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December 30, 2011

Madison NORML Examiner: Wisconsin medical marijuana bill to get bill numbers, committee assignments

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, December 30, 2011

An update on the Jacki Rickert MMJ Act.

Wisconsin medical marijuana bill to get bill numbers, committee assignments

MADISON: Rep. Mark Pocan's office has confirmed a final total of 15 cosponsors for the newly reintroduced Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA).

As with last session and the 2007-2008 session there were no Republican cosponsors. The last bill with Republican support, AB-740, was introduced in 2005 by then Rep. Gregg Underheim, a moderate Republican from Oshkosh who chaired the Assembly Public Health committee. Rep. Underheim gave AB-740 a public hearing in Nov. 2005. Underheim, a one-time opponent of medical cannabis opened up to the medical potential of cannabis after suffering a bout with cancer. He left the legislature in 2006.

13 of 15 cosponsors are from the 99-member Wisconsin State Assembly: Continue reading "Wisconsin medical marijuana bill to get bill numbers, committee assignments."

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

December 19, 2011

Madison NORML Examiner: Medical marijuana bill gains more support in Wisconsin legislature

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, December 19, 2011

Here is an update on the Jacki Rickert MMJ Act from Madison NORML Examiner.

Madison NORML Examiner: Medical marijuana bill gains more support in Wisconsin legislature

MADISON: Rep. Barbara Toles (D-Milwaukee) has returned as a cosponsor of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA). With Rep. Toles, the total number of cosponsors currently sits at 15 with a couple days left to add more before the Dec. 22 deadline. The JRMMA is sponsored by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee).

Continue reading Madison NORML Examiner: Medical marijuana bill gains more support in Wisconsin legislature

Posted by Gary at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2011

Madison NORML Examiner: New Wisconsin medical marijuana bill adds cosponsors

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Halfway to a Dec. 22 deadline for cosponsors to sign on to the new Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act and progress is being made. Here's an update on who is a cosponsor as of this writing.

New Wisconsin medical marijuana bill adds cosponsors

MADISON: The State Capitol's ornate Assembly Parlor was packed with media, medical cannabis patients and others for the Nov. 30 press conference for the introduction of LRB 2466 & 3544, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA).

During the press conference, the JRMMA's lead sponsor in the State Assembly, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), announced a 3 week window ending Dec. 22 for cosponsors to sign on to the bills. Today his office gave us an update on how things are going.

Continue reading full article...

Posted by Gary at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2011

Capital Times: OPED: Gary Storck: Sen. Fitzgerald’s a hypocrite on veterans

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, December 10, 2011

Here is my OPED in the Capital Times on the new JRMMA and the Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, who has long had his spokespeople issue statements in denial about medical cannabis on his behalf.

SEN. FITZGERALD'S A HYPOCRITE ON VETERANS

Source: Capital Times
Pubdate: 10 Dec, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, sees no problem in using veterans and active duty military as props in the Capitol holiday tree lighting ceremony, but when it comes to helping them deal with service-related disabilities, he apparently couldn't care less.

That's the message sent loud and clear by Fitzgerald in turning the annual nonpartisan Capitol holiday tree lighting into a partisan event then attacking protesters who showed up because of the politics.

Fitzgerald's true concern for veterans became evident in comments from his spokesperson Andrew Welhouse opposing the new medical cannabis bill, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. The JRMMA was introduced by Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, and includes post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition.

PTSD is a frequent complaint of Iraq and Afghanistan vets and suicide has overtaken combat fatalities as the major cause of death for U.S. service people. Welhouse claimed the bill does not have the support necessary to become law.

Fitzgerald knows that means support in the current Legislature, not among the populace. Indeed, he was himself outpolled by medical cannabis in the November 2010 elections. Portions of Fitzgerald's district are in Dane County, which held an advisory referendum in November asking if state lawmakers should pass a medical cannabis bill. The referendum carried countywide by a 75 percent margin. In the six Dane County wards of Fitzgerald's district, the senator was easily outpolled by yes votes in each. An open records request to Fitzgerald's office covering last session's bill actually found unanimous support among the hundreds of constituents who took the time to contact him.

Fitzgerald should find the courage to explain his position to Erin Silbaugh, a 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq war. The former Marine sergeant from Lodi attended the bill's press conference recently at the Capitol.

Silbaugh returned from Iraq with PTSD, and soon found that cannabis helped treat his symptoms much better than the numerous drugs prescribed by the VA, each with its own laundry list of side effects.

"I'm forced to hide within my own country to be able to use medicine that helps me," Silbaugh said at the news conference.

I guess Fitzgerald is just taking a cue from his Assembly colleague Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi. Last session when Silbaugh asked Ripp if it was fair that he should face arrest and jail for using his medicine to treat his service-related disability, Ripp simply shrugged his shoulders.

Gary Storck of Madison is a longtime activist for medical marijuana and communications director for www.immly.org Is My Medicine Legal YET?

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

December 08, 2011

RELEASE: Asking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to join RI & WA governors in cannabis rescheduling petition

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, December 8, 2011

The release below was sent out today.

For immediate release, December 8, 2011

JRMMA.org
MadisonNORML.org

Contact: Gary Storck: 608-241-8922

Asking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to join RI & WA governors in cannabis rescheduling petition

MADISON: In Sept. 2010, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a short post that included then candidate Scott Walker's answer to the question, "Do you support the legalization of medical marijuana?"

Walker's response was "No. Federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and I believe state law should reflect this as well."

Recently, the governors of Washington and Rhode Island announced they petitioned the federal government to move marijuana off Schedule I so that their states can implement their medical marijuana laws without conflict.

On Nov. 30, Wisconsin lawmakers announced the reintroduction of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA) and the legislation (LRB-2466/1 and LRB-3544/1) is now out for cosponsors.

We ask that Gov. Walker join his colleagues, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire in petitioning federal authorities to reschedule cannabis so he will be able to support efforts to pass a Wisconsin medical cannabis law.

Wisconsinites who support medical cannabis should call or write Gov. Walker and ask that he support the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act as well as join with Govs. Chafee and Gregoire in requesting a federal reclassification of cannabis. Contact info; Office of Governor Scott Walker 115 East Capitol Madison, WI 53702, Email govgeneral@wisconsin.gov, Phone (608) 266-1212.

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Posted by Gary at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)