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Gary Storck: Medical marijuana laws should include home cultivation

Gary Storck: Medical marijuana laws should include home cultivation

Thanks for Monday's editorial, "Let them smoke pot -- for medicine." In discussing Illinois' new law, you stated the rules that regulate how much, when and how users can obtain medical cannabis are "about right."

But a major flaw is the failure to include home cultivation. The people this bill is intended to help must wait until an expensive and complex production and distribution system is created. Allowing patients or caregivers to grow their own plants means immediate treatment.

Home cultivation is allowed in most of the states cited in your editorial. And judging by the experiences of other states such as New Jersey, which claims to have the toughest law yet, it may take years to set up dispensaries. New Jersey has only one dispensary, and the bill was passed in 2010.

Furthermore, Illinois patients must undergo a background check with fingerprinting just to get approval. 

Wisconsin is past due on approving medical marijuana. But when it happens, Wisconsin can strike a better balance by putting patients first, not making them jump through hoops to satisfy the concerns of special interests, as Illinois, New Jersey and other states have done.

-- Gary Storck, Madison, co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal YET?

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