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Hosted by Drug Sense

IMMLY PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Kind Spurns Scheduled Appointment With Severely Ill Constituent, Again 

For immediate release May 6, 2004

CONGRESSMAN KIND SPURNS SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT WITH SEVERELY ILL CONSTITUENT, AGAIN

Mondovi & Madison - For the second time in seven months, Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), failed to keep a scheduled appointment with Jacki Rickert, a disabled constituent who has been seeking a face-to-face meeting with him since his election in 1996. Rickert is a well-known advocate for medical marijuana and the founder and director of the group, Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMLY).

Rickert, who weighs about 80 pounds and suffers from a number of incurable medical conditions causing severe chronic pain and disability, was hospitalized for several days in early April. Despite all this, she traveled to Washington D.C., and was told upon arrival at Kind's office on April 22 that he was unavailable due to "a committee hearing". As with a scheduled appointment Rep. Kind also failed to keep last September, no advance notice of the meeting cancellation was offered, nor was any written apology extended.

In lieu of a meeting with Rep. Kind, Rickert, accompanied by IMMLY director of communications Gary Storck and IMMLY board member and friend Jim Miller, instead met with the same staffer who met with them after Kind's last no-show in September 2003. In a very emotional meeting, Rickert, Storck and Miller relayed a long list of grievances with Kind over his refusal to take a rational, consistent and compassionate stand on the issue of medical marijuana, or even to have the courtesy to keep scheduled appointments with Rickert. The staffer they met with offered no defense of Kind's behavior.

A disappointed and hurt Rickert had this to say, "This is not just about medical marijuana. There were other important issues I planned to bring to Rep. Kind's attention in these meetings. But apparently he has other priorities than taking a few minutes to talk to ordinary citizens."

IMMLY's Gary Storck said "That Congressman Kind would repeatedly treat a seriously ill, wheelchair-bound, constituent like Jacki so callously speaks volumes. His position is indefensible, and he knows it. So instead of meeting with Jacki, he chooses to evade her. What is he afraid of? How could he disappoint someone who came all the way to his office in Washington, braving severe pain, not once but twice?"

Jim Miller, widower of the late MS patient Cheryl Miller and founder of the Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union, had this to say, "Ron Kind's failure to keep an appointment with Jacki with no cancellation or postponement beforehand and no apology nor explanation afterward, was an act of disrespect undeserving of someone in Jacki's physical condition. The pain that she experiences during a trip to Washington D.C. was compounded by Congressman Kind's actions. Ron Kind has found a literal way to add insult to injury."

With Jacki currently unable to travel, friends plan to gather on her behalf outside a fundraiser Rep. Kind is holding in Madison Monday evening May 10.

Is My Medicine Legal YET? is a Mondovi and Madison based grass roots patient and caregiver organization dedicated to advancing public education about the medicinal benefits of marijuana. For further information contact Jacki Rickert at 715.926.4950 or Gary Storck at 608.241.8922 or visit the IMMLY website at www.immly.org. Jim Miller, can be reached at 732.255.3660 or via the Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union website at www.drugsense.org/mspu.


-30- 

Below are PDF files of the two appointment requests that were faxed to Rep. Kind's office:
The Wisconsin Radio Network produced report below was carried by many radio stations across Wisconsin. You can read the report or listen to a Mp3:
Congressman Ron Kind's June 30 2003 letter about medical marijuana (download PDF)

"I believe reasonable people can have different views on the subject" -- Congressman Ron Kind, June 30, 2003 letter to Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck

Updated Tuesday, June 08, 2010

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