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Several hundred rally at State Capitol to legalize medical marijuana

Several hundred people attended a rally at the State Capitol Sunday for a bill to legalize marijuana to treat serious illnesses.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, are sponsoring the measure.

It would let patients or caregivers grow small amounts of marijuana for medical use and those who can't grow it themselves could have it dispensed.

Thirteen other states allow medical marijuana.

Previous efforts to allow it in Wisconsin never went anywhere in the Legislature.

The new bill is named for Jacki Rickert, 58, of Mondovi, who says marijuana has kept her alive after she suffered advanced reflex sympathetic dystrophy and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

She led a 210-mile march of wheelchairs to Madison in 1997 to support legal medical marijuana.

Rickert told Sunday's rally it provides more hope for people.