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December 31, 2006

A look back at Cannabis and Wisconsin in 2006: Part Two

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here is part two of my look back at cannabis developments in WI in 2006.

Thu, 13 Jul 2006
Eco-Store Strives To Retail Hemp, Dissolve Myths
click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Section: Business, E1
Hempen Goods
911 Williamson St.
608-287-0410

Sat, 15 Jul 2006
Letter: Green Lacks Compassion On Medical Marijuana
click here
Source: Waukesha Freeman (WI)

This letter kicked off voter education efforts as to GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Green’s anti-medical marijuana zealotry.

Sat, 22 Jul 2006
They Barged In And Met Death
click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)

Sun, 23 Jul 2006
Secret Room Hid Interesting Stuff
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
click here

Marijuana prohibition has taken a simple herb that relieves stress, eases suffering and heals into a commodity as valuable as gold. The failure of society to acknowledge the failure of marijuana prohibition and the costs to society lead to all kinds of preventable problems. If cannabis were taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco, people would not be turning their homes into cannabis stores or production facilities. The absence of regulation means disputes are settled outside the law. In this case, a pot grow proved too tempting for some locals caught up with hard drugs, and the result was tragedy for several families.

August 28, 2006
Champagne & Reefer" at Orton Park "

Attendees at Madison’s Orton Park Festival were surprised with “Champagne and Reefer” at the near east side Madison park on Saturday, August 26.
click here
Source: Madison NORML blog

Sat, 09 Sep 2006
Officer Reveals His Undercover Role In Drug Case
click here
Source: Wisconsin Dells Events

A young nark discloses how he befriended and targeted numerous people in the WI Dells area and entrapped them in drug deals. Meanwhile, just how many bars are there in the Dells, and isn’t alcohol the REAL problem drug in the Dells and everywhere else?


Sun, 10 Sep 2006
Weedstock Organizer Tries to Unseat Kohl
click here
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI)
Copyright: 2006 The Associated Press

Wed, 13 Sep 2006
Kohl Scores Easy Victory Over Masel
click here
Source: Capital Times, The (WI)

While Ben Masel never expected to beat Herb Kohl in the primary, he did manage to garner over 51,000 votes spending only a few hundred dollars. These voters represent people open to the kind of ideals Ben has championed. In addition, Masel’s vote total in the primary was 10,000 votes higher than Green Party challenger Rae Vogeler got versus Kohl in the general election, despite much higher expenditures and much more campaigning.

Wed, 04 Oct 2006

A rare victory for the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution occurred when a state appeals court overturned a man’s conviction for cannabis possession due to the lack of a search warrant by police. The Fourth Amendment is one of the biggest victims of the drug war. It is now so riddled with drug war exemptions that it has become a shell of what our nation’s founders intended. Good to see it still exists in some form.

Appeals Court Overturns Drug Conviction
click here
Source: Pioneer Press (IL)

APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS DRUG CONVICTION

Police Search With No Warrant Was Illegal

WAUSAU - A state appeals court Tuesday overturned a drug conviction because police in northern Wisconsin illegally entered a man's apartment without a search warrant after another tenant complained about smelling marijuana.

[snip]

Saturday & Sunday October 7 & 8, 2006
The 36th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival

Harvest Fest, now well into its fourth decade, again caught some nice weather this year, with very comfortable temps, especially on Sunday. The festival, again a two-day event, featured a lineup of Wisconsin bands interspersed with speakers on Saturday, with the traditional parade to the Capitol on Sunday.

While the 2005 theme had been activism in support of Rep. Gregg Underheim’s medical marijuana bill, the bill’s untimely and messy death at the hands of Rep. Underheim himself earlier in the year was duly noted. New Jersey activist Jim Miller, also a carpenter, making a fourth consecutive appearance since 2003, constructed a coffin and drove it out from New Jersey. On Saturday, the coffin was on display all day at the Library Mall with appropriate signage noting which representatives helped kill it in committee. Inside was a copy of AB-740, and a spray of roses. On Sunday, Jim carried the coffin in the parade, now decked with a sign stating, “Et Tu, Underheim?” The coffin and sign inspired chants of “Et Tu, Underheim?” as the parade proceeded up State St. to the Capitol, where it was placed onstage.

coffin3_10706a.jpg

Wisconsin's medical marijuana bill AB 740 lying in state on Library Mall on October 7, 2006.at the 36th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival.

et-tu_100806.jpg

2005-2006 session Assembly Bill 740's coffin on the State Street steps of the Capitol, Sunday, October 8, 2006.

I talked about the coffin onstage at Harvest Fest, and with Underheim leaving office, the “funeral” brought his attempt at medical marijuana legislation to a close. It was a journey that began in 2003. The day after Harvest Fest, Jim Miller and I visited some lawmakers’ offices trying to build support for introduction of a bill that session. On a whim, our final stop was Underheim’s office to ask that he allow a fair hearing should a bill wind up in his Assembly Health committee. We knew that back in 1997, when Rep. Frank Boyle and then State Rep. Tammy Baldwin introduced mmj legislation, Underheim was strongly opposed. According to High Times, he said the bill would not get a hearing. "It's not about medicine, it's about intoxication," he says of the medical-marijuana movement. The movement, he adds, will not have any credibility until it presents "sound intellectual rationales, not aging hippies."

January 1999
Wisconsin Marchers Wheel Into Madison
click here
Source: High Times
Author: Steve Wishnia

But Jim and I were warmed up and armed with pictures of Cheryl Miller and Jacki Rickert, and ready to go. It turned out the aide we spoke with was very open to the idea, so much so, I gave her a Cherylheart pin click here. A week or so later she summoned me to meet with Underheim to discuss the issue.

Not long after, he announced plans to introduce an mmj bill. Thus, it seems fitting that three years later, with the bill dead at his own hands and Underheim vacating his roomy Capitol offices for a reported job as a lobbyist, that Jim Miller would be there with a coffin to give it a proper sendoff. While Underheim had been content to let AB-740’s death to go unnoticed, the peculiar circumstances combined with the extreme disappointment of state patients compelled us to make sure the bill got a public funeral.

But while the death of AB-740 was a component of Harvest Fest, it still remained what it has been for 36 years: a celebration of the harvest and a reunion of the regional cannabis community.

Media coverage was extremely positive, with reports filed by print, television and radio outlets.

Mon, 09 Oct 2006
Hundreds Rally To Legalize Marijuana

“We’re good members of the community. We’re otherwise law-abiding citizens who are taking a safer alternative to alcohol. We shouldn’t be punished for that.” Gary Storck Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival organizer

"No police calls were made to the event Saturday or Sunday, and no arrests were made for marijuana use, said Madison Police Sgt. Dave McClurg."

Read entire article: click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)

Mon, 09 Oct 2006
Marijuana Fest Ignites Fight For Legalization

"The sky didn't fall, nothing happened, nobody got hurt, and we went all the way down the road in full public view and nothing went wrong," activist Jim Miller from New Jersey said.

[snip]

Gary Storck, cofounder of the Madison branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), lamented the death of the medical marijuana bill during the past congressional session and pointed to the Capitol building behind him when he spoke at the rally.

"The people in this building are responsible for that bill dying in committee," he said.

Read entire article: click here
Source: Capital Times, The (WI)

Mon, 09 Oct 2006
Supporters Of Legalizing Marijuana Rally In Madison
Read entire article: click here
Source: La Crosse Tribune (WI)

Mon, 09 Oct 2006
Harvest Fest Unites Pro-Pot Crowd

This article is interesting in that it incorrectly states, ” Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, also made an appearance to rally the crowd and boost morale for a prolonged struggle.” Keith was at the 2005 fest, but he was not at the 2006 event. One has to wonder if the reporter simply recycled the prior year’s article.

Read entire article: click here
Source: Daily Cardinal (U of WI, Madison, Edu)

Jim Miller also had a letter about Harvest Fest published in his hometown paper in New Jersey:

Mon, 16 Oct 2006
US NJ: PUB LTE: Marijuana Festival Example Of Peaceful March
click here
Source: Ocean County Observer (NJ)

Mon, 16 Oct 2006
Sheriff's Department Uses Google Earth To Pinpoint Marijuana Fields
click here
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
DOVER - The Racine County Sheriff's Department used Google Earth - an online mapping program - last week to pinpoint marijuana fields in Mount Pleasant and bust a Racine man for harvesting pot.

[snip]

October 26, 2006
Shepherd Express: Where's Jacki's Medicine?

Milwaukee's Shepherd Express covered Jacki's fight to get an answer from Mark Green in an article in this week's edition. One small correction, Jacki is not receiving federal medical marijuana supplies. She was approved, but never supplied.

The day before, in Green Bay, Jacki's friends continued to keep up the pressure on Mark Green to reply to Jacki's letter. A small protest was held at the Brett Favre Steakhouse, the site of a small fundraiser for Green. Spotting a sign supporting medical marijuana with the universal "no" symbol over his name on the way in, Green reacted with a comment.

With the election less than two weeks off, will Green give Jacki an answer?

Read article: click here
Source: Shepherd Express

November 08, 2006
Election results raise hopes for medical marijuana in Wisconsin

Good news for Wisconsin medical marijuana supporters! Both Mark Green and John Gard went down to defeat and back to private life, meaning Gov. Jim Doyle will serve four more years and Dr. Steve Kagen will be representing Green’s former congressional district instead of Gard. Green’s running mate, outgoing Rep. Jean Hundertmark, who badgered medical marijuana patients at last fall’s Health Committee hearing, joined him in defeat.

Continues at: click here
Source: Madison NORML blog

Posted by Gary at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2006

A look back at Cannabis and Wisconsin in 2006: Part One

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, December 29, 2006

As 2006 winds down, I thought I’d take a look back at the year in cannabis prohibition in Wisconsin. Following are some of the year’s more interesting events, from my viewpoint.

In Pewaukee, the year started badly for a 68 year old attorney when he was the victim of a botched SWAT raid. The raiders eventually did find the correct address and parties involved and secured a small amount of cannabis for their efforts.

The victim, a former Delafield city attorney, was quoted as saying, "My question is, what are they doing using a SWAT team to execute a search warrant for a simple possession of marijuana?"

"When I went to law school, I was taught the sanctity of your home was one of the greatest freedoms we have. If you don't have the sanctity of your home in America, what have you got?"

Wed, 04 Jan 2006
Man Says He Was Mistakenly Targeted In Drug Raid
click here
Source: Waukesha Freeman (WI)

A few months later in Dodgeville, police again kicked in the wrong door in hot pursuit of public enemy number one, some teens with 50 grams of pot. The incident later inspired a Platteville local music store co-owner to change his name to Andy Griffith to help publicize his entry in the race for sheriff in Grant County.

Thu, 25 May 2006
Police Say They Are Disturbed the Dodgeville Couple Were Disturbed
click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)

And in February, a man who shot a home invader who turned out to be part of a police raid targeting him for pot received an 11 year sentence. Some may recall how also in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, an elderly woman was shot and killed when a SWAT team she believed to be someone breaking into her home returned fire. So much for the “sanctity of our homes”. The drug war stole that long ago.

Tue, 28 Feb 2006
Man Gets 11-Year Sentence For Shooting, Crippling Deputy
click here
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)

Thu, 19 Jan 2006

In January, Wisconsin medical marijuana supporters were stunned when Rep. Gregg Underheim, the Oshkosh Republican and sponsor of medical marijuana legislation announced he would not seek reelection. Core Weekly editor Nathan Comp reported on Underheim’s decision in one of the last issues of Madison Newspaper’s Core Weekly. Core Weekly’s sudden folding was a loss to local cannabis reformers with Comp frequently giving ink to cannabis friendly writing.

Medical Marijuana Advocate Won't Seek Re-Election
click here
Source: Core Weekly (Madison, WI)

As the legislative session wound down, state medical marijuana supporters found themselves on the outside as Underheim’s office grew increasingly chillier. While supporters called and wrote Underheim and Assembly Health Committee members begging for a vote, their interests were secretly being bargained away as Underheim agreed to withhold a committee vote at the request of the Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, because, according to his aide, “a loss here might affect MPP’s bills in Illinois and Minnesota”. Despite Underheim’s sacrificing of AB-740 and Wisconsin patient’s hopes for progress this session, AB-740 died for nothing, with both the IL and MN bills ultimately dying in their respective committees.

Wed, 01 Mar 2006
Column: Where Is Medical Marijuana?
click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)

Fri, 10 Mar 2006
Letter: Medical Pot Bill Dies, and With It Chance to Ease People's Pain
click here
Source: Capital Times, The (WI)

Friday, March 31, 2006"Weed Bar" in Madison? No, just a spoof by the Daily Cardinal, but why not? click here

UW-Madison’s Daily Cardinal spoofed Madison’s tobacco smoking ban with “'Weed bar' attempts to circumvent smoking ban” in their April Fool’s Day issue published March 31.

Thursday, May 4, 2006
Letter: 'Madsterdam'
Source: Isthmus (WI)

A letter I had published in the Isthmus helped spread the concept of Madsterdam. Later in the year, Madison NORML began selling the Madsterdam blend of free trade organic coffee produced by Just Coffee as a fundraiser. Java aficionados report the brew is quite tasty. Currently Madsterdam coffee is available at meetings, and we hope to have it in some outlets soon.

“Madison with regulated pot sales and cannabis coffeeshops -- let's call it Madsterdam -- would be safer, less violent and less angry.”

Read full letter: click here

Saturday, May 06, 2006
Global Marijuana March in Madison recap
Source: Madison NORML blog

Madison WI -- Sunny skies and temperatures in the 60's set the stage for a small but energetic Global Marijuana March in Madison WI today. Attendees mingled with Farmer's Market crowds at the State Street steps of the Capitol holding GMM posters and some signs. A little after 12:30 about two dozen marchers headed down State St., calling out pro-pot chants and clapping. Bemused observers at cafes and passersby gave signs of support and a couple joined the march. Marchers exited State at Gilman and headed to an undisclosed location for a short post-march medication and celebration.

Friday, June 16, 2006
La Crosse County decriminaluizes cannabis

Good news out of La Crosse County as the County Board voted 15-12 to give first time offenders with 25 grams or less a ticket for cannabis possession. The move was supported by the local drug court judge who noted how much it costs taxpayers to prosecute cases involving possesion of small amounts.

Board Passes Ordinance For Marijuana Citation
click here
Source: La Crosse Tribune (WI)

Mon, 19 Jun 2006

Longtime free speech/cannabis activist and Weedstock and Harvest Fest organizer Ben Masel threw his hat into the ring in the race for Democratic candidate for U.S. senate click here. Within days, an errant UW cop had given him a whole lot of free publicity after attacking and pepper spraying him for circulating bnomination papers on the Union Terrace. Meanwhile, Marcus Gumz, on whose land Weedstock had been held several times, passed away at 77. We’ll miss you Marcus! You were truly one of a kind.

Ben Masel - I'm Ready To Debate Kohl
click here
Source: Capital Times, The (WI)

Mon, 19 Jun 2006
Colorful Marcus Gumz Dies At 77
click here
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)

Thu, 29 Jun 2006
Column: MATC Incident Was Vintage Masel
click here
Source: Capital Times, The (WI)

Sat, 01 Jul 2006
Weedstock Organizer Peppersprayed, Arrested
click here
Source: Baraboo Republic (WI)

Posted by Gary at 01:02 AM

December 28, 2006

2006: The Year In Review -- NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, December 28, 2006

Today, National NORML released their "Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy in 2006" click here, and it is an impressive list that offers hope for change sooner than later.

Not only has the pot smoking/cancer connection been put to rest, new research finds cannabis extremely useful in safely treating many more types of illness. And while more Americans are being busted for pot, nearly half of us support taxation and regulation.

The full list appears below with links to the full article on the NORML site. In the next few days I'll be putting together a look at Wisconsin's top cannabis developments in 2006.

2006: The Year In Review -- NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy
click here
December 28, 2006 - Washington, DC, USA

#1: Cannabis Smoking Not Linked To Lung Cancer, UAT Cancers, Largest Case-Controlled Study Says
#2: Nearly Half Of Americans Say Pot Should Be Regulated Like Alcohol
#3: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2005 Most Ever
#4: Clinical Trial: Vaporization Is A "Safe And Effective" Cannabinoid Delivery System
#5: Cannabinoids Curb Brain Tumor Growth, First-Ever Patient Trial Shows
#6: Democrat Shift In Congress Bodes Well For Cannabis-Law Reform
#7: Court Says State Medi-Pot Policies Not Trumped By Federal Law
#8: Congress Scales Back Ban On Student Aid For Drug Offenders
#9: Court Strikes Down Alaska Pot Recrim Law
#10: New Report Finds Cannabis Can Halt Disease Progression

Read full article: click here


Posted by Gary at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2006

Letter: Asbury Park Press: Reopen bills on marijuana

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our good friend and fellow "MMJ Commando Squad" click here member, Jim Miller, had a great letter published today in New Jersey's Asbury Park Press, regarding medical cannabis legislation in NJ.

commsquadHF2006.jpg

The "Commando Squad" on the State St. steps of the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, WI, on Sunday, October 8, 2006, before speaking as part of the 36th Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival. Photo courtesy of Carissa.

Source: Asbury Park Press
Pubdate: 14 December 2006
Author: Jim Miller

REOPEN BILLS ON MARIJUANA

The Dec. 1 article "Advocates to launch new push for needle exchange program" exemplified how concerns about drug abuse can cast too wide of a net. Caught in that net are those suffering from HIV and AIDS who became infected without taking illegal drugs. Many such victims' disease had a dirty needle in the chain of infection, where a clean needle could have broken that chain.

Sadly, as some of those sufferers progress and near the end of their lives, they become affected by a wasting syndrome, where even preparing food will make you extremely nauseous. The result is inability to keep food down, leaving the body emaciated and vulnerable. For many, marijuana would quell that nausea and improve their quality of life.

Most of us just don't know what it's like to be that sick forever. The Drug Policy Alliance is leading the effort at passing a needle exchange law in New Jersey. That same group commissioned a poll that found 86 percent of New Jersey residents support medical marijuana. On behalf of my late wife, thanks for your support. Cheryl spent the last decade of her life telling everyone how marijuana relieved her multiple sclerosis spasticity and pain. After spending the 1990s fighting for medical marijuana legislation, she spent the last year of her life wondering why her "supporters" did so little to help her.

My hero went so far as to leave us with her answer to detractors who still say medical marijuana isn't necessary because there are legal alternatives. You can hear Cheryl's reply by going to cherylheart.org and clicking on "Cheryl's cry of pain." click here

To the Drug Policy Alliance's reported 1,250 New Jersey members, it's time to step up and finish what Cheryl began. Medical marijuana bills are now stalled in the state Senate and Assembly health committees and need your help. You know what to do. Now do it.

Jim Miller

TOMS RIVER

My comments follow. -- GS

Despite a strong start last summer, New Jersey's medical cannabis bill has not yet had hearings that were promised for the fall of 2006. So far, medical marijuana in NJ has taken a back seat to needle exchange, and New Jersey patients continue to suffer because of these unnecessary delays. With all due respect to needle exchange, it does not have the kind of popular support -- 86% -- that DPA's poll found for medical cannabis in NJ.

Now that needle exchange legislation is on NJ Gov. Corzine's desk for his signature, it remains to be seen whether medical cannabis will overcome its stepchild status and get passed in New Jersey this session. Jim Miller reports the DPA-NJ is not responding to his requests for information. Why DPA's New Jersey office has no relationship with Jim Miller, who with his late wife Cheryl, worked tirelessly for medical cannabis in NJ all through the 1990's up to Cheryl's death in 2003, and continues his advocacy today, is a question someone should ask them. You'll find no mention of Cheryl on DPA's website click here, despite the fact a DPA grant was crucial for the success of Cheryl's memorial click here.

With needle exchange finally settled, hopefully, the DPA will now redouble their efforts to pass medical cannabis in NJ and will use their influence as skillfully as they did in gaining passage for needle exchange to gain passage of legislation protecting NJ patients who use cannabis this session. Another suggestion would be to stop ignoring the existence of Cheryl Miller. The fact that there is mmj legislation in both houses in New Jersey is a testament to the dozen plus years Cheryl, paralyzed from the neck down by MS, laid the groundwork that made these bills introduction possible in the first place.

Posted by Gary at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2006

Ex-PA Gov. Raymond Shafer dies – chaired commission that urged Nixon to decriminalize pot in 1972

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sad news out of Pennsylvania today: the man Richard Nixon appointed to chair a commission on marijuana that recommended federal decriminalization has died. Had Nixon listened to Gov. Raymond Shafer and his commission, the nation might never have embarked on a war on drugs of which the centerpiece is the war on cannabis.

As NORML noted click here on March 22, 2002, the report’s 30th anniversary, “The Shafer Commission's 1972 report, entitled "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding," boldly proclaimed that "neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety" and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.”

Common Sense for Drug Policy published an ad click here in 2002 for the anniversary that noted, “The Shafer Commission issued its report on marijuana policy on March 22, 1972-30 years ago. President Nixon ignored the scientific advice he was given. The Netherlands, which had a similar commission, did not. Today, marijuana use in Holland is half that of the U.S.”

Considering the politics of Madison in 1972, had Nixon listened, we would be living in a very different place today. “Madsterdam” might be our reality, not just a dream of how it could be. In the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s cannabis coffeeshops have now been in existence for 30 years.

Our communities and nation would be a lot safer, more peaceful and happier had Nixon only listened. Instead, 34 1/2 years later we are still trodding down this dark road, arresting more than half a million Americans each year for pot. Our prisons are jammed, and we are world’s leading jailer, far surpassing China and Russia. But, as far down this road as we are, it is never too late to turn back. This war is not just a huge mistake, but by far, the longest, costliest and most damaging war in U.S. history. Hopefully, this war will now receive some much-needed scrutiny, too, with the change of power in Congress and the Wisconsin legislature. We, the people, should insist on no less.

Former Pa. Gov. Raymond Shafer dies
DANIEL LOVERING
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Former Gov. Raymond P. Shafer, a Republican who oversaw tax hikes to finance social programs and later pushed for federal decriminalization of personal marijuana use, died Tuesday. He was 89.

As Pennsylvania's governor from 1967 to 1971, Shafer led an overhaul of the state constitution, which had grown outdated, winning several changes from the Republican-controlled Legislature and voters.

[snip]

President Nixon appointed Shafer chairman of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse in 1971, around the time Shafer was named chairman and chief executive officer of Teleprompter Corp.

The Shafer Commission, as it was known, in 1972 recommended that state and federal governments decriminalize the personal use of marijuana but continue to declare it an illegal substance.

"We feel that placed in proper perspective with other social problems, citizens should not be criminalized or jailed merely for private possession or use," Shafer said.

But Nixon rejected the report, saying he would not follow any recommendation to legalize marijuana.

[snip]

---

Associated Press writer Jonathan Poet in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

Posted by Gary at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2006

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill Dies

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, December 01, 2006

On Tuesday, Michigan medical marijuana patients and supporters saw their bill killed in committee without a vote, and it was a familiar feeling for their Wisconsin counterparts. The Detroit News reported the bill’s hearing and demise in an aptly titled article on Wednesday, "Medical marijuana bill dies" click here.

coffin3_10706a.jpg

Wisconsin's medical marijuana bill AB 740 lying in state on Library Mall on October 7, 2006.at the 36th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival. The coffin was created by Jim Miller, who delivered it from New Jersey.

Wisconsin patients and supporters testified at an Assembly Health Committee hearing at the Capitol a little over a year ago on Nov. 22. And while the bill’s death did not occur immediately after the hearing like in Michigan, it still died. Like Wisconsin, the Michigan hearing also featured federal patient Irv Rosenfeld and the two ex-GOP lawmakers who testified here, Don Murphy and Penny Bacchiochi.

With the death of the Michigan bill and the loss of two key sponsors, future efforts are hazy. The possibility of a petition drive to put it on the 2008 ballot is a possibility, an option unavailable here.

The outlook in Wisconsin is hazy too, with the sponsor of last session’s bill not seeking reelection Nov. 7. However, with Democrats controlling the State Senate and greatly narrowing the gap in the Assembly, there exists the possibility of bipartisan cooperation, should the political will exist to actually follow the wishes of the people this time around. The new term begins Wednesday, January 3, 2007.

Posted by Gary at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)