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Dear Editor: The grass-roots advocacy campaign for medical marijuana in Wisconsin has ignited a firestorm of interest in how state government works. Thousands and thousands of state residents are learning for the first time who represents them because of the popularity of this issue.

A recent ABC news poll found that nationwide, 81 percent of Americans, and 72 percent of Republicans, want medical marijuana legalized.

The question remains, however, will our Legislature listen to the will of the people? To their credit, many state lawmakers have already signaled they will vote for the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. However, the lack of bipartisan support for a decidedly nonpartisan issue is sad.

In neighboring Minnesota, a bipartisan bill won legislative approval only to be vetoed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Here in Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle has promised to sign a bill if it reaches his desk. Wisconsinites cannot let this historic time pass without our Legislature acting on behalf of Wisconsin’s citizens. State lawmakers know how popular this issue is. They only need to look at their office constituent contact logs or recall all the personal conversations in support they’ve had with people of all backgrounds.

Medical marijuana affects us all. We must each work so this option is available if the unthinkable happens to a loved one, a friend or ourselves. If doctors are allowed to prescribe toxic medications and treatments with dangerous, even potentially lethal side effects, why can’t they recommend a natural plant that has compounds which work by binding to receptors within our body’s own endocannabinoid system? Please contact your lawmakers via the toll-free Legislative Hotline: 800-362-9472 and ask them to support this bill.

Gary Storck

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director of communications, Is My Medicine Legal YET?