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July 23, 2010

Sun Prairie Star Online: County pot vote set: Advisory reefer-endum scheduled for November

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, July 15, 2010

Two weeks Sun Prairie Online had a nasty OPED stating the Dane County referendum was about "left wing pot heads". Upon the unanimous vote by the board on July 15, a more balanced article came next.

7/21/2010 11:34:00 AM
Source: Sun Prairie Online
County pot vote set: Advisory reefer-endum scheduled for November
Rachel Wittrock
Regional Reporter

The Dane County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution July 15 to put a referendum on the November ballot asking Dane County voters if they would support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The referendum that will be on the November 2010 election ballot reads:
“Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

The proposed referendum was introduced to the board at the June 17 meeting last month. District 6 Supervisor John Hendrick is the primary sponsor of the resolution. Hendrick was supported by 12 County Board members going into June meeting, including District 2 Supervisor Barbara Vedder; District 4 Supervisor Brett Hulsey; District 5 Supervisor Analiese Eicher; District 11 Supervisor Al Matano; District 13 Supervisor Chuck Erickson; District 14 Supervisor Melanie Hampton; District 17 Supervisor Tom Stoebig; District 29 Supervisor Dave Ripp; District 31 Supervisor Gerald Jensen; District 34 Supervisor Patrick Miles; District 36 Supervisor Cynda Solberg and District 37 Supervisor Bob Salov.

District 28 Supervisor Kurt Schlicht, whose mother died of pancreatic cancer, used marijuana to help cope with her illness.

“I’m against using drugs to get intoxicated, but I watched my mother die,” Schlicht said. “She was a registered nurse, and the marijuana she used - illegally - gave her an appetite and a little energy. It probably sustained her life for a few more weeks.”

A number of community members showed up to voice their support for the medical marijuana resolution, including Jason Glaspie, who chooses to use marijuana to ease his cancer symptoms.

“I don’t know of a single person who wouldn’t choose something that could help them over obeying the law,” Glaspie said. “It’s an unfair choice to ask them. I feel that you should be able to ask the general population about how they feel about that [medical marijuana] and whether it’s something they want to consider. People have a right to be asked the question directly."

Gary Storck is another resident that spoke on behalf of medical marijuana. Storck, who is affiliated with the group Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, was born with health issues, including glaucoma and heart problems. He credited cannabis with saving his eyesight.

“Placing the referendum before voters will also provide comfort and demonstrate that the county stands behind people in pain,” Storck said. “So many say this issue belongs before the state legislature rather than the County Board, but it is a local issue. This is about freedom of choice, quality of life and living one’s life with dignity.”

Charles Wachtel showed up to speak for Wisconsin Veterans for Medical Marijuana Awareness. Wachtel said a 2008 study by the Rand Corporation showed two out of five Afghanistan or Iraqi war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or severe depression.

Wachtel said in 1988, Francis L. Young, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, was quoted as saying “marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

District 32 Supervisor Mike Willett said when the issue of medical marijuana first came before the board, he felt it was not a Dane County issue, but he found himself changing his mind the more he thought about the issue.

“It is getting the question out to the people,” Willett said. “The idea of this being a referendum is what I am supporting. It is asking the people, and the more time we can ask our citizens what it is they want.”

Posted by Gary at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2010

Dane County Board minutes on Advisory Referendum passage on July 15, 2010

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Below is a copy of the minutes from the Dane County Board meeting on July 15, 2010 where the Board voted unanimously to place a medical marijuana advisory referendum on the Nov. 2, 2010 general election ballot in Dane County.

RES. 70, 10-11

REFERENDUM ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Current law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and delivery of marijuana and the possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver it. Additionally, current law prohibits a person from possessing or attempting to possess marijuana. Depending on the amount of marijuana involved, an individual may face fines and potential imprisonment for violating the law.

During the 2009 Wisconsin legislative session, two bills were introduced to establish a medical necessity defense to marijuana-related prosecutions and fines. Assembly Bill 554 (AB 554) and Senate Bill 368 (SB 368) would have allowed a person having or undergoing a debilitating medical condition or treatment to invoke this defense. The bills would have allowed a qualifying patient to invoke this defense if he or she acquires, possesses, cultivates, transports, or uses marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of his or her debilitating medical condition or treatment, but only if no more than the maximum authorized amount of marijuana is involved. Finally, the bills required the Department of Human Services to establish a registry for medical users of marijuana as well as to license and regulate nonprofit corporations that distribute or deliver marijuana to facilitate it’s use. The bills failed because the legislative session ended before they could be considered.

Fourteen states across the country have enacted laws that legalized medical marijuana, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington. The Wisconsin legislation would have changed state law regarding marijuana, but would not have affected federal law which prohibits persons from manufacturing, delivering, or possessing marijuana.

There are individuals suffering from serious illnesses who desperately need cannabis to manage their symptoms and they cannot find legal relief in Wisconsin. To further the public debate on whether the State of Wisconsin should allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, Dane County voters should have the opportunity to voice their opinion via a referendum.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dane County Board of Supervisors places the following advisory referendum on the ballot for the November 2010 election:

"Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Dane County Clerk shall take all necessary steps to implement this resolution.

Mikel Glaspie of Fitchburg representing Madison Norml spoke in support.
Charles Wachtel of Oregon representing Madison Norml VMMA spoke in support.
Gary Storck of Madison representing Madison Norml spoke in support.
Kyle Gunn of Madison spoke in support.
David Clark of Edgerton registered in support.
Joe Sokolinsky of Madison registered in support.

Executive Committee recommended adoption of Res. 70. Motion carried unanimously.

Download a copy of the County Board Minutes here.

Posted by Gary at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2010

Wisconsin State Journal: County residents will get to vote on medical marijuana

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The State Journal weighs in with some coverage of the referendum. Why though, does the opinion of the Wisconsin Medical Society Lobbying Group need to be a part of every article about mmj in WI? Not only is it unscientific and incorrect, but also a doctors group advocating criminalization of patients is nothing short of barbaric.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Published, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

County residents will get to vote on medical marijuana

DEVIN ROSE | 608-252-6143 | drose@madison.com | Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 3:15 am

An advisory referendum will ask Dane County voters in November whether they think the state should legalize medical marijuana after the County Board voted unanimously to place it on ballots.

The move made the county the state’s first to introduce a medical marijuana resolution. The question would ask: “Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?”

Sup. John Hendrick of Madison, who introduced the resolution on Thursday, said he was surprised at the board’s unanimous vote but wouldn’t be surprised if the referendum passed by a 70-30 margin or better.

Hendrick said he personally supports the legalization of medical marijuana because he has known people with disabling conditions who have benefited from it. He added he’s aware that some people believe the law is being abused in the 14 states and the District of Columbia, where pot is legally distributed.

“I guess that’s a chance I’m willing to take,” Hendrick said.

Sup. Eileen Bruskewitz of Waunakee said she originally planned to vote against the resolution but changed her vote because a referendum would allow people to have a say. Sup. Mike Willett of Verona said he is “often one that doesn’t vote with the crowd,” but he also changed his mind, for the same reason.

“We’re overjoyed at the fact it was a unanimous vote,” said Gary Storck, president of the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Storck said it’s no longer acceptable to keep people in Wisconsin suffering, as demonstrated by the veterans who testified at the meeting.

A 1992 attempt in the Madison City Council to get a similar referendum on the ballot was not successful. Several current aldermen and former Madison mayor Sue Bauman said they couldn’t recall any resolutions introduced in recent years, though Bauman said she discussed it with activists.

The Wisconsin Medical Society has recommended marijuana continue to be illegal until it is studied in patients who have serious conditions.


Related Article: Dane County Board votes unanimously to put MMJ Advisory Referendum on Nov. 2 General Election Ballot

Posted by Gary at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2010

Paul Armentano: Science is clear; why aren't we paying attention?

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, July 18, 2010

The article below, by NORML's Paul Armentano, completely refutes, debunks and all but pulverizes the position of the Wisconsin Medical Society against medical cannabis, as expressed by their lobbyists Mr. Dr. Michael M. Miller MD FASAM and Mark Grapentine.

Paul Armentano: Science is clear; why aren't we paying attention?
Source: Redding Record Searchlight

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Record Searchlight’s call for further scientific study on the safety and efficacy of marijuana (editorial, Tuesday) as a medicine is commendable, but hardly goes far enough. The real challenge is demanding that pundits, politicians, and the media actually pay attention to the research that is presently available.

For example, in February investigators from the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research publicly announced the findings of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials on the medical utility of inhaled cannabis. The studies, which for the first time in over two decades utilized the standardized FDA clinical trail design, concluded that marijuana ought to be a “first line treatment” for patients with neuropathy and other serious illnesses.

Among the numerous studies conducted by the center, four assessed smoked marijuana’s ability to alleviate neuropathic pain, a notoriously difficult to treat type of nerve-pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injury, and many other debilitating conditions. Each of the trials found that cannabis consistently reduced patients’ pain levels to a degree that was as good or better than currently available medications.

Another study conducted by the center’s investigators assessed the use of marijuana as a treatment for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. That study determined that “smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing spasticity and pain in patients with MS, and provided some benefit beyond currently prescribed treatments.”

Yet another clinical trial challenged the long-held myth that smoking cannabis damages the immune system. Researchers found that, contrary to popular opinion, inhaled marijuana fails to suppress human immune function. “There was no evidence of acute impairment of immune function,” investigators reported.

Around the globe similarly controlled trials are also taking place. Most recently, a review by researchers in Germany reported that since 2005 there have been 37 controlled studies assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana and its naturally occurring compounds, involved a total of 2,563 subjects. By contrast, most FDA-approved drugs go through far fewer trials involving far fewer subjects.

According to a recent meta-analysis published in the scientific journal Medicinal Research Reviews, “Research on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids (the uniquely active compounds in the marijuana plant) and endocannabinoids (receptors in the human body that interact with these cannabinoids) has reached enormous proportions.” A keyword search on the search engine PubMed proves this point, revealing over 2,700 separate papers published on cannabis in 2009 and another 900 published just this year alone.

Two notable preclinical trials appeared in press just last week. Researchers at the State University of New York in Syracuse reported in the journal Pharmacology that the administration of the plant cannabinoids delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC halted cellular respiration and tumor growth in human oral cancer cells. Specifically, investigators reported that cannabinoids were a “potent inhibitor” of Tu183 human cancer cells, a notoriously difficult to treat type of oral cancer.

A separate preclinical study published online last week in the journal Cell Communication and Signaling reported that the administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol increases adult neurogenesis (the active production of new neurons) in laboratory animals. Authors speculated that cannabis’ pro-neurogenic effects may explain why the plant appears to be useful in the treatment of certain neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Predictably, neither the editors of the Record Searchlight nor any other mainstream U.S. publication felt compelled to report on these results.

Ultimately, calls for further research ring hollow if so few decision-makers are willing to acknowledge the abundant scientific evidence that is already out there.

Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and he is the co-author of the book “Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?” He lives in Vallejo. Scripps Lighthouse

© 2010 Scripps Newspaper Group —

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

July 16, 2010

Dane County Board votes unanimously to put MMJ Advisory Referendum on Nov. 2 General Election Ballot

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, July 16, 2010

Great news out of Madison as Dane County becomes to first Wisconsin locale to have a medical cannabis advisory referendum on the Nov. 2 general election ballot! Big thanks to Dane County Supervisor Jon Hendrick and his colleagues who made this a reality!

Dane County Board votes unanimously to put MMJ Advisory Referendum on Nov. 2 General Election Ballot

Source: Madison NORML Examiner

MADISON: In a voice vote, the Dane County Board unanimously voted Thursday night to place a Medical Marijuana Advisory Referendum on county ballots for the Nov. 2 general election. Thursday's vote sets up the first-ever vote in Dane County on medical marijuana.

The resolution was sponsored by District 6 Supervisor Jon Hendrick, who was joined by 12 cosponsors. It had previously passed out of the board's Executive Committee on July 8 on a unanimous 6-0 vote.

The vote means that on Nov. 2, all Dane County ballots will carry this question:

"Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

Read complete article with links, slideshow and quotes.

Posted by Gary at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2010

Dane County Alert – Ask Your County Supervisor to Vote for Medical Cannabis Advisory Referendum Resolution This Thursday July 15!

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, July 11, 2010

A vote has been scheduled for this Thursday July 15 by the full Dane County Board on the resolution that would put a medical marijuana advisory referendum on the Nov. 2, 2010 general election ballot in Dane County.

Dane County Alert – Ask Your County Supervisor to Vote for Medical Cannabis Advisory Referendum Resolution This Thursday July 15!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

District 6 Supervisor John Hendricks' resolution placing a Medical Cannabis advisory referendum on the Dane County ballot this November is being voted on at the Dane County Board Meeting this coming Thursday, July 15, 2010. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Madison. The exact time of the discussion and vote on the resolution is unknown.

Supporters are urged to attend and register in support as well as contact their County Supervisor and ask they vote for the medical marijuana advisory referendum resolution.

The resolution would place this question on the Dane County November general election ballot: "Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

If you live in Dane County, please contact your County Supervisor and ask them to vote in favor of the “Referendum On Medical Marijuana” resolution.

You can reach your Dane County Supervisor through the Board Main Number: 608-266-5758 or by following the links below.

If you would like to find the supervisor of your district but do not know which district you live in, you can view a map of the supervisory districts at: http://www.countyofdane.com/lio/supervisorydistricts.asp

The following information can be viewed online at: http://www.countyofdane.com/board/supervisors.aspx


District Name Phone Email
1 Scott McDonell
608/259-9506 mcdonell@co.dane.wi.us
2 Barbara Vedder
(608) 249-8428 vedder.barbara@co.dane.wi.us
3 Donald Imhoff
(608) 241-3937 imhoff.donald@co.dane.wi.us
4 Brett Hulsey
608/238-6070 hulsey@co.dane.wi.us
5 Analiese Eicher
(608) 449-5218 eicher@co.dane.wi.us
6 John Hendrick
446-4842 hendrick@co.dane.wi.us
7 Matt Veldran
Cell (608) 235-8369 veldran@co.dane.wi.us
8 Carousel Andrea Bayrd
608/442-6294 bayrd@co.dane.wi.us
9 Dianne Hesselbein
219-8127 hesselbein@co.dane.wi.us
10 Jeremy Levin
(608) 577-9335 levin.jeremy@co.dane.wi.us
11 Al Matano
608/238-3045 matano@co.dane.wi.us
12 Paul Rusk
608/249-9667 rusk@co.dane.wi.us
13 Chuck Erickson
608-251-3622 erickson.chuck@co.dane.wi.us
14 Melanie Hampton
(608) 273-9149 hampton.melanie@co.dane.wi.us
15 Ronn Ferrell
695-1321 ronnferrell15@charter.net
16 Dave de Felice
(608) 222-0319 defelice@co.dane.wi.us
17 Tom Stoebig
608/222-6429 stoebig@co.dane.wi.us
18 Melissa Sargent
cell (608) 220-2273 sargent@co.dane.wi.us
19 Bill Clausius
(608) 825-1465 clausius@co.dane.wi.us
20 Duane Gau
(608) 320-1100 gau@co.dane.wi.us
21 David Wiganowsky
608/837-8604 wiganowsky@co.dane.wi.us
22 Dennis O'Loughlin
608/846-1851 oloughlin@co.dane.wi.us
23 Shelia Stubbs
608/2
23-1684 stubbs@co.dane.wi.us
24 Robin Schmidt
221-0514 schmidt.robin@co.dane.wi.us
25 Eileen Bruskewitz
608/249-9188 bruskewitz@co.dane.wi.us
26 Sharon Corrigan
(608) 333-2285 corrigan@co.dane.wi.us
27 Kyle Richmond
608/251-3171 richmond.kyle@co.dane.wi.us
28 Kurt Schlicht
(608) 576-9897 schlicht.kurt@co.dane.wi.us
29 Dave Ripp
608/849-7643 ripp.david@co.dane.wi.us
30 Patrick Downing
608/527-2472 downing@co.dane.wi.us
31 Gerald Jensen
(608) 835-7389 jensen.gerald@co.dane.wi.us
32 Mike Willett
(608) 845-8503 willett@co.dane.wi.us
33 Jack Martz
608/274-7437 martz@co.dane.wi.us
34 Patrick Miles
(608) 838-6866 miles@co.dane.wi.us
35 Denise Duranczyk
(608) 873-8302 duranczyk@co.dane.wi.us
36 Cynda Solberg
(608) 839-9583 solberg@co.dane.wi.us
37 Bob Salov
608/423-4358 salov@co.dane.wi.us

Posted by Gary at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2010

Dane County Board to vote July 15 on medical cannabis advisory referendum for fall ballot

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, July 9, 2010

Below is the most recent info on the Dane County advisory referendum.

Madison NORML Examiner: Dane County Board to vote July 15 on medical cannabis advisory referendum for fall ballot

MADISON: The Dane County Board’s Executive Committee unanimously voted Thursday night to send to the full County Board a resolution that would put an advisory referendum on medical marijuana on county ballots in the Nov. 2 general election. The vote to adopt Res. 70, 10-11, Referendum on Medical Marijuana by the full 37-member panel is scheduled for the Thursday July 15 meeting.

The resolution asks whether board members want to place the following question before voters:

"Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

A public hearing will be convened during Thursday's County Board meeting at which supporters will have the opportunity to register or testify in support. Because the hearing is part of a meeting, testimony is usually limited to five speakers. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Madison. Supporters are urged to attend and register in support as well as contact their County Supervisor and ask they vote for the medical marijuana advisory referendum resolution.

You can reach your Dane County Supervisor through the Board Main Number: 608-266-5758 or by following the links below:

Map of Dane County Supervisory Districts

Directory of Dane County Supervisors with contact information

 

Read full original article with images and links

Posted by Gary at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2010

Madison NORML Examiner: Madison’s Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival to mark 40 years this October

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hee is my latest Madison NORML Examiner article. You can read the original article with photos and links: (Madison NORML Examiner: Madison’s Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival to mark 40 years this October)

Madison NORML Examiner: Madison’s Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival to mark 40 years this October

By Gary Storck
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MADISON: What began as an anti-war protest 40 years ago that soon morphed into a cannabis legalization rally will celebrate the beginning of its fifth decade October 1-3, 2010. The Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival has long been a fall ritual in Madison as much as University of Wisconsin Badger Football or Halloween on State St.

Sadly, this year will not be the anticipated celebration of the passage of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act but yet another call to action as the fight for reefer sanity rages on both in Wisconsin, and much more successfully in other states.

The 40th Annual Harvest Fest will follow the format used in recent years, a Friday evening benefit to kick off the weekend, live music, speakers, informational tabling and vending on Saturday afternoon at the Library Mall at the end of State St., and Sunday’s traditional Parade to the Capitol for a concert and rally.

According to the brand new Harvest Fest website, the 2010 festival will feature a not only some familiar faces but also some new ones. Festival organizer Ben Masel, who has been the driving force behind Harvest Fest for the last 38 years, will be speaking along with Wisconsin colleagues Gary Storck and Jacki Rickert. Their fellow “Medical Marijuana Commando Squad” member, Jim Miller from New Jersey, is also returning.

NORML Founder Keith Stroup, who last spoke at Harvest Fest 35 in 2005, is also on the bill again this year. And a retired judge from California, Judge Jim Gray, will be making his first Harvest Fest appearance this year. Also returning is Mason Tvert, a Colorado activist and the Founder of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), who spoke at HF 39 last year.

The festival will also feature a great array of homegrown Wisconsin music across a range of genres. Returning favorites include Nama Rupa, Baghdad Scuba Review, Ifdakar and Groovulous Glove with more to be announced. Bands appearing for the first time include Phish tribute band Phun and Milwaukee reggae band, Recalcitrant.

The Friday night event, the 8th Annual IMMLY/Madison NORML Medical Cannabis Benefit, happens at the Frequency at 121 W. Main, a block from the Capitol. Music will be provided by Brok’n Arrow and the Shanahan-Riddiough Band, and as with the prior seven events, will feature the traditional sing along version of the Wisconsin medical cannabis anthem, “Legal Medicine Blues”.

The fact this is the 40th speaks to not only Madison's place as a cannabis-friendly town as well as the fact that this is also a protest against marijuana prohibition, a protest that will be entering its FIFTH decade this October when number 40 convenes.

Thousands and thousands and thousands of people have attended Harvest Fest over these years. Almost everyone who has lived in Madison has a HF story, even if just from crossing paths with the parade or passing through on the way to a Badger football game. The magic starts again Oct. 1.

Original article with photos and links: (http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-30194-Madison-NORML-Examiner~y2010m7d7-Madisons-Great-Midwest-Marijuana-Harvest-Festival-to-mark-40-years-this-October)


Posted by Gary at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)