Dear Editor: Despite popular support, medical cannabis has had a rough time gaining traction at the Capitol. Early in 2014, both houses unanimously passed a hastily and poorly drafted restrictive medical marijuana bill that required federal approval to use an extract containing only cannabidiol, one of the 60-plus cannabinoids in whole-plant cannabis. Not one patient has gained access under the new law.
After this debacle, state medical marijuana advocates came together to find a new way. A grass-roots campaign was created and raised $7,500 for a billboard to call out opponents and create more public awareness and support for passing comprehensive legislation like the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act.
On Sept. 29, the campaign unveiled the first-ever medical marijuana billboard, in the Milwaukee area. It is visible to eastbound traffic on I-94 by 121st Street in West Allis, for a six-week run that ends Nov. 9.
The billboard location is not random. It straddles the districts of two of the Legislature's most intractable and vehement opponents of making medical marijuana a legal option for Wisconsin patients and their doctors, state Sens. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, and Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin. By the end of the billboard's six-week run it will have been seen over 3.3 million times.
Polling has established overwhelming public support for medical marijuana in Wisconsin. State lawmakers have long been far behind the will of the people. The billboard is only the first step. To learn more about the campaign and how to keep the momentum going, visit WisLegalize.org.
board member, League of Marijuana Voters
co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal YET?