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November 12, 2013

The Capital Times: Gary Storck: Legalizing pot more popular than Mary Burke

Posted by Gary Storck
Nov/ 12, 2013

Mary Burke recently did an interview with Jack Craver of The Capital Times in which she was asked about pot legalization in CO and WA.

The Capital Times
Nov. 12, 2013

Gary Storck: Legalizing pot more popular than Mary Burke

Dear Editor: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's dismissive response to a question about voters legalizing marijuana in Washington state and Colorado — "I don't think that's where the people of Wisconsin are at" — is troubling.

As SF Weekly blogger Chris Roberts recently wrote in an article about the potential market for legal cannabis, "It's clear that the winds, tides and perhaps even the curvature of the earth has changed in America when it comes to marijuana. Every major polling firm has released results that say a clear majority of Americans want an end to the war on weed."

As an example, a new Gallup Poll found 58 percent of Americans support legalizing cannabis. The same Marquette Poll that found Mary Burke had 45 percent support against Scott Walker found marijuana legalization had 50 percent support in Wisconsin. In other words, legalizing cannabis is more popular than Mary Burke.

One can understand that politically, Burke might be hesitant to embrace full legalization. But a better response might have addressed the legalization of medical cannabis, which Wisconsinites consistently do support, at a rate of 75 to 80 percent.

Kathleen Vinehout, who is exploring a run for governor, became a medical cannabis supporter after taking the time to listen to a veteran struggling with PTSD.

With new federal policies that allow states to legalize cannabis as long as they follow federal guidelines, Wisconsin has a great opportunity to expand our economy and create new jobs and industries.

Colorado farmers harvested their first crop of hemp this year and the demand far exceeded the supply. Wisconsin, once a leader in industrial hemp cultivation, could once again be a hub if state leaders truly want to build Wisconsin's economy.

Wisconsin's next governor needs the vision to think outside the box, look at the big picture and be well informed on the opportunities the cannabis industry offers.

Gary Storck

Is My Medicine Legal YET?

Madison

Posted by Gary at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal: At Issue: Medical marijuana

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, Nov. 11, 2913

The State Journal looks at the new Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act, but they talk to Dr. Michael M. Miller MD FASAM, who has not gotten the memo that medicinal pot is not just a good thing, but a lifesaver. But I guess when your whole life has been spent spreading misinformation about cannabis, why stop now?

At Issue: Medical marijuana
SANDY CULLEN | Wisconsin State Journal
A weekly feature on proposed changes to state and local law.

In a nutshell

Current law prohibits a person from possessing, manufacturing or distributing marijuana.

This bill (AB480, SB363) creates a medical use defense to marijuana-related prosecutions and fines, and prohibits the arrest or prosecution of people who are registered with the Department of Health Services (DHS) and have certain debilitating medical conditions or treatments.

People who are registered could possess 12 marijuana plants and 3 ounces of marijuana leaves or flowers. They would be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery or engaging in any other conduct that endangers the health or well being of another person while under the influence of marijuana.

The bill requires DHS to establish a registry for people who use marijuana for medical use. People may apply for a registry identification card for a fee of not more than $150. A registry identification card is generally valid for two years and may be renewed.

The bill also requires DHS to license and regulate nonprofit corporations, known as compassion centers, that distribute marijuana.

It also requires DHS to register entities as testing laboratories to test marijuana for contaminants, research findings on the use of medical marijuana and provide training on safe and efficient cultivation, harvesting, packaging, labeling and distribution of marijuana, security and inventory accountability and research on medical marijuana.

This bill changes state law regarding marijuana. It does not affect federal law, which generally prohibits persons from manufacturing, delivering or possessing marijuana. The case for it

“This is something we have needed for a long time,” said Gary Storck, co-founder of Is My Medicine Legal YET?

“Legislators have not stepped up to the will of the people,” Storck said, adding, “It’s tying every doctor’s hands who has a patient who would benefit from this.”

California legalized medical marijuana 17 years ago, he said, adding that 20 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws.

Storck said more people are using medical marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of illnesses ranging from cancer to seizure disorders, putting themselves at legal risk.

“This will not only further the cause of compassion in treating people’s illnesses,” he said, it will help to create jobs. The case against it

Dr. Michael Miller, vice speaker of the House of Delegates for the Wisconsin Medical Society, which opposes the bill, said it takes the authority for approving a medication away from the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Miller said doctors who approve marijuana use for their patients under such bills are enaging in a political act, not a medical one, and generally do not follow up with patients as they would with other medications that they prescribe.

If the bill were only about compassionate use of marijuana by people who are terminally ill, or about legalizing marijuana outright, he said, “It would be a different discussion.”

Miller, the medical director of the Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, said marijuana is not without health risks, especially when smoked, and about 10 percent of people who use it become addicted. Approving its medical use adds to perceptions that it is safe, especially among young people, whose use of marijuana is rising. To get involved

To contact your lawmaker about this or any other bill, call the legislative hotline, which is staffed from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays at 608-266-9960 or 800-362-9472. To send an email, go to the Legislature’s website at legis.wisconsin.gov, select Assembly or Senate and then “Email directory.”

— Sandy Cullen

Posted by Gary at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)