot for medicinal purposes is nothing more than a start towards trying to legalize it in general. Admit it. Stop being a hypocrite like every other liberal politician promoting it.

  2. Medical uses for Marijuana are important… pain, PTSD, and we need a clear evaluation… this is the view of medical experts.

    1. Multiple Sclerosis
    Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms vary both in type and severity, but typically include pain, spasms, balance issues, tingling, vision problems and more. Research published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal found that cannabis based medicinal extracts can significantly reduce the spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis while having few adverse effects on patients.

    2. Spinal Cord Injury
    Caused by trauma to the spine, spinal cord injuries are known to affect motor skills and can potentially lead to total loss function in some parts of the body. Research suggests cannabis can help patients treat the pain and muscle spasms that are often symptomatic of a spinal cord injury, with investigators from the Oxford Centre for Enablement noting that “Cannabis medicinal extracts can improve neurogenic symptoms unresponsive to standard treatments”.

    3. Spinal Cord Disease
    The term ‘spinal cord disease’ refers to any spinal cord issues that develop for reasons other than trauma. Multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, syringomyelia and spinal stenosis can all be considered examples of spinal cord disease. Patients living with a spinal cord disease may find therapeutic value in using cannabis based medicine, thanks to cannabis’ ability to alleviate spasticity and pain – two of the most common symptoms associated with spinal cord disease.

    4. Cancer
    Responsible for about 30 percent of all deaths, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, according to figures reported by the Canadian Cancer Society. While cannabis can’t cure cancer, it can drastically reduce the severity of symptoms and improve quality of life for patients. How? Well, research shows that both THC and CBD (two of the key active components found in cannabis) can stimulate appetite, which may help with the weight loss, anorexia and cachexia that many cancer patients experience. In addition, cannabis is very effective at combating the nausea caused by conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

    5. HIV/AIDS
    HIV/AIDS treatment has come a long way over the last decade or so. While modern therapy allows those with HIV/AIDS to live a long and mostly healthy life, the side effects of the treatment can be challenging to deal with. This is where medicinal cannabis comes in. A number of studies show that medical cannabis can improve many HIV/AIDS-related symptoms, including anorexia, weight loss, severe nausea and more. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found 97 percent of HIV patients reported improved appetite with medical cannabis treatment, while 94 percent experienced reduced muscle pain and 93 percent reported improvements to both nausea and anxiety.

    6. Arthritis
    ‘Arthritis’ is an umbrella term that refers to the inflammation of a joint. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with some of the more common types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms typically include swelling and redness around the joint, reduced range of motion, stiffness, weakness and severe, ongoing pain. It’s the latter symptom that cannabis is most effective at treating. In one study into the efficacy of cannabis as a form of pain relief for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers noted that “a significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed”.

    7. Epilepsy
    Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects almost 140,000 Canadians, according to data gathered by Statistics Canada. The disorder is characterized by seizures, which range from relatively mild (a moment of impaired concentration) to extreme (total loss of consciousness and awareness). Cannabis based medicines – and CBD-dominant products in particular – have proven to be very effective at reducing the frequency and severity of epilepsy seizures. With that said, medical cannabis should only be used in treatment resistant cases of seizures.

    8. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    The term ‘inflammatory bowel disease’ (IBD) describes disorders that result in inflammation of the digestive tract, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Research published in Digestion found that IBD patients experienced a variety of health benefits from using cannabis. Factors such as physical pain, social functioning, general health perception, ability to work and depression all saw notable improvement.

    9. End of Life Care
    Studies have shown that medicinal cannabis may also be an effective treatment option in palliative care, which could be vital in the years ahead as many nations come to terms with aging populations. Research published in Current Oncology found that medical cannabis could “provide further relief from distressing symptoms and spiritual suffering”, while improving patients’ overall quality of life.

    10. Insomnia
    Research indicates that both THC- and CBD-dominant cannabis based medicines offer effective therapy for a range of sleep disorders, including insomnia. Cannabis is thought to reduce sleep latency, induce drowsiness and improve quality of sleep.

    A gateway drug to better health… especially Epilepsy and Arthritis!

  3. Call agree it is the gateway to other drugs, report on the increased vehicle accidents in Colorado from the use of the Marijuana use, funny research John didn’t mention this. I know he like to state facts but looks like the perfect and open and honest one missed this one. LOL

    1. Alcohol has been killing people without even being questioned for my 48 years, yet as a true gateway substance we as adults are given a choice? I believe anyone who’s for alcohol, is simply comfortable with their drug of choice and the definition of hypocrite. As a kid i gulped down the propaganda and thought of i ever smoked or took in pot I’d be a mess. Now as an adult, i realize what all this is about. The alcohol people don’t want their money train messed with. The pot people want to be on the same money train as the booze guys. Then there’s the mob aka the feds, they need their cut off it.
      Do a bit of research, watching propaganda film like ‘Weed Madness” just makes the older people like my generation show their ignorance. Guess what? I’m an adult, so weather or not you like it, or i like it, just like Good old booze(drunkin homicide crashes, multiple AA centers nation wide, liver failure, heart failure, kidney failure, domestic abuse, and other alcohol related benefits to society)as an adult and someone who believed Nancy and just said no, I’ve been fed a line of cap, THIS SHOULD BE MY CHOICE. Not the gov, not big pharma, not the private prison money making machine, or anyone else. Wake up.

  4. FMK nice attempt at condescendence, it doesn’t work when you are speaking the truth about open and honest, don’t claim to be prefect…but the comment you are referring too is a mixed review when fact checked… try listen and exchange in a civil manner.

  5. I would say alcohol and cigarettes are the actual gateway drugs, maybe pills. Why? Because they are the easiest to get. Common sense, no need for a scare term like “gateway” as if with a sip, toke, drag or swallow you’ve automatically entered a house of horrors with no exit.
    It is pretty clear we are headed to marijuana legalization, there may be medical benefits, and to be honest I would rather have the local junkie with 10 kids ( multiplied by half the population in Wausomes core ) to be high on marijuana rather than strung out on heroin or scratching their meth faces.

    1. A friend of my dad once said the hardest drug for him to overcome was alcohol. (he was addicted to a few drugs)

  6. I do not do drugs, except for the heart electricity meds, but I do not know anyone who had a bad time with Mexican Lettuce. It seems like a good, positive interaction. The science seems to support it as well.

    The Hearst family attack on Marijuana is well documented. It has been a historical assault on a product that could be helpful.

    I hope all states decriminalize it. I hope doctors are allowed to prescribe it. I hope the next generation has normalized marijuana use, and ended cigarettes forever.

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