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February 29, 2008

Fond du Lac Reporter: Bong accused of pharmacy break-in

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, February 29, 2008

It being leap year day, I could not help but post this headline from a Fond du Lac Reporter article about a young man named Bong and his recent troubles. Of course, the Bong family name is well-known in Wisconsin, with a Bong Recreation Area that is really not a good place to recreate at all with a bong.

Bong accused of pharmacy break-in click here

The Reporter Staff

JUNEAU — A 20-year-old Mayville man accused of breaking into a pharmacy and stealing pain medication will stand trial.

Continues: click here

Posted by Gary at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2008

Appleton Post Crescent: Woman with CA medical cannabis note ticketed for cannabis

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I regularly google "marijuana Wisconsin" to look for articles of interest and found one today from the “Police Blotter” column in today's Appleton Post Crescent about a CA medical cannabis patient ticketed for her medicine in Neenah.

Appleton Post Crescent
The Police Blotter for Feb. 19click here

Feb. 8

# Drugs: An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of W. Bell Street where a complaint had been received about an apartment resident smoking marijuana. The California woman told police that she had a sleep disorder and a prescription for medical cannabis. The officer noted that the prescription had expired last year and issued her a municipal summons for possession of marijuana. She said she planned to go back to a normal prescription now that she was living in Wisconsin and was having difficulty finding anyone from whom to buy marijuana.

(Perhaps now she can get a normal prescription for a good FDA approved drug such as Ambien and do a little sleep-cooking, sleep-eating or sleep-driving instead of actually getting the restful night's sleep that cannabis provides. -- GS)

Posted by Gary at 01:41 PM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2008

WI State Journal columnist asks Bill Clinton, "Where's Jacki's Medicine?"

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, February 17, 2008

While standing in the cold on Valentine's Day, holding our "Where's Jacki's Medicine?" signs outside the UW-Madison Stock Pavilion, we were approached by WI State Journal columnist Susan Lampert Smith, heading in to see Bill Clinton.

We chatted a bit and explained why we there. I gave her a card with Jacki's number. While she did not get around to contacting Jacki, she included Jacki's story in this article.

I’m glad Bill Clinton’s mistreatment of Jacki made news.

Time passing by Clinton generation

Susan Lampert Smith
February 17, 2008
Read original article: here.

The cute girl in the YouTube video has a crush on Obama.

I know how she feels. I 've had a crush on Bill Clinton.

I already know all the reasons why this is stupid.

In fact, I saw one of those reasons standing in line, waiting to get into the Stock Pavilion on the UW-Madison campus.

It was one of our former interns at the newspaper. She 's young and beautiful and smart. And I know how the old cad is with those young interns. So I jumped in line to protect her.

Sitting there, in the old barn still redolent with the hay and animals that star in Stock Pavilion events, we scanned the crowd as we waited.

Who got to sit in those reserved seats behind Clinton? They were the political version of the cool kid table in the high school lunchroom. She recognized UW-Madison student and superdelegate Awais Khaleel. As the rest filed in, I filled her in.

That 's Joe Wineke, he used be a state senator, now he 's head of the Democratic Party. The bald guy? Tom Loftus, he used to be ambassador to Norway.

The woman firing up the crowd? Hannah Rosenthal, she used to be and that 's her husband, Rick Phelps, he once was And then it hit me. I was talking about a time when she was in grade school.

Finally, Clinton took the stage. I nudged her.

He 's cute, isn 't he?

She was diplomatic: He 's a very nice-looking older man.

Sigh. Clinton didn 't seem bothered by the fact that Barack Obama outdrew him nearly 10-to-1 at the jam-packed Kohl Center two days before.

Clinton delivered his valentine to Hillary, telling the students that his wife started changing the world back when she was their age and a Yale law student. He talked about how America 's status had gone to the dogs since he left office.

He talked and he talked, for over an hour.

By contrast, the Obama event had been quick-boom-bang. There was the cool celebrity video by the Black Eyed Peas on the big screen, a quick introduction by Gov. Jim Doyle, and a trademark Obama speech, short on details, long on inspiration.

He talked about the young crowd, not to them: It 's your time, seize the moment.

Remember 1992, when the Clintons were the cool young people?

Back when they played Fleetwood Mac 's "Don 't Stop " and other songs of our generation.

Out on the sidewalk was someone else who remembered.

It was another graying Madison icon, marijuana activist Ben Masel, who was sandwiched by Secret Service guys in their sharp suits. Masel was holding up a sign that said, "Where 's Jacki 's medicine? "

The way Masel tells it, Jacki Rickert, who suffers from a painful connective tissue disorder, met Clinton on his 1992 bus trip through Wisconsin, and asked him to legalize marijuana for medical use. Clinton told her, in his husky drawl, I feel your pain.

But when he got into office, the president who didn 't inhale didn 't legalize medical marijuana. Jacki didn 't get her medicine. The rest of us who voted for him didn 't get our health-care reform.

How will the future play out for today 's Obama girls?

I do know this: After two hours on the cold concrete steps of the Stock Pavilion, I felt my own pain.

Where 's my medicine?

It's interesting to note the article mentions former Dane County Exec Rick Phelps and his wife Hannah Rosenthal. In 1998, Rick Phelps was running in the primary against Tammy Baldwin, for the Second District congressional seat vacated by Republican Scott Klug. In the summer of 1998, I approached their table at the Farmer’s Market on a couple occasions and discussed medical cannabis with each. Phelps was very supportive but, Rosenthal, then the deputy secretary of HHS in Chicago, went even further, volunteering that cannabis had helped comfort a once ailing, by then deceased, family member in their battle with cancer. Meanwhile, her boss at the time, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, had vehemently flipped against medical cannabis once being tapped by the Clintons in 1992, and became a leading public opponent.

Watch Hillary Clinton dancing around the topic of Medical Cannabis

Posted by Gary at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2008

16 years later, Bill Clinton finally gets asked, “Where’s Jacki’s Medicine?”

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, February 14, 2008

I was on the phone with Jacki right after it happened. Ben Masel and I had been standing across the street from the Stock Pavilion on the University of Wisconsin campus, waiting in the cold for the arrival of former president Bill Clinton. We were there today, holding signs that read, “Where’s Jacki’s Medicine?,” attempting to remind Mr. Clinton that as a candidate for president in 1992, he had met with Jacki Rickert at a campaign stop in Osseo, WI, and promised her he would make right the bureaucratic nightmare that had been holding up the delivery of the federal medical marijuana supplies that her doctor had gained approval for her to use.

Ben with sign at the event. We sent the printer the correct spelling, but an "i" got lost somewhere.

Finally, there was a burst of activity as numerous cars pulled up. Ben noticed Bill Clinton exiting from a vehicle just inside a garage door across the street from our position. We waved our signs and shouted, “Where’s Jacki’s Medicine?” He was across the street maybe 40 yards tops and as Ben noted, “made eye contact.” He could then be seen talking to state Democratic Party chair Joe Wineke, who Ben had explained the Jacki Rickert story to when we came across him on Sept. 18, 2007, as the “Quest for Justice” last mile wheelchair march up State St. reached the Capitol for a press conference announcing the introduction of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (AB 550).

So, 16 years later, finally Bill Clinton has been personally reminded how he told a very frail sick woman that he would get her medicine to her and then never had the courage to either actually “make it right” as promised or apologize for breaking that promise made in Osseo 16 years ago.

Definitely worth getting a little cold to stick up for Jacki Rickert and make a Valentine’s Day statement for medical cannabis patients waiting for their medicine.

READ Ben Masel's Docudharma Blog Post about the encounter

Posted by Gary at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2008

WI presidential primary recalls another Clinton campaign stop in Wisconsin 16 years ago

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

With Wisconsin’s Feb. 19 presidential primary fast approaching, candidates and their surrogates are popping up in Wisconsin. Chelsea Clinton was in Madison Monday, and Barack Obama drew 17,000+ in Madison Tuesday. Bill Clinton is also expected to visit Milwaukee, Madison and La Crosse on Thursday to stump for Hillary. With presidential politics in the news in the state in 2008, it’s a good time to look back at the year 1992, when it was Bill Clinton running.

In December of 1990, Jacki Rickert’s physician, the late Dr. William Wright of Mondovi, gained approval from federal authorities for her to join the Compassionate IND program, a small federal program that still supplies medical marijuana to a handful of seriously ill Americans. However, when a large amount of applications from AIDS patients were received, George Bush I closed the program to new participants in 1992, leaving Jacki caught in the middle, approved but not supplied.

In late 1992, Jacki and her daughter were leaving no stone unturned in their quest for her medicine. One day, she received about 30 minutes notice that Bill Clinton, on a bus tour of western Wisconsin with Hillary and Al and Tipper Gore, would be stopping in nearby Osseo.

When Jacki’s home was raided in 2000, she relayed to me an account of that encounter, reposted below from the IMMLY website:

Not too long before the 1992 presidential election, Jacki met with candidate Bill Clinton at a Clinton-Gore campaign stop in Osseo, Wisconsin. After discussing her situation and being handed a packet of approval documents, Clinton told Jacki he would reopen the program, saying "that's just terrible and if elected I will make it right". He assured her he'd read the documents "just as soon as I'm on that bus". Jacki responded "Sir, please don't say it if you don't mean it, I don't think I can stand it to have another bubble broken. I don't think I could take any more". His promise was apparently promptly forgotten.

From Raid at Jacki’s http://www.immly.org/raid_at_jackis.htm

I talked to Jacki before I posted this tonight, and she shared some more memories of that day. Clinton was brought a hamburger and a baseball cap from a local burger joint (Heckel's Family Restaurant), quickly downing the burger; he then doffed their cap. When Clinton first approached Jacki in her wheelchair in front of the yellow tape, he leaned in and shook her hand, and she asked for his autograph. He told her, “I feel your pain,” seeming very sincere in the moment.

Jacki’s daughter timed the encounter; Clinton and Jacki spoke for 8 minutes. There was a light rain, and her daughter used a “Time for them to Go” sign with the image of a clock set to 4:20 they had made and brought along, to shield her. Al Gore and Clinton signed Jacki’s art book, with Gore drawling that he “liked her artwork” as the rain caused ink from drawings in her book to run down the page.

Meanwhile, a window curtain parted on the campaign bus, revealing Tipper Gore snapping pictures. (If you see this Tipper, Jacki would appreciate copies, as she didn’t have time to bring a camera that day.)

Jacki also recalls when her daughter handed the packet of documentation to Clinton; a Secret Service agent suddenly grabbed it, startling the three of them. The agent then inspected it and handed it back to Clinton who placed it inside his overcoat, telling them, “As soon as I get on that bus, I’m going to read this.” He also told them to keep in touch with the campaign. After speaking with Jacki, Clinton, unaware, leaned on Jacki’s shoulder (which dislocates easily due to her medical condition) while reaching into the crowd to shake hands, causing her to wince with pain.

After shaking hands with others nearby, then turning to board the bus as the rain picked up, he again told Jacki and her daughter, “As soon as I get on that bus, I’m going to read this.”

Jacki still wonders if he read it once on the bus, and why he told her he would help her and then turned his back. Why did he break the promise he made to Jacki that day?

I always appreciated the way former NORML director Richard Cowan described the encounter in a post on MarijuanaNews.com back in 2000:

By the way, when he was running for President in 1992, Bill Clinton promised Rickert that if he was elected he would see to it that she got medical marijuana. If he had won, things would surely be different." -- Richard Cowan, MarijuanaNews.com, March 15, 2000.

Posted by Gary at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2008

Ex-WI Congressman Mark Green learning as ambassador to Tanzania

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, February 10, 2008

Long-time readers of this blog may remember how medical cannabis activists, including yours truly, dogged former Wisconsin congressman and anti medical cannabis zealot Mark Green in his 2006 campaign for Wisconsin governor. Green’s lack of compassion for sick and dying Wisconsinites who need medical cannabis received media attention statewide. When the votes were counted, Gov. Jim Doyle, who has promised to sign mmj legislation if it reaches his desk, was returned to office for another four years.

George Bush later appointed Green US ambassador to Tanzania. I found his assignment apt, for a man who obviously had closed his mind to so much suffering. By being ambassador to Tanzania, he was assured of having to deal with a nation and a continent facing a virtual AIDS pandemic.

Here is how Green himself put it, from an AP article about Green. Sunday 2/10/08 -- AP -- Green not ruling out return to politics after ambassadorship ends:

"Before I arrived here, I couldn't have imagined how this touches every single Tanzanian," he said of the autoimmune disease.

"I have not yet met a Tanzanian who does not know someone who is HIV-positive or does not know someone who has lost a loved one because of AIDS. It is a cost to every community. It has weakened the generation that would normally be the income-producing leaders in society. It's a huge challenge."

Now, if he could only open his mind to cannabis as an essential treatment for AIDS, from appetite stimulation and pain relief to helping patients tolerate the anti AIDS drug cocktails used to fight HIV. And for patients far from a pharmacy, cannabis can be grown locally. It might be the only medicine isolated African AIDS patients are finding in some cases.

Only time will tell...

Posted by Gary at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)