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March 19, 2014

Wisconsin State Journal: Gary Storck: Letter: Vote 'yes' on marijuana referendum April 1

Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The April 1 Dane County Marijuana Legalization Advisory Referendum is coming up quickly. Here is my LTE in supprt.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Pubdate: 19 March 2014
Author: Gary Storck


Dane County voters have the opportunity April 1 to vote on the national debate over legalizing cannabis. Vote "yes" on Advisory Referendum 2, which asks, "Should the state government enact legislation legalizing marijuana?"

While Wisconsin has some of the worst pot laws in the Midwest, 20 states now have legalized medical cannabis. And two of those, Colorado and Washington, tax and regulate adult use. Other states are also considering legalization. Polling has found majority support for cannabis legalization in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

Alaska will vote on legalization in August, while California, Oregon and other states are likely to see ballot measures in 2016. Nevada legalization advocates are collecting signatures this year for a 2015 vote. Florida is voting on a constitutional amendment to legalize medical cannabis this November.

Wisconsinites are not unlike other Americans. They support legalization just as much as people in other states. A strong showing for the April 1 legalization referendum will drive that point home to state lawmakers. So far they have been unwilling to admit that, as a policy, marijuana prohibition is counterproductive and repeal is the only sensible path.

-- Gary Storck, Madison, Is My Medicine Legal Yet? (www.IMMLY.org)

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

March 18, 2014

Racine Journal Times: Letter: Gary Storck: Make medical marijuana legal

Posted by Gary Storck
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Racine Journal-Times published an editorial Sunday full of misinformation on CBD and medical cannabis, "Editorial: Legalize CBD To Treat Epilepsy." Here is my response below.

Source: Racine Journal Times
Pubdate: 18 March 2014
Author: Gary Storck


When newspapers present an editorial, they have a responsibility to inform their readers accurately. The Journal Times recently failed miserably, "Legalize CBD to treat epilepsy" (March 16).

You seem to be confusing the medical cannabis strain from which the CBD hemp oil is being extracted, "Charlotte's Web", with the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of almost a hundred therapeutically active cannabinoids and other compounds found in whole plant cannabis. These compounds like cannabis plants continue to be classified by federal authorities as Schedule One drugs with no medical uses and a high potential for abuse.

Charlotte's Web is a form of medical cannabis that contains higher levels of CBD, as well as THC. It may or may not be helpful for a given individual. It is not pure CBD. Furthermore, it is nonsense to say that CBD contains THC.

Rather than creating legal fiction to carve out a narrow exemption when there is so much need, what Wisconsin really needs is to allow medical cannabis access to all patients who require it, and politicians and newspaper editors who are willing to become properly educated sufficiently to debate the issue intelligently.

One would think after so many years of effort and with so many patients who can benefit, from children and adults with seizure disorders, veterans returning from war with PTSD, seniors with glaucoma and arthritis, cancer patients of all ages and grandmothers with rare intractably painful conditions like Jacki Rickert, namesake of Wisconsin's comprehensive medical cannabis act, AB480/SB363, we would already be past that point.

Gary Storck


Posted by Gary at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2014

Marshfield News Herald: Storck: Cannabidiol oil is just the beginning of medical marijuana uses (column)

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, March 14, 2014

I get annoyed when lawmakers who don't understand an issue pretend they do. Take Wisconsin's narrowly focused medical cannabis bill AB726, which covers CBD hemp oil for children with seizure disorders. Below is an OPED published in the Marshfield News Herald and Wausau Daily Herald.

Source: Marshfield News Herald
Pubdate: 14 March 2014
Author: Gary Storck


Lawmakers like Rep. John Spiros should inform themselves about therapeutic pot

After more than 75 years of marijuana prohibition, questioning the reefer madness misinformation that has sustained it for so long has proven to be difficult for some.

Take Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, for example. Spiros, a former police officer, was so convinced by emotional committee testimony that a form of medical marijuana, cannabidiol or CBD, can help relieve seizures in children, that he helped vote the bill, Assembly Bill 726, out of committee in a bipartisan 7-1 vote.

Despite his pro-marijuana vote, Spiros recently told the Wisconsin Radio Network that there's still a lot of confusion about what CBD actually is and he believes many lawmakers are confusing it with the debate over medical marijuana. While CBD comes from the same plant, he told WRN, "This is not medical marijuana; it's just an oil derived from that plant."

As a former police officer, Spiros knows he would not have accepted his own explanation that CBD hemp oil is not medical cannabis had someone tried it while he was serving. This oil is indeed derived from the cannabis plant and cannabidiol, like the plant it is extracted from, remains a federal Schedule One drug classed as having no medical use and a high potential for abuse.

If Spiros doesn't feel comfortable calling it medical marijuana, he could refer to it by its scientific name, medical cannabis. What is clear is that cannabis prohibition has led to the public being far more informed about medical cannabis than most lawmakers, to the public's great detriment.

While A.B. 726 offers potential relief to some children with seizures, another current bill, the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act, is a comprehensive bill that provides relief to a broad group of patients from children with seizures to seniors with Alzheimer's, and a wide array of patients in between. Rickert, the bill's namesake, is a Mondovi grandmother who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other extremely painful and debilitating medical conditions.

Twenty states and Washington D.C. have already legalized the medical use of cannabis and more are on the way. Florida, with more than 19 million residents, is voting on it in November and it is expected to pass.

Wisconsin patients cannot afford further delay, especially when the delay is due to lawmakers following their own deeply set misconceptions rather than both the science and the public's overwhelming support. It has already been 17 years since Rickert led a weeklong "Journey for Justice" from Mondovi to the state Capitol in Madison to launch a medical cannabis bill sponsored by then-state represenative, now-U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison.

We owe it to our seniors, veterans, our sick, disabled and dying to get this relief in their hands.

While medical cannabis legislation is likely again dead for the session, let us hope that next session finds lawmakers both more informed about medical cannabis and more in tune with the folks they represent.

Gary Storck of Madison is co-founder of Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, online at www.immly.org/, which advocates for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

Posted by Gary at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2014

Legalize Pot? Dane County to vote on advisory referendum April 1

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, March 13, 2014

My latest Madison NORML Examiner post looks at the upcoming advisory referendum in Dane County asking voters if they favor state lawmakers legalizing cannabis.

Legalize Pot? Dane County to vote on advisory referendum April 1

March 13, 2014

Dane County voters will find something special on there Spring 2014 election ballots on April 1 this year. Referendum #2, asking "Should the state government enact legislation legalizing marijuana?", will appear on all Dane County ballots.

Red full article,"Legalize Pot? Dane County to vote on advisory referendum April 1"

Posted by Gary at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)