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Hosted by Drug Sense

Pot gone, woman under 90 pounds

Source: Capital Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2000 The Capital Times
Contact: tctvoice@madison.com
Website: http://www.thecapitaltimes.com/
Columnist: Doug Moe, dougmoe@madison.com

Pubdate: April  6, 2000

JACKI RICKERT, the 48-year-old Mondovi woman whose various bone and muscle illnesses keep her in a wheelchair and in constant pain, said Wednesday she hasn't weighed herself lately. The last time on the scale, weeks ago, she weighed 90 pounds. "I know I've lost weight,'' she said. "I'm terrified to see.''

Some readers of this space may recall that three weeks ago the police came to her door just before midnight and eventually confiscated numerous small pipes and baggies of marijuana from inside the house, which is in Buffalo County southwest of Eau Claire.

Rickert was accepted into a federal medical marijuana program -- the pot eases her pain and increases her appetite -- but was not officially enrolled when the Bush administration canceled the program. Those enrolled (there were 15 -- seven have died) were grandfathered in, but Rickert was out. She has remained an activist for making medical marijuana legal and continued to smoke it, until March 13. "They took it all,'' she said. "The pain is incredible.''

No charges have been filed against Rickert, and she doesn't know whether any will. "I have heard absolutely nothing,'' she said, since the night her marijuana was confiscated.

This weekend Rickert will attend a medical marijuana conference in Iowa. She has been through a great deal and is bitter about various promises she's had for help, including one from a politician stumping in Osseo in 1992. He came up to Rickert in her wheelchair. It was drizzling.

"Are you having any trouble paying your medical bills?'' he asked. Rickert replied, "My real concern, sir, is getting my medication that the federal government once told me I could have.''

She told him the whole story. "Well, that's terrible,'' he said. "If I'm elected, I'll make it right.'' Rickert handed him a packet telling the entire tale, and after security checked it, he put it in an inside pocket of his raincoat. "Don't say it if you don't mean it,'' Rickert said. "I can't take much more.'' "As soon as I'm back on the bus, I'll read it,'' he said.

Rickert doesn't know if Bill Clinton ever really read through her packet, but despite his promises (and many subsequent calls and letters from Rickert to Washington), he never "made it right.'' Rickert recalled, "He said, `I feel your pain.' He really did. I feel like an idiot.'' ...

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