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Hosted by Drug Sense

IMMLY Press Release 

80 PERCENT OF WISCONSINITES FAVOR MARIJUANA TO TREAT SERIOUSLY ILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 12, 2002 10:00 AM CDT

80 PERCENT OF WISCONSINITES FAVOR MARIJUANA TO TREAT SERIOUSLY ILL

Madison - A statewide poll will be released today showing an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites, over 80%, support legislation legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The polling was done by Chamberlain Research Consultants as part of their quarterly Wisconsin Trends survey, and commissioned by the group, "Is My Medicine Legal YET?" ( IMMLY, www.immly.org ) and other Wisconsin medical marijuana advocates. The poll found strong support in all regions of the state for passage of a bill like the one now before the legislature, AB 715, introduced in January and sponsored by State Assembly Reps. Frank Boyle, Mark Pocan, Rick Skindrud and 7 others.

The poll found that overall, 80.3 percent of Wisconsin residents said they "support the Wisconsin State Legislature passing a law to allow seriously ill or terminally ill patients to use marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician," compared to only 16 percent opposing, and 3.7 percent choosing don't know/no opinion. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.97%.

IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert, a longtime Wisconsin activist whose Mondovi home was raided and searched by police two years ago March 13-14, sees the results as a mandate to lawmakers to pass a medical marijuana bill, "The people have spoken. What can be more noble and humane than enforcing the will of the people? These numbers show voters understand there are real people with valid needs for Rx Cannabis and they expect legislators to help patients in need, rather than causing more pain and fear by continuing to do nothing".

Gary Storck, IMMLY's director of communications said. "Across the state, in every single region, people expressed very strong support. These results say that giving patients legal access to medical marijuana is an issue that is not liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, or only popular in Madison, as some politicos have suggested. They send a strong message that Wisconsinites see medical marijuana as a matter of compassion and public health, not criminal justice or partisan politics."

Others agree, including the Wisconsin Nurses Association, which is already on record as supporting patient access to medicinal marijuana. WNA Executive Director Gina Dennik-Champion, RN states, "WNA is hopeful that the results of this poll will spur legislators to rethink their position on patient access to medical marijuana. Given the statewide support for access to medical marijuana, there is no reason why legislation should not be passed by the Wisconsin Legislature quickly."

Racine resident Don Lyons, who found marijuana helpful to treat a painful and debilitating back problem, but was then fired after 24 years of exemplary employment for failing a drug test said, "These results are awesome! I was thrilled. Maybe hard-working dedicated individuals like myself won't lose their job for the use of medical marijuana. It's a shame that those 80% of Wisconsinites weren't also asked if hard working individuals like myself should lose their jobs for using marijuana to relieve pain."

More detailed information on the poll can be found at www.immly.org/poll.htm, including poll data in PDF format that can be downloaded.

For more information contact Gary Storck, 608.241.8922/608.217.4136, Jacki Rickert at 715.926.4950. Gina Dennik-Champion can be reached at WNA 608.221.0383 or 800-362-3959. Don Lyons can be reached at 262.637.1232. 

Updated Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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