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November 30, 2012

WI State Journal: Gary Storck: Attitudes on marijuana changing, so should laws

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, November 30, 2012

My LTE, published today in the WI State Journal!

Gary Storck: Attitudes on marijuana changing, so should laws

Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Pubdate: 30 Nov 2012
Author: Gary Storck

ATTITUDES ON MARIJUANA CHANGING, SO SHOULD LAWS

It was good to read about the WISDOM group and bipartisan support for alternatives to incarceration for people charged with drug crimes.

Marijuana being the most commonly used illegal substance, state lawmakers should take note of changing attitudes toward it. Colorado and Washington voters passed initiatives repealing marijuana prohibition at the state level. Massachusetts voters made that state the 18th plus Washington D.C. to legalize the medical use of cannabis.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin has some of the most punitive, backward marijuana laws in the nation. It has a patchwork of local ordinances and state law with wide disparities in penalties, and it mandates a felony for second offense for possession of any amount of cannabis. These antiquated laws consume criminal justice resources for nonviolent, victimless activities.

If lawmakers are serious about cutting costs and increasing efficiencies, decriminalizing pot and taking away the felony for a second offense would be a long overdue first step.

- Gary Storck, Madison, co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal Yet?; co-founder and former president, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, state and local chapters

Posted by Gary at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2012

Madison NORML Examiner: Wisconsin Marijuana advocates planning State Capitol lobby day Jan. 16

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The folks at Wisconsin and Madison NORML are holding a Lobby Day and IMMLY is onboard as well!

Wisconsin Marijuana advocates planning State Capitol lobby day Jan. 16

State medical cannabis patients and activists are planning a Medical Cannabis Lobby Day on Wed. Jan. 16, 2013 at the State Capitol in Madison.

The Madison and Wisconsin chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), along with Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMLY), the Wisconsin medical cannabis advocacy group founded by medical cannabis bill namesake Jacki Rickert, are joining forces to bring advocates to Madison.

Continue reading: "Wisconsin Marijuana advocates planning State Capitol lobby day Jan. 16"

Posted by Gary at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2012

Capital Times: Gary Storck: Time has come to legalize pot

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, November 19, 2012

Here is a letter I had published in today's Capital Times.

Capital Times: Gary Storck: Time has come to legalize pot

Dear Editor: While President Obama’s re-election was huge, the successful marijuana initiatives in Colorado and Washington state were arguably more significant.

As someone who first tried cannabis four decades ago and, like millions of Americans, never stopped, I’ve been waiting my entire adult life for some common sense on pot laws.

In the 1970s even President Jimmy Carter said cannabis should be legal and it seemed like it was at times. Madison voters favored legalization in a November 1976 advisory referendum and passed a local ordinance decriminalizing pot in April 1977 that remains on the books today. Then came the Ronald Reagan years, when the federal war on pot began to snowball with the adoption of more and more punitive and harmful policies. Studies documenting medical uses were buried. Reagan’s successors, along with Congress and state legislatures, kept the drug war pork flowing.

The tide began to turn 16 years ago when California voters passed Prop 215, legalizing medical use, but the federal government never got the message. With the latest win in Massachusetts, 18 states plus Washington, D.C., today offer legal access to medical marijuana.

Particularly in today’s economy, legalization of the cannabis plant for all uses would be the mother of all job creators. In addition to its well-known uses as medicine or a safe recreational alternative, cannabis is also a source of food, medicine, building materials, car parts, paper and cloth — thousands of uses, many yet to be discovered.

For more than 75 years, Americans have been caught in a senseless prohibition that has victimized everybody whether they use cannabis or not. The Colorado and Washington state results demonstrate the public has had their fill of this policy, and that legalization’s time has finally come.

Gary Storck

Co-founder of Is My Medicine Legal YET?

Madison

Posted by Gary at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2012

WORT-FM: Gary Storck: Marijuana Legalization Efforts

Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, November 17, 2012

Here is a report on my Thursday, Nov. 15 appearance on WORT's 8 O'clock Buzz with Tony Castaneda. A link to the sudio can be found on the WORT link.

WORT-FM: Gary Storck: Marijuana Legalization Efforts

On Thursday November 15, host Tony Castaneda speaks with medicinal marijuana activist and spokesperson and chair of Is My Medicine Legal Yet (IMMLY), Mr. Gary Stork. He says that the election results from last week, regarding legalization of marijuana in states of Colorado and Washington, was a ‘huge victory’ for marijuana activists. Colorado now allows people to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants, in addition to possessing a legal ounce of marijuana; Washington also allows an ounce of marijuana. “We’re finally starting to see the Marijuana prohibition crumble after 75 years” comments Gary.

Read complete article at WORT-FM.

Posted by Gary at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2012

Madison NORML Examiner: Legalization wins in CO and WA ignite legalization hopes for Wisconsin

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, November 16, 2012

Ten days after the elections that brought the legalization of marijuana closer to reality with 55-45 wins of legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washibngton, the issue continues to gain support. Many now say something that for so long seemed out of reach may be coming to reality in a big way.

Legalization wins in CO and WA ignite legalization hopes for Wisconsin

Voters in Colorado and Washington State had the enviable opportunity of choosing to end marijuana prohibition in their states and they rose to the opportunity, legalizing cannabis by 55-45% margins. Massachusetts became the latest state to sanction the medical use of cannabis, bringing the total to 18 states along with Washington D.C.

Read complete article here.

Posted by Gary at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2012

Madison NORML Examiner: Wisconsin elections signal likely status quo on state pot laws

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans used their legislative majorities in both houses in the 2011-2012 session to conduct redistricting which diminished Democrat's chance of success in the November elections. Democratic gains from summer recall elections were reversed with State Senate returning to GOP control. Republicans also maintained their huge advantage in the Assembly. The ascension of Robin Vos as Assembly Speaker and the return of Scott Fitzgerald as Majority Leader in the Senate means that the chances of meaningful change in Wisconsin's cannabis laws is very low in the 2013-2014 session.

Wisconsin elections signal likely status quo on state pot laws

While Wisconsin voters elected a progressive to the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin, with a long history of supporting medical cannabis on Nov. 7, they also returned control of the State Senate to Republicans, who continue to control the State Assembly by wide margins.

In the Senate, Republicans emerged with a preliminary 17-15 majority in the Senate with Sen. Jessica King, the Democrat who upset GOP Senator Randy Hopper in a recall last summer, refusing to concede so far with a recount possible. A special election to be held in December in the Waukesha area is expected to pad the party's power in the 33-member Senate to an 18-15 majority. The GOP will continue to hold a very comfortable majority in the State Assembly, with three races looking at recounts.

Read full article

Posted by Gary at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)