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July 31, 2009

RELEASE: Madison Norml To Mark Fifth Birthday August 2nd

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, July 31, 2009

Here is the press release for Madison NORML's 5th birthday!

For immediate release: July 31, 2009
Contact: Gary Storck (608) 301-5665


Madison - The Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will celebrate its fifth birthday with a party at Escape Coffee on Sunday, August 2, from 4-9 pm. Escape Coffee is at 940 Williamson St. on Madison's near east side.

In five years, Madison NORML has held over a hundred meetings and other events, including medical cannabis lobby days at the Capitol, benefits, concerts, book signings, lectures, and the annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival. The chapter's current focus is working alone and with other groups to pass Wisconsin medical cannabis legislation this session.

Madison NORML's birthday party will feature music from Madison's Nama Rupa and Milwaukee's Chalice in the Palace. Several Madison NORML board member will speak, and there will be NORML merchandise and literature, movies, and of course, birthday cake. Admission is free.

Among videos being screened is a 6 minute short created by Madison NORML co-founder Gary Storck detailing life with glaucoma, visiting the State Capitol for a medical marijuana hearing on July 31, 1979, and his nearly four decades as a medical cannabis patient. The movie can also be viewed online at: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVmUehs2TeY)

Madison NORML was first formed as a group of local activists met on the Memorial Union Terrace on August 1, 2004 and at precisely 4:20 pm, decided to form a chapter. Five years later, we welcome the community to come to our celebration, learn more about our mission, meet our members and find out how you can help end cannabis prohibition by joining Madison NORML. The Madison chapter has always been a volunteer driven organization with no fees to join, and donations of time and/or money encouraged. Chapter members can volunteer at a level that suits their schedule. Madison NORML meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Escape Coffee at 7 pm, excluding major holidays.

Madison NORML is also presenting the 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival from Oct. 1-4 at various downtown locations. Saturday Oct. 3 will include 6 hours of music and speakers at Library Mall. Sunday Oct. 4 will feature a march up State St. to the State Capitol for a rally for the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act featuring speakers and live music.

Visit MadisonNORML.org, Wisconsin NORML at WINORML.org, or MadisonHempFest.com for more information or join us in Facebook!

- end -

Posted by Gary at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2009

Video: Medical Cannabis in Wisconsin: Gary Storck talks of glaucoma and Wisconsin medical cannabis efforts

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Almost 30 years ago this July 31, in 1979, I attended a hearing on a medical marijuana bill at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. I took a bus up from Milwaukee, where I lived at the time, for what would be my very first visit to the Capitol.

I was there to support Assembly Bill 279, which would establish a Wisconsin Therapeutic Cannabis Research Act. Fellow glaucoma patient Robert Randall, the first legal federal mmj patient, was also present and testified in support as he had done in other states at the time. Here is a video I made about that historic hearing on that historic date, Tuesday, July 31, 1979:

Posted by Gary at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2009

Madison NORML's 5th Anniversary Party is Sunday, August 2nd at Escape Coffee!

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, July 18, 2009

I was among a group of about 8 folks who gathered around a table on the Memorial Union Terrace on August 1, 2004 and decided at about 4:20 pm to form a Madison NORML chapter. Five years and over a hundred meetings and events later, Madison NORML continues to move forward.

Madison NORML's 5th Anniversary Party
celebrate 5 years of sticking up for Madison's cannabis consumers!

Join Madison NORML for a 5th anniversary party at Escape Coffee! There will be live music from Nama Rupa and other artists, speakers, NORML table and Birthday Cake! Free event, donations encouraged.

Date: Sunday, August 2, 2009
Time: 4:00am - 9:00am
Location: Escape Coffee
Street: 940 Williamson St.
City/Town: Madison, WI
Phone: 6083015665
Email: madison@winorml.org

RSVP to Event on Facebook! click here

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

July 15, 2009

39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival schedule taking shape!

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival's schedule is coming together, with a special emphasis on passing Wisconsin medical cannabis legislation now in final drafting stages.

Harvest Fest entertainment director Erik Riedasch has been busy booking bands for this year's festival, scheduled for various downtown locations from Oct. 1-4. Bands playing this year include Baghdad Scuba Review, Nama Rupa, The Individuals, Adam Isaac & The People, Kronic Jones, Elf Lettuce and Natty Nation, with more TBA.

As far as speakers, some exciting names are already confirmed. New Jersey medical cannabis activist Jim Miller is returning to Harvest Fest following a 2-year absence. Joining Jim will be NORML’s Russ Belville, who does the NORML Daily Stash podcast. Additional speakers will be added. Wisconsin-based speakers will include Jacki Rickert, Ben Masel, myself, Mary Powers and others TBA.

News that Madison’s Cardinal Bar will not be closing after all means the annual IMMLY/WI NORML Friday evening medical cannabis benefit returns to the Cardinal for a 7th year! The festivities run at the usual 5-8 pm on Friday Oct. 2.

With associated events, this year’s fest will stretch over 4 days, from Thursday, Oct. 1 to Sunday, October 4. Sunday will feature the traditional parade up State St. and around Capitol Square. Jacki Rickert and other medical cannabis patients will lead the parade. On arrival at the State St. steps after circling the Square, a rally for the upcoming Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act will commence, featuring the above referenced speakers and more TBA, and live music.

Also, there is still time to enter your design in the Harvest Fest logo design contest! Click here . Deadline is August 10th.

Print your own fliers Download 4 to a sheet flier.

click here

Download 8.5 x 11 poster click here

Posted by Gary at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2009

Kalamazoo Gazette: Editorial: Medical marijuana program appears on track

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Kalamazoo Gazette pronounces Michigan's medical cannabis law is working as intended. This is good evidence that passing similar legislation in Wisconsin should go similarly well.

Source: Kalamazoo Gazette click here
Author: Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial Board
Thursday July 09, 2009, 9:04 AM

Editorial: Medical marijuana program appears on track

Marijuana now can be used legally by patients in Michigan with certain medical conditions, a state identification card and a recommendation from a doctor. For the most part, it seems the state's voters are getting about what they expected from the program they approved in last November's election. Not a lot more, not a lot less.

The state started issuing ID cards in April to approved users, including some with HIV/AIDs, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. Now there are more than 2,000 approved users statewide. Dozens of other people have been licensed as "caregivers," who may legally grow and supply users with marijuana.

In Southwest Michigan alone, there are about 190 registered users and 78 licensed caregivers.

From the early results, the program seems to be working about as anticipated. Doctors and patients are working together to decide if marijuana might be of some help, and the production and supply generally are being done within the rules established. At the moment, there does not appear to be a great deal of social or legal disruption, although some minor ambiguities about the process remain to be cleared up.

We're among those who think some scientific study and research still are needed, particularly to address good questions about marijuana's effectiveness, dosing and side effects. We also believe that kind of research could be conducted effectively in Michigan given the system that's been established and the patients who are available now for possible study, and considering the bio-medical research resources in existence here.

Snipped, continues: click here.

Posted by Gary at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2009

Wisconsin Dells Events: Letter: Use marijuana for post traumatic stress

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 9, 2009

Here is a letter I had published in Wisconsin Dells Events today!

Source: Wisconsin Dells Events
Pubdate: 8 July 2009
Author: Gary Storck


Thanks for the article about the Vietnam veteran who finally received medals due him for his courageous service to our nation.

Post traumatic stress disorder is something very much in the news again, as U.S. troops serve long multiple deployments in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With PTSD rates soaring, today's veterans have rediscovered marijuana or cannabis by its scientific name, as a natural, non-toxic treatment for this disorder.

Earlier this year, the State of New Mexico added PTSD to the list of medical conditions covered by their State Medical Cannabis Program.

A medical cannabis bill is pending introduction in Wisconsin's legislature, and PTSD is included as a qualifying condition in the bill draft, along with other serious and debilitating conditions and symptoms. The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act is expected to be introduced soon by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison). Polling has found over 80 percent support for legal access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, but this support is meaningless if citizens do not express it to their elected representatives. Please call the Wisconsin Legislature's Toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 and ask your State Senator and State Assembly Representative to cosponsor this important health care bill. It is time to show compassion for Wisconsin veterans and Wisconsin patients and protect them from arrest and jail for using a natural medicine to ease their suffering.

Gary Storck, Madison, Is My Medicine Legal YET?

Posted by Gary at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2009

39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Festival first fliers

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Below are the first fliers for the 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, scheduled for Oct. 1-4, 2009 at various locations in downtown Madison.

Download 4 to a sheet flier.

Download 8.5 x 11 poster.

Posted by Gary at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2009

Prohibitionist WI judge refuses to go along with plea bargain in cannabis case

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, July 3, 2009

Here is an interesting case headed toward the Wisconsin Supreme Court. A prohibitionist Fond du Lac County judge rejected a plea bargain in a cannabis case, and the county DA is fighting the judge's decision.

Source: Fond du Lac Reporter: click here

July 3, 2009

Can judge reject plea agreement for cases?

State Supreme Court may take county case

By Kevin Murphy
Special to The Reporter

MADISON — Should Wisconsin judges continue to have the unique authority to reject a plea agreement?

That's a question an appeals court has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine Thursday in a Fond du Lac County marijuana case.

Last year, Circuit Judge Peter Grimm rejected a plea agreement four times that would have reduced a felony marijuana charge against Joshua D. Conger to three misdemeanors. Grimm explained that he was acting in the "public's interest" in rejecting the plea bargain because police didn't agree with the agreement considering it involved 1.6 pounds of pot packaged in 48 "baggies."

Putting the case on hold, District Attorney Daniel Kaminsky appealed Grimm's rejection, claiming it impedes a prosecutor's constitutional authority to charge crimes.

"Prosecutors have the sole discretion to bring, reduce or dismiss charges without interference from the judicial branch. That's the way it works in the federal system and all states that I know of. However, in Wisconsin, the lines have been blurred, and that's what's being addressed here," said Kaminsky in a phone interview Thursday.

Because of a 1978 decision, prosecutors have to explain to judges why they are reducing charges, which judges have interpreted to allow them to accept or reject pleas.

Grimm, who has intervened in the appeal, acknowledges a prosecutor's "unfettered discretion to bring criminal charges," but the discretion to change the charge becomes a shared power between the judicial and executive branches of government under the separation of powers doctrine.

While Grimm was unavailable for comment Thursday, Kaminsky said the separation of powers gives him and not the judge absolute authority to charge a crime throughout the case.

"He can't be judge, jury and prosecutor while wearing the same hat. I'm not saying anything negative about judges, as they're in the same predicament we're in, and I think they would like this resolved," Kaminsky said.

In cases like Conger's, allowing judges to have authority over charging decisions could require district attorneys to prosecute crimes they believe they couldn't prove, said Kaminsky. Prosecutors have an ethical duty under law not to proceed with a case if they can't prove it.

Snipped: Continues at: click here

Posted by Gary at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2009

Call for entries: Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival poster/shirt design contest!

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer is here and that means that fall is not far behind, and fall brings Harveat Fest! Here is a chance to immortalize your design as the official design of the 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival this October 1-4 at various Madison downtown locations!

Call for entries: Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival poster/shirt design contest!

Madison NORML's poster/shirt design contest for this October's 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival continues! We have received some great entries, but there is still plenty of time to submit yours! Submit your entries by August 9th to contests@winorml.org.

Madison NORML will judge the entries at our August 10th meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Escape Java, at 940 Williamson St (behind La Rocca's) on Madison's East Side.

Madison's Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival began as a marijuana smoke-in in 1971. Now in its 39th year, Harvest Fest has a long history of promoting cannabis hemp legalization and free speech while providing an annual celebration for like-minded people to join together.

Details: 13"x9" poster size 600dpi minimum/T-shirt design

Include: 39th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival October 1-4, 2009 Madison, WI

Room for event details: Bands, speakers, and any other details will be added to final proofs/designs for T-shirts (back) and posters when finalized. No need for blank space, just somewhere for the text to go on the poster.


Winner must provide a 600 dpi copy for printing. A compressed (jpg) version can be sent to contests@winorml.org for selection.

Contest winner will receive a framed poster on a special paper stock and a T-shirt with their design. Winner will also receive assorted NORML "schwag" including a Madison NORML shirt of their preferred size.

Disclaimer: All designs submitted become property of Madison NORML to be used for promoting said event. Any additions or modifications will be done with artists consent.

Questions can be sent to contests@winorml.org

Posted by Gary at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)