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June 27, 2009

NORML.org: Urge Congress To Support Marijuana Law Reform!

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, June 27, 2009

NORML makes it easy to write federal lawmakers on the two new cannabis bills in the US Congress!

From NORML.ORG:


Urge Congress To Support Marijuana Law Reform!

NORML is writing you today to remind you to contact your members of Congress in support of marijuana law reform.

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank reintroduced a pair of bills to limit the federal government's authority to arrest and prosecute marijuana offenders.

The first act, House Bill 2835: The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. Sixteen members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors to HR 2835, which is now before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The second act, House Bill 2943: An Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults, would eliminate federal penalties for the personal possession of up to 100 grams (three and one-half ounces) of cannabis and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce of pot -- making the prosecutions of these offenses strictly a state matter.

Passage of this act would provide state lawmakers the choice to maintain their current penalties for minor marijuana offenses or eliminate them completely. Lawmakers would also have the option to explore legal alternatives to tax and regulate the adult use and distribution of cannabis free from federal interference. Four members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors to HR 2943, which is now before two separate committees -- The House judiciary Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Now is the time to contact your U.S. Representatives are urge them to support common sense marijuana law reform. Ask your member of Congress to become a cosponsor of these important pieces of legislation.

To write your members of the House in favor of House Bill 2835: The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009, please go here:

http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=13532281

To write your member of the House in favor of House Bill 2943: An Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults, please go here:

http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=13568661

Thanks you for your support and assistance of NORML's federal marijuana law reform efforts.

Sincerely,
The NORML Team

Posted by Gary at 04:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2009

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 206 would create a committee to study the uses of industrial hemp

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, June 20, 2009

In a little noticed move, a Wisconsin State Assembly Bill that proposes to create a committee to study the uses of industrial hemp was introduced April 14, 2009. The bill mirrors a proposal from from the 2007-2008 session with truly bipartisan support that had a committee hearing and unanimous committee vote, but never reached the Assembly floor for a vote under then-GOP speaker Mike Huebsch click here.

AB206 An Act relating to: creating a committee to study the uses of industrial hemp.

History of AB206 with link to Bill text: click here

AB206
LRB-2009/1
2009 - 2010 LEGISLATURE
2009 ASSEMBLY BILL 206

April 14, 2009 - Introduced by Representatives Garthwaite, M. Williams, Ballweg, Berceau, Black, Grigsby, Parisi, Pocan, Pope-Roberts, Soletski, Vruwink and Zepnick, cosponsored by Senators Schultz and Taylor. Referred to

Committee on Rural Economic Development.

Pg1Ln1 An Act relating to: creating a committee to study the uses of industrial hemp.
________________________________________________________________


Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

AB206 This bill creates the Committee to Study the Uses of Industrial Hemp. The bill requires the committee to review literature related to industrial hemp, to evaluate the economic opportunities for this state that could result from producing and using industrial hemp, and to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature.

Posted by Gary at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2009

New Legal Medicine Blues video combines different versions

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, June 18, 2009

After New Jersey's medical cannabis bill recently passed committee, Jim Miller was celebrating the victory with other NJ activists and began singing and playing the song, "Legal Medicine Blues". Legal Medicine Blues was written in 2001 by Wisconsin songwriter Rick Harris after meeting Jacki Rickert while performing a benefit for IMMLY click here.

The performance was captured by NJ videographer Grant Strac. Grant then interspersed the footage of Jim playing LMB with live footage of Rick Harris, performing his song for Jacki Rickert and others at IMMLY's June 7, 2009 medical cannabis vigil at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison click here. Here is the result:

Posted by Gary at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2009

Videos of IMMLY's June 7 medical cannabis vigil at WI State Capitol

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Here are videos from Sunday's vigil at the State Capitol from IMMLY.org.

IMMLY's "candlelight" vigil for victims of Medical Cannabis Prohibition on June 7 at Wisconsin Capitol a resounding success!
Longtime Wisconsin medical cannabis patient/activist Gary Storck speaks at IMMLY's medical cannabis vigil at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday, June 7, 2009. Gary talks about the vigil then introduces IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert in this clip from the vigil.

 




Is My Medicine Legal YET? Founder Jacki Rickert speaks about Cheryl Miller and medical cannabis at IMMLY's medical cannabis vigil at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

 



IMMLY's Gary Storck introduces Wisconsin medical cannabis patient/activist Mary Powers at IMMLY's medical cannabis vigil at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

 





Wisconsin medical cannabis patient/activist Mary Powers speaks at IMMLY's medical cannabis vigil at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

 



Wisconsin singer-songwriter Rick Harris performs his song, "Legal Medicine Blues" for Jacki Rickert and other attendees of an LED "candlelight" vigil for medical cannabis at the State Capitol in Madison that was organized by IMMLY.

 




Another view of Rick
playing Legal Medicine Bues at the vigil:

 



Posted by Gary at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2009

Legal Medicine Blues at the Wisconsin State Capitol on June 7, 2009

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, June 8, 2009

The vigil Jacki and I organized for Is My Medicine Legal YET? at the Wisconsin State Capitol Sunday night was a resounding success, with at least 45 folks in attendance. Patients, activists, students, everyday people held LED candles and heard myself, Jacki, Mary Powers and others speak, with a great live version of "Legal Medicine Blues" by singer-songwriter Rick Harris to conclude the event. Below is that song, and I should have videos of the speeches available soon.

Posted by Gary at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2009

Tonight! Sunday June 7: Vigil for Medical Cannabis patients at WI State Capitol

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hope to see folks at tonight's vigil!

Tonight! Sunday June 7: Vigil for Medical Cannabis patients at WI State Capitol

Join IMMLY’s Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck, “Legal Medicine Blues” singer-songwriter Rick Harris click here, and others Sunday night to honor Cheryl Miller and all victims of medical cannabis prohibition!

On Sunday, June 7, 2009, Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMLY.org), will host a vigil to remember victims of medical marijuana prohibition, past and present, at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. The vigil will be held on the landing at the top of the State St. steps, just outside of the Capitol building, beginning around 8:00 pm and continuing past sunset. Candles with open flames are prohibited, but a limited number of battery-powered LED candles will be available to participants.

Attendees can gather before and after the event a block away at Michelangelo's Coffee House, 114 State St., Madison, WI 53703 (608) 251-5299. As the Capitol building is closed Sunday nights, Michelangelo's likely offers one of the nearest public rest rooms to the vigil site.

This "candlelight" vigil is one of several being held nationwide at this time on June 7 to remember medical cannabis patients, including the Statehouse in Trenton NJ.

For more information contact Gary Storck at 608-241-8922 or visit IMMLY.org or the IMMLY Vigil event page on Facebook: (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=80078284874).

Posted by Gary at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2009

Back on the Larry Zamba show on Kenosha WLIP from 4-5pm Saturday June 6

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Due to technical problems with last week's show, I've been invited back on Larry Zamba's progressive talk radio show this Saturday June 6 on WLIP AM 1050 http://wlip.com/ in the Kenosha WI area. The show airs from 4-5 pm. WLIP can be streamed live at http://wlip.com/pages/1361911.php. Join the discussion at (262) 694-1050.

Posted by Gary at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2009

Is My Medicine Legal YET?: Vigil for Medical Cannabis patients at WI State Capitol June 7

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, June 5, 2005

Here is IMMLY's press release for Sunday's vigil.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Storck 608-241-8922

Is My Medicine Legal YET?: Vigil for Medical Cannabis patients at WI State Capitol June 7

MADISON: On Sunday, June 7, 2009, Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMLY.org), will host a vigil commemorating victims of medical marijuana prohibition, past and present, at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert is scheduled to attend and speak. The vigil will be held on the landing at the top of the State St. steps, just outside of the Capitol building, from 8:00-10:00 pm. Battery-powered LED candles will substitute for wax candles.

This vigil is one of a number of vigils being held nationwide on June 7 including one at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, all marking the 6th anniversary of the passing of MS patient/medical cannabis activist Cheryl Miller. Cheryl's husband, Jim Miller, is speaking at the NJ event. Jim Miller and Cheryl worked closely with IMMLY's Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck.

Mineral Point WI singer-songwriter Rick Harris, who was inspired to write his song, “Legal Medicine Blues”, after meeting Jacki, will be performing an acoustic version of the song at the vigil Sunday. Listen to the song here: http://www.immly.org/legal_medicine_blues.htm

Jacki Rickert says of the event, "This vigil commemorates Cheryl Miller and all victims of medical cannabis prohibition, those who have passed on. and those who vow to carry on".

For more information contact Gary Storck at 608-241-8922 or visit IMMLY.org or the IMMLY Vigil event page on Facebook: (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=80078284874).

Posted by Gary at 04:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2009

A letter from 30 years ago today

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good luck to my friends in NJ today as they take medical cannabis to the next level with a hearing that could put their state's bill on the NJ Assembly floor for a final vote later. Cheryl Miller's spirit will be in the hearing room!

I first wrote this post in 2006, when it had been 27 years ago that I obtained a letter from my eye doctor saying if he were able to legally, he would prescribe cannabis for my glaucoma.

Now it has been 3 decades since the letter, and nearly 37 years since an earlier eye doc tested my intraocular pressure (IOP) after I had medicated and found that my chronically elevated IOPs were normal!

June 04, 2006 A letter from 27 years ago today

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, June 4, 2006

Since 1979, June 4 has held special meaning for me. My then-ophthalmologist wrote me a letter dated June 4, 1979 that states, "I am familiar that reports that marijuana lowers intraocular pressure in many people who have glaucoma. If marijuana were available for me to prescribe to this patient, I would be willing to do so, in the hope it would adequately control his condition with fewer side effects than the medications currently available."

Unfortunately, under federal law, my doctor could not prescribe marijuana then and still cannot do so today. Marijuana could be prescribed up until 1970, when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act classing marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with a high potential for abuse and no medical use. 36 years later and counting, they have still not corrected this grave error, and many millions of patients over several generations have paid the price.

The letter was significant personally in that it represented the first time a doctor had recognized, in writing, that cannabis would benefit me and that it should be available like any other medication. Seven years earlier, October 3, 1972, I had stumbled upon pot as a treatment for the congenital glaucoma that had steadily stolen my sight all through childhood. I had smoked some pot with friends after school and headed off to see a different eye doctor. He found my normally highly elevated intraocular pressures normal. Since that day I have continued to medicate with cannabis every day I could obtain it, through the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and today over halfway through the 00's.

If America truly is the land of liberty and justice for all, the Berlin wall of cannabis prohibition must fall, like the lies and myths that have been perpetrated in the name of keeping this gentle herb from patients in need. The sky is blue not green, and its time to stop the lies and the war and let the healing begin.

Posted by Gary at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2009

Waukesha Freeman: Medical marijuana debate to spark up soon

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My hometown paper, the Waukesha Freeman, interviewed me for this article last week. I had to hand transcribe the second half off the paper hard copy mailed to me by my friend Katie. Thanks Katie!

Source: Waukesha Freeman click here
Pubdate: 30 May 2009
Author: Joe Petrie

Medical marijuana debate to spark up soon

Supporters, detractors expect another fight over potential bill

WAUKESHA - An already controversial session of the state Legislature is about to spark another big fight.

Advocates for legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin are gearing up to get a bill passed in the Legislature that would open up the drug to those fighting severe diseases.

Gary Storck, spokesman for the group Is My Medicine Legal Yet? said they expect the bill to be introduced within the next six weeks and given the make up of the current ruling bodies, gives it a good chance of passing.

"We had a poll done in 2002 and the results found that over 80 percent of people statewide supported it," said Storck. "If the representatives and senators truly represent the people, they'll support this one thing that has been introduced into every session since 1997."

State Rep. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, who has also worked as a registered nurse, has been a vocal opponent of the medical marijuana bill, saying it would only say it's OK for people to break the law.

"This is nothing more than a back door attempt to try and legalize marijuana," she said, "I took an oath of office to uphold the laws of the land and if I agreed to a bill like that, I'd be asking people to break the law because marijuana isn't a legal substance."

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 13 states and it has been gaining traction in the Great Lakes region.

In November, Michigan voters approved a medical marijuana bill making it legal there. This week the Illinois Senate also approved a similar bill and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a bill legalizing it there, gearing up for a fight with the Legislature.

Storck said the Wisconsin bill would be similar to the Michigan bill in that it would allow for people with severe debilitating diseases to possess and grow a small amount of marijuana for medical purposes.

One difference, he said, was that the Wisconsin law may also exempt veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although supporters say there are an untold number of medicinal benefits to marijuana medication, Vukmir disagrees with that argument, saying other means of medication are available to patients now that can give the same effects of the drug.

The Freeman was unable to locate an area doctor willing to speak on record about claims made by either side of the debate by press time.

Past Wisconsin bills have gotten support from state Democrats, including Gov. Jim Doyle.

The state's first medical marijuana bill was signed by Republican Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus in 1982, which opened the door for more medical marijuana research.

E-mail: jpetrie@conleynet.com

This story appeared in The Waukesha Freeman on May 30, 2009.

Posted by Gary at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2009

Letter in the Minocqua WI Lakeland Times: Time for a look at 'undoing counterproductive blunder'

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Here is my response to an article in the Minocqua WI Lakeland Times about the workplace smoking ban. The letter answers some hypocritical statements by prohibitionist Republican state lawmakers.

Source: Lakeland Times
Monday, June 01, 2009

TIME FOR A LOOK AT 'UNDOING COUNTERPRODUCTIVE BLUNDER'

To the Editor:

State Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River) was quoted in The Lakeland Times as saying in some cases, people who break the new workplace smoking ban law may be punished more severely than some people who are found with marijuana, "New state smoking ban law receives mixed reviews" (May 26 edition).

As the article noted, Meyer's guesstimate of the cost of a Madison ordinance violation for casual possession of marijuana was low. The amount is actually $109 rather than the $15 amount being bandied about by Meyer and other Assembly Republicans who opposed the bill.

If Rep. Meyer and his colleagues truly believe that the statewide workplace smoking ban fine should be lowered to the cost of a Madison ordinance violation, then it would only be fair that they introduce a companion bill reducing statewide marijuana penalties to the same amount as Madison's.

It is not fair to cannabis consumers in places outside Madison who face misdemeanor or felony charges for the same amount of pot that gets them a ticket in Madison.

Rep. Meyer should also look into reducing the penalty for pot possession, second offense, any amount, at the state level. Under current state law, someone might get just a ticket for a few joints in Madison and some parts of Wisconsin, but then face a felony should it happen twice.

But, if Meyer and his colleagues support current state marijuana laws, it would then be consistent that a second smoking ban violation should merit a felony, just like it is for the poor pot smoker.

In addition, cannabis consumers, unlike tobacco consumers, cannot legally buy their substance of choice.

Complete fairness would call for Meyer to sponsor legislation creating a legal market for cannabis, then taxing it to help state finances in these troubled times, if he is able to stomach additional taxes.

That's what California State Rep. Tom Ammiano did recently. Even California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a staunch Republican, is now saying California should explore legalizing and taxing pot.

While I may be writing slightly tongue in cheek, the fact is Wisconsin and the entire nation are facing serious troubles. We can't continue to fund programs that eat up tax dollars, like marijuana prohibition, while funding basic services.

Should education and health care take the hit so we can keep arresting our fellow citizens for pot, even medical users?

Or do we start undoing an unjust counterproductive blunder and embrace the green industries that the cannabis plant can bring to our economy?

Gary Storck

president Wisconsin chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Madison

Posted by Gary at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)