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December 19, 2005

Medical Marijuana in Wisconsin: Looking Back at 2005: Part One

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, December 19, 2005

With 2005 rapidly drawing to a close, I'd like to take a look back at the year in medical cannabis in Wisconsin. 2005 was a banner year for state medical marijuana supporters, with legislation receiving a public hearing for the first time in at least 25 years. Below are some of the year's developments in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Wasting no time, a group of Madison and Wisconsin NORML activists attend the first meeting of the "People's Legislature" at the Alliant Center in Madison. The group set up an information table and brought up the subject of medical marijuana both in the large group and in breakout sessions later in the day.

11 Jan 2005: Column: People's Legislature Can Turn State Around click here

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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Medical marijuana patients and supporters hold a vigil outside Assembly Chambers during Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle's "State of the State" at the Capitol.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

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First Medical Cannabis Lobby Day at the State Capitol: Activists from The Wisconsin Coalition for Safe Access/Is My Medicine Legal YET?/Madison NORML/Wisconsin NORML set up display table in Capitol Rotunda and deliver medical marijuana mail from constituents to lawmakers.

16 Feb 2005: Madison NBC15 television report: Group Wants WI Medical Marijuana Laws Changed (includes video) click here

A group lobbying at the state capitol Wednesday wants Wisconsin's medical marijuana laws changed.

The Wisconsin Coalition for Safe Access says there are still medical marijuana patients being arrested in Wisconsin and facing sentencing.

[snip]

17 Feb 2005: Wisconsin Radio Network: My marijuana's not legal yet? (includes audio) click here

Thursday, March 24, 2005

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Madison NORML holds a benefit at Cafe Montmarte in Madison featuring the bands Minglewood and Little Marsh Overflow.

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Ben fires up the crowd.

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Little Marsh Overflow

Friday, April 1, 2005

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Jacki and me with our "Commando Squad" colleague Jim Miller. click here, Jacki and I were joint recipents of NORML's Peter McWilliams award for “outstanding achievement in advocating the cause of medical marijuana, access to a safe effective medicine and equity under the law” at the NORML conference in San Francisco California March 31-April 2. We had accepted the same award for Jim and his late wife Cheryl at the 2003 NORML Conference, also in San Francisco, when they were unable to travel due to Cheryl's illness.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Madisonians celebrated 4/20 and the following week the Core Weekly's editor Nathan Comp paid tribute to Madison's longterm friendly relationship with the noble herb.

28 Apr 2005: Core Weekly: OPED: Madison Embraces Marijuana click here

Not only is the Mad City a drinking town, it's a smoking town, too. Any local pothead knows the weed here is plentiful and - at $50 a bag - is generally superb. Though other cities might outrank Madison as the nation's stoniest, Madison has embraced marijuana culture in ways that ought to be celebrated.

For 28 years, thousands have gathered on Library Mall each October for the Midwest's largest marijuana rally. The rally has brought to Madison many notable speakers who have lashed out against government and popular media demonization of marijuana, energizing the crowd prior to the march to the Capitol lawn.

Likewise, our local government largely agrees with the thousands of Dane County residents who've shown support for marijuana reform. At least half of our city alders support some form of decriminalization. In fact, General Ordinance 23.20 states up to 112 grams ( a quarter pound ) of weed can be legally possessed on private property. However, you face a $100 forfeiture for possessing the same amount on public property.

[snip]

Monday, June 6, 2005

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At the Capitol June 6 commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Raich case for Madison's NBC television affiliate (Source: NBC 15).

6 June 2005: Wisconsin State Journal: OPED by Gary Storck: Medical Marijuana: Should It Be Legal? click here

YES: SICK PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO SUFFER

Contrary to what some will be saying about the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling on medical marijuana, this narrow technical ruling does not invalidate medical marijuana laws now in effect in 10 states.

Neither does it invalidate local ordinances allowing medical marijuana, including Madison's ordinance, or those passed in 2004 by Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbia, Mo.

[snip]

7 June 2005: Eau Claire Leader Telegram: Medical Marijuana Ban Upsets Users click here

Jacki Rickert, 54, of Mondovi, thinks the Supreme Court has made a mistake.

On Monday, the court ruled that people who smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.

She called the ruling "ridiculous. I think it's a real big setback definitely for medical patients."

[snip]

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2005

As the Raich ruling reverberated around the country, at the state level, Rep. Gregg Underheim announced plans to reintroduce medical cannabis legislation. Meanwhile, The Capital Times and the Wisconsin State Journal weighed in on the Supreme Court decision with editorials.

07 Jun 2005: Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin Lawmaker Working On a Medical Marijuana Bill click here

In Wisconsin, state Rep. Gregg Underheim, R-Oshkosh, said he plans to reintroduce legislation soon allowing limited use of medical marijuana. Under the bill, the drug would have to be prescribed by a doctor.

[snip]

08 Jun 2005: The Capital Times: Editorial: Court Ruling Was Dopey click here

It is not often that this newspaper finds itself in agreement with U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Sandra Day O'Connor, three of the Supreme Court's more conservative members.

But Rehnquist, Thomas and O'Connor were right to dissent from the court's wrongheaded decision to permit the federal government to prosecute sick people who use marijuana as a painkiller - even in states where voters and legislators have determined that such use is lawful.

[snip]

09 Jun 2005: Wisconsin State Journal: Editorial: Let States, Doctors OK Marijuana Use click here

Most of the public understands why a doctor should be able to recommend marijuana to a cancer patient suffering from severe nausea, loss of appetite and pain.

Next week, Congress - including Wisconsin's delegation - should show that it understands, too.

The House is expected to vote on an amendment to an appropriation bill that, in effect, would prevent the federal Justice Department from arresting or prosecuting medical-marijuana patients in states that have legalized the drug's use.

[snip]

Continue on to Looking Back at 2005: Part Two click here

Posted by Gary at December 19, 2005 05:12 PM

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