Two Democratic lawmakers want to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin

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by Matt Doyle

Madison -- Two Democratic state lawmakers are trying to push medical marijuana back through the legislature in Madison. One of their main points is Gary Storck, who suffered from glaucoma for more than 40 years and uses marijuana.

"I started going blind from glaucoma at a fairly young age," Storck said.  "Suddenly couldn't see the blackboard in school, eyes hurt all the time."

Storck uses marijuana multiple every day.  

"Could be every couple hours."

He's one example state lawmakers use when saying medical marijuana should be legal in Wisconsin

"I think there are more people obviously not coming forward because they don't want to be prosecuted," Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach said. "If the medical community speaks out on this and families do come forward and tell their story about what's going on in their household with a family member that's going to help."

Senator Erpenbach has been down this road before - running into a dead end each time.

"It's the perception that 'oh my gosh' we're legalizing pot. Well you're not. You're legalizing medical cannabis for medical reasons only in very specific medical reasons."

Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, and AIDS are four diseases the bill sponsors say would be covered under this proposal.

He says you can't say you've thrown out your back and be eligible for it.

"In order for someone to be eligible for this and get medical cannabis first of all they need a prescription from a doctor, secondly they're going to have to have a card. The card expires in two years."

Storck says it's time for Wisconsin to step up like Michigan and Illinois did recently.  He says his doctor supports his use - to the point he's almost part of the research.

"They're very supportive," Storck said.  "He kind of expects me to bring him new information about it every time."  

This is still very early in the process. They introduce the bill Thursday. Senator Erpenbach says they hope to get it into a committee and at that point they'll know the next steps.

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