Letter to the Editor: Kitchens Wrong on Pot Legalization

Thanks much to the unnamed citizen who had the courage to question Rep. Joel Kitchens on the issue of legalizing cannabis in Wisconsin at his recent listening session, “Kitchens Listens: Manure, Marijuana and Mining,” (Oct. 27).

Currently, despite federal laws against cannabis, no less than 29 states and Kitchens own birthplace of Washington, D.C. have legalized medical use and eight of those and the District have also legalized adult use. But according to the 60-year-old Kitchens, Wisconsin must wait until cannabis is legalized federally, and that may take a long time, perhaps not even in his or our lifetimes?

As a 62-year-old born with glaucoma and other serious medical conditions, I have been forced to break the law to save my eyesight now for 45 years. While cannabis legalization may not be a priority for Kitchens, it is for an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites, many like myself treating their pain or caring for someone who is suffering. Studies in legal states have found cannabis reduced use of opiates and other harsh prescription drugs. With our state in the middle of an opiate epidemic, legalization would not only save lives but create a new industry with thousands of jobs plus new revenues for state and local governments to address this emergency and other priorities.

The state’s own fiscal reports forecast AB482 will bring hundreds of millions in new tax revenues at a time when Wisconsin appears incapable of finding sufficient funding to even keep state roads in good repair. Don’t look to Dr. “No” Kitchens for common sense on cannabis.


Gary Storck

Madison, Wis.

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