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September 29, 2008

Detroit Free Press Poll: Michigan voters favor marijuana for medicine

Posted by Gary Storck
September 29, 2008

More good news out of Michigan with a Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Poll finding 66% support for the state's Nov. 4 medical cannabis initiative. Only 25% were opposed. Hopefully, these numbers will hold through the election and bring medical marijuana to the Wisconsin border.

Source: Detroit Free Press click here

September 29, 2008

Michigan voters favor marijuana for medicine, stem-cell research
By Dawson Bell

Proposals to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes and ease restrictions on stem-cell research using human embryos are favored by a majority of Michigan voters, a Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll shows.

But political analysts and history suggest that backers of the two measures, especially Proposal 2 on stem-cell research, shouldn’t feel comfortable just yet.

“No-vote campaigns are easier, and they can come late,” said Ann Selzer of Selzer & Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, who conducted the poll last week.

Michigan voters appear to be relatively well-settled on their support of medical marijuana, Selzer said.


The new poll also showed support for Proposal 1, which allows the cultivation and use of marijuana by patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer and glaucoma, at 66%, with 25% opposed and 9% undecided.


Continues: click here

Posted by Gary at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2008

Presidential debate location also home of U.S. Government pot farm

Posted by Gary Storck
thursday, September 25, 2008

If the presidential debate goes off as scheduled on Friday night, at the University of Mississippi, both candidates will be within yards of the U.S. federal government's 5-acre cannabis farm, also at the University of Mississippi. For decades, this federal cannabis garden has supplied marijuana grown by Uncle Sam for research and to patients in the Compassionate IND program that still supplies at least 11 ounces per month to 4 living Americans. Perhaps they'll catch a whiff of this government ganja as their respective motorcades whiz by.

Posted by Gary at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2008

Michigan voters consider allowing marijuana to ease pain

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, September 19, 2008

Michigan Live had a nice article about the medical cannabis initiative on the ballot in Michigan this Nov. 4. With no organized opposition, Michigan patients are looking at the very real possibility their medicine will finally be legal just 47 days from today!

Source: Mlive.com click here

Voters consider allowing marijuana to ease pain

Posted by Charles Roltsch, Capital News Service September 19, 2008 11:40AM

Categories: Health

LANSING--Michigan voters will decide Nov. 4 whether they want their state greener. Not with an environmental plan but with the leaves of medical marijuana.

Proposal 1 would establish marijuana as a legal remedy for some illnesses. Growing, possessing, selling or using marijuana is illegal under state and federal laws.

Marijuana alleviates the pain associated with cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS and many other ailments, according to marijuana proponents. Critics say smoking itself is unhealthy and the proposal would encourage recreational use.

Continues: click here

Posted by Gary at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2008

Medical Cannabis Quest for Justice one year ago today in Madison

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last year, Sept. 18 was the date of the medical cannabis, “Quest for Justice” commemorating the 1997 Wisconsin “Journey For Justice” as well as announcing the introduction of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. The event started off with a wheelchair march up State St. to the State Capitol, commemorating the “Last Mile” of the 1997 Journey, and concluded with a press conference in the Capitol’s ornate Senate Parlor, with bill sponsors, patients and supporters click here.

Although the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act did not make it out of the Assembly Health Committee, as its chair, Rep. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) had vowed, one year later, things are looking up for state patients.

In April of 2007, Vukmir also pledged that legal access to medical cannabis would not happen “on her watch”. However, with the GOP margin of control now down to just 2 seats, Vukmir’s watch as committee chair is likely to end if voters give control of the Assembly to Democrats 48 days from today. In addition, Vukmir faces an opponent who, if successful, could completely end her watch at the Capitol.

Across the state, anti-medical cannabis Republican incumbents are facing strong challenges from Democrats more attuned to the will of the people. A handful of GOP moderates who supported medical cannabis, but did not act, are retiring, their seats likely to be filled by Democrats who will.

Meanwhile, a huge development is pending in Michigan. With no organized opposition, medical cannabis is on the ballot and likely to pass easily on Nov. 4, meaning Wisconsin will share a long northern border with the nation’s 13th medical cannabis state.

These events can only give a little hope to long suffering patients and families still Questing for Justice today.

Tags: medical cannabis, Quest for Justice, Jacki Rickert, Leah Vukmir

Posted by Gary at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2008

NORML.ORG: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2007: 872,721 Tops Record High -Five Percent Increase Over 2006-

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, September 15, 2008

The FBI has released its annual Uniform Crime Report, which contains data on cannabis arrrests across the U.S. Tragically, once again, the total number of arrests has risen as the U.S. diverts resources from real problems to wage a culture war against American cannabis consumers. NORML notes that October 10, 2008 will mark the arrest of the 20 millionth cannabis consumer arrested under cannabis prohibition began, circa 1937.

From NORML.ORG click here:

Marijuana Arrests For Year 2007: 872,721 Tops Record High -Five Percent Increase Over 2006-

US Marijuana Arrests

Washington, DC: Police arrested a record 872,721 persons for marijuana violations in 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. This is the largest total number of annual arrests for cannabis ever recorded by the FBI.

Cannabis arrests now comprise nearly 47.5 percent of all drug arrests in the United States.

"These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor cannabis offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a cannabis consumer is arrested every 37 seconds in America. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."

Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 775,138 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 97,583 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. Nearly three in four of those arrested are under age 30.

"Present policies have done little if anything to decrease marijuana's availability or dissuade youth from trying it," St. Pierre said, noting young people in the U.S. now frequently report that they have easier access to pot than alcohol or tobacco.

"Two other major points standout from today’s record marijuana arrests: Overall, there has been a dramatic 195 percent increase in marijuana arrests in the last 15 years -- yet the public's access to pot remains largely unfettered and the self-reported use of cannabis remains largely unchanged. Second, America’s Midwest is decidedly the hotbed for cannabis arrests with over 60 percent of all cannabis-related arrests. The region of America with the least amount of cannabis arrests is the West with 29 percent. This latter result is arguably a testament to the passage of various state and local decriminalization efforts over the past several years."

"Of further note, this year the Midwest saw a 13.3% increase in cannabis sales/cultivation-related arrests, while the West saw a 14% increase in possession-related cannabis arrests."

The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2007 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s.

"Arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly needlessly destroys the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens," St. Pierre said, adding that nearly 9 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past ten years. During this same time, arrests for cocaine and heroin have declined sharply, implying that increased enforcement of marijuana laws is being achieved at the expense of enforcing laws against the possession and trafficking of more dangerous drugs.In fact, October 10, 2008 will mark the arrest of the 20 millionth cannabis consumer arrested under cannabis prohibition, circa 1937.

St. Pierre concluded: "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 20 million Americans. Nevertheless, nearly 100 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."





















For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. For a comprehensive breakdown and analysis of US cannabis arrests, please see NORML's report: "Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States". Also, "What If We Arrested 20 Million Americans and No One Noticed" is a featured plenary session at the upcoming 37th Annual NORML National Conference in Berkeley, CA.

Posted by Gary at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2008

6th Annual IMMLY/Madison NORML Medical Cannabis Benefit to kick off 38th Annual Harvest Fest

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, September 13, 2008

Up until a few years ago, Madison's annual "Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival" was a one-day affair. Then in the last few years, it has not only expanded to two days, but a Friday night event was added to help kick off the festivities, the IMMLY/Madison NORML Medical Cannabis Benefit. Now in its 6th year, the benefit is adding an Awards segment for the first time.

6th Annual IMMLY/Madison NORML Medical Cannabis Benefit
1st Annual IMMLY Medical Cannabis Awards

Friday, October 3, 2008
5:00pm - 8:00pm

Cardinal Bar
418 E Wilson St.
Madison, WI

The IMMLY/Madison NORML Medical Cannabis Benefit is the opening celebration of the 38th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival.

Kick off Harvest Fest weekend at the Sixth annual IMMLY/Madison NORML medical cannabis benefit featuring the First Annual IMMLY Medical Cannabis Awards presented by IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert.

$10 suggested donation includes Glass Nickel pizza and blues/roots music from Mark Shanahan


More Information:
Is My Medicine Legal YET? www.immly.org
Madison NORML www.madisonnorml.org
Facebook IMMLY Benefit Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=26316871660
Harvest Fest on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=22473707971&ref=mf
Harvest Fest on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/madisonhempfest

Posted by Gary at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2008

Ben Masel on the Conan O'Brien show

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, September 11, 2008

Below is a video clip, "Triumph at the Republican National Convention, Part 3," from the Sept, 10 Conan O'Brien show, that includes footage of Madison activist Ben Masel.

Ben notes, "The guy in the Paul Revere suit was Oliver Steinberg, who organized the 1st Madison Harvest Fest in 1971, then billed as the 'Smoke-In'."

Posted by Gary at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2008

Journal-Sentinel: Police lobby for more Byrne Justice Assistance Grants

Posted by Gary Storck
September 7, 2008

The Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance is lobbying Congress to restore cuts in Byrne Grant funding, which had been cut by the Bush Administration, claiming that if lawmakers don’t act, some of the state’s multijurisdictional drug units might have to shut down.

An April article in Reason magazine details some of the problems of these units, "Burn the Byrne -- Pork-addicted Democrats are reviving a flawed anti-crime program", click here.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel click here
Pubdate: Sept. 7, 2008
Author: Diana Marrero


The program, known as Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, helps fund 18 drug task forces across Wisconsin and a community prosecutor program in Milwaukee, according to Dave Steingraber, executive director of the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance.

Steingraber worries that those initiatives could be at risk after recent cuts to the federal grant program. Congress last year slashed the program’s funding from $520 million to $170 million for fiscal year 2008.

The impact is being felt nationwide, Steingraber said. In Wisconsin, if lawmakers don’t act, some of the state’s multijurisdictional drug units might have to shut down, he said.

“Will people be less safe? I think they will be,” said Steingraber, who also serves as president of the National Criminal Justice Association.

Congressional leaders are considering a so-called domestic supplemental spending bill before they adjourn in late September, and Steingraber hopes that lawmakers will include additional money for the grants in the legislation.


Posted by Gary at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2008

Marijuana Ingredient May Fight Bacteria

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scientists outside of the United States continue to discover amazing medicinal benefits from cannabis and its cannabinoid components. It is a national shame that the U.S. has had a longstanding policy of refusing to study cannabis and of denying documented benefits of the cannabis plant. If the U.S. truly valued science and the health and well being of its citizens, this would have never been allowed to happen and these benefits might have been known years or decades earlier. That is the price of blind allegiance to cannabis prohibition.

This story is interesting personally, as I myself suffered a spreading staph infection after open-heart surgery in 1997, and required surgery and massive doses of the strongest antibiotics available to eventually recover. If cannabis were treated like the wonder plant it truly is, this treatment may have been available for use much earlier instead of just being documented in the year 2008.

Source: New York Times: Continues: click here..


Marijuana Ingredient May Fight Bacteria

Marijuana may be something of a wonder drug — though perhaps not in the way you might think.

Researchers in Italy and Britain have found that the main active ingredient in marijuana — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — and related compounds show promise as antibacterial agents, particularly against microbial strains that are already resistant to several classes of drugs.

It has been known for decades that Cannabis sativa has antibacterial properties. Experiments in the 1950s tested various marijuana preparations against skin and other infections, but researchers at the time had little understanding of marijuana’s chemical makeup.

Continues: click here.


Posted by Gary at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2008

Final Lineup: 38th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here is the final musical lineup of Harvest Fest 38, and what a great group of arrtists we have this year! Big thanks to Harvest Fest musical director Erik Riedasch and all the bands and musicians who give their time to make Harvest Fest special year after year, decade after decade.

38th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival

October 3,4 & 5, 2008
Madison, Wisconsin

Sunday October 5
2 pm: Gather at Library Mall.
2:00 - 3:30 pm: Concert with Ifdakar (jam rock from Appleton)
3:40 pm: Parade to State Capitol with Stink Tank and the Harvest Fest Sound System
4:20 pm: Rally and Concert at State St. steps of the Capitol with Special Dank Midnights (former members of Groovulous Glove and The Green Situation playing harvest fest themed songs).

Saturday October 4
12-6 pm: Library Mall
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Not On Mars (louder than jazz, smarter than rock)
1:30 - 2: 30 pm: Bu.r.p! (funk/jam rock trio)
3:00 - 4:15 pm: Baghdad Scuba Review (progressive thinking modern classic rock)
4:45 - 6: 00 pm: Reverend Eddie Danger (cosmic folk with a tribal twist of jazz)
Plus speakers, vendors, informational tables and displays and food carts.
Library Mall is at State and Lake Streets in downtown Madison adjacent to the UW-Madison Library and campus.

Friday October 3
5-8 pm Cardinal Bar
Kick off Harvest Fest weekend at the Sixth annual IMMLY/Madison NORML medical cannabis benefit featuring the First Annual IMMLY awards.
$10 suggested donation includes food and blues/roots music from Mark Shanahan
Cardinal Bar 418 E Wilson St, in downtown Madison 53703.

HF 38 is sponsored by The Onion and Lakeside Press.

More info: www.myspace.com/madisonhempfest

Posted by Gary at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)