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September 29, 2014

League of Marijuana Voters: New Billboard Highlights Wisconsin State Senators' Obstruction of Medical Marijuana Legislation

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, September 28, 2014

It's been a long time coming, and it's debut has been postponed a day, but it is now a reality!

New Billboard Highlights Wisconsin State Senators' Obstruction of Medical Marijuana Legislation

*Billboard image available online at WisLegalize.org*

MADISON, Wis., Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The League of Marijuana Voters launched a billboard Monday that highlights two Wisconsin state senators' obstruction of medical marijuana legalization. The first ever billboard advocating for medical marijuana legislation in Wisconsin is part of a new campaign targeting Senators Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) for preventing passage of a bill that would allow people suffering from debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The group is coordinating with the local Southeastern Wisconsin NORML chapter to raise awareness in the Senators' districts.

The billboard, which faces eastbound traffic on I-94 by 121st St. in West Allis, features silhouettes of the two legislators, their names, and their phone numbers. It reads, "WI patients have NO access to medical marijuana," and encourages voters to, "Ask [them] why!" The ad will run from September 29 through November 9. The billboard was designed by a volunteer and paid for by more than 100 individual donors. Planning and fundraising for more billboards around the state are currently underway.

Sen. Vukmir, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, refused to allow a committee vote on the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act (JRMCA). Sen. Lazich (R-New Berlin), who serves on the committee, was also vocal in her opposition to the bill.

"Studies have repeatedly shown that marijuana has significant medical benefits," said League of Marijuana Voters co-founder Eric Marsch. "It can inhibit epileptic seizures, reduce the nausea associated with chemotherapy, and relieve the pain associated with multiple sclerosis, among other things. People suffering from serious illnesses should not be punished for using medical marijuana if it can relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life."

In April, the legislature passed a bill ostensibly allowing people suffering from seizures to use CBD oil, a marijuana extract. Unfortunately the bill requires the federal FDA approve an investigational drug permit for CBD oil before anyone in Wisconsin can access it, something unlikely to happen anytime soon, and it doesn't cover the vast majority of illnesses that medical marijuana treats. By contrast, the JRMCA would immediately allow patients suffering from a wide variety of debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana.

"We want to make medical marijuana a major issue in these last few weeks before the election," Marsch said. "Most Wisconsin voters support access to medical marijuana, and the legislature cannot keep sweeping this issue under the rug."

A 2010 Dane County Advisory Referendum showed 75.49% of voters in support of medical marijuana. In February 2013, a Fox News poll showed 85% of American voters in favor. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws that allow seriously ill people access to medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

The League of Marijuana Voters is a new group of volunteer activists from pro-marijuana-reform organizations across Wisconsin including Wisconsin NORML, IMMLY, and The Ben Masel Project. Its function is to organize and sponsor large-scale, high-visibility demonstrations of public support for marijuana law reforms.

For more information, visit http://www.wislegalize.org.

Media Contacts

Eric Marsch

Gary Storck

Posted by Gary at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2014

Madison NORML Examiner: Wisconsin Attorney General race and medical marijuana

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, September 22, 2014

My in depth look at the Wisconsin Attorney General race and candidate positions on medical marijuana

Wisconsin Attorney General race and medical marijuana

September 22, 2014

With current Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen choosing to not seek reelection after two four-year terms, Wisconsin voters will be choosing a new Attorney General Nov. 4.

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, the Republican nominee will be facing Jefferson County DA Susan Happ, the winner of a three way primary in August.

Wisconsinites have long polled strongly in favor of legalizing medical cannabis, with results showing support around at least 75-80% or higher.

During the primary Happ told reporters she supported legalizing medical marijuana as long as it was tightly regulated. She said her father died of cancer and she would have done anything to relieve his suffering, but said she wouldn't advocate for changing the law.

Schimel has actively opposed medical cannabis legislation in the state legislature. According to open records requests obtained by Madison NORML Examiner, Schimel unsuccessfully attempted to get the State District Attorney Association to oppose AB554/SB368, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA), in late 2009 At the time Democrats controlled both houses and the governor's office and the JRMMA had a lot of momentum and a combined senate-assembly committee public hearing was held that ran over 8 hours and was standing room only.

Read full article: Wisconsin Attorney General race and medical marijuana

Posted by Gary at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2014

Baraboo News Republic: Pot case raises medical marijuana issues

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, September 19, 2014

From the Baraboo News Republic - a look at the incident in Baraboo last Saturday.

19 Sep 2014: Baraboo News Republic: Pot case raises medical marijuana issues
Elizabeth Onheiber For the News Republic

A married couple so far has avoided marijuana charges after providing Baraboo police with doctors’ notes and other documentation during an incident in which they were found with a small amount of pot and a smoking pipe during a local political event Saturday.

Baraboo Police Department Sgt. Mark Lee and Det. Jeremy Drexler investigated a report of a dog left in a car during Fighting Bob Fest at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo. While speaking with Madison residents Greg and Karen Kinsey about the complaint, the officers reported seeing a marijuana pipe through the car window. Police confiscated it along with a small amount of marijuana found in the car, though the issue involving the pet was resolved.

Neither of the Kinseys was charged with marijuana or paraphernalia possession, after both provided officers with signed documentation from Wisconsin doctors who recommended the use of medical marijuana. Karen Kinsey also says she provided authorities with a valid Oregon medical marijuana registry card.

The husband and wife say their prescriptions for medical marijuana are intended to help with Crohn's disease and treat the pain of scoliosis, respectively.

Greg Kinsey serves as secretary of Wisconsin's National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws chapter. Friend Gary Storck, co-founder of Is My Medicine Legal Yet? also was with the couple when officers responded. The three cited little-known state legislation on the books since 1971 that saved them from immediately being charged with drug crimes, though police say an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

He and wife Karen Kinsley claim exemptions in the Wisconsin Controlled Substance Act allow for them to possess marijuana with a physician’s recommendation.

The couple spent some time discussing the statutes with police, who ultimately declined to issue possession charges at the scene, and instead deferred the matter to the Baraboo City Attorney Mark Reitz for possible prosecution as a city ordinance violation.

Reitz said he has not yet reviewed the report, but stated after examining the state statute, "If the person in possession of the marijuana had a valid prescription, then that is valid in Wisconsin.”

He also pointed out that the law requires a “valid prescription or order of a practitioner.”

“I have no idea if there is a valid prescription or any other details of this case at this time however,” he stated.

Baraboo Police Chief Mark Schauf said officers are following up on the statements given to them by the Kinseys. “There may be charges, there may not. We haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

Schauf said he could not release medical information involved in the case, specifically whether the Kinseys had valid prescriptions to use marijuana.

He also said the case has not impacted the way police enforce drug laws.

“As police our job is to make sure we have all the information before we make enforcement decisions,” he said. “It is still illegal to possess or use marijuana in Wisconsin.”

He added Wisconsin doctors cannot prescribe marijuana for medical uses.

“The Catch-22 is that THC is not identified as a therapeutic medicine in Wisconsin and so it cannot be prescribed,” he said.

Despite the legal disagreement, the Kinseys said they appreciated the way Baraboo Police handled the matter.

“I thought it was awesome they listened to us,” Karen Kinsey said. “I don’t know if the Oregon card or if a letter from your Wisconsin doctor is any better than the other. I felt more like an activist than a criminal."

Det. Drexler declined to comment, citing the open investigation, but said the encounter was “very friendly.” Sgt. Lee is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

“We had all agreed there was no urgency to the matter,” Greg Kinsey said. “I expect a letter saying they have decided to file no charges, return my tiny bit of weed, and smile as I graciously shake their hand in front of media, getting my medicine back. If charges are filed, they will be fought. Even for an ordinance violation."

Storck and the Kinseys pointed to a 2004 Sauk County ruling in which drug charges against Sun Prairie resident Cheryl Lam were dismissed. Lam had moved to Wisconsin after obtaining a legal prescription for marijuana as a California resident.

Schauf said that case is not relevant to whether a Wisconsin resident can receive a legal prescription to use marijuana.

Storck says several other cases have quietly recognized or upheld the legality of certain medical marijuana use in Wisconsin, citing instances in Waukesha and Outagamie counties. Around 60 Wisconsinites have valid Oregon permits, according to Storck. Oregon began issuing out-of-state permits in 2010.

Still, there are major questions surrounding the use of medical marijuana in a state that has not sought to change its laws amid a groundswell of marijuana legalization, under varying circumstances, nationally.

“Wisconsin's law remains on the books as symbolic, with no means of supply,” Storck said.

Read entire article, 19 Sep 2014: Baraboo News Republic: Pot case raises medical marijuana issues

Posted by Gary at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2014

Devil's Advocate Radio Show: Gary Storck from Madison NORML & IMMLY discusses Baraboo incident, drs. notes and o/o state cards

Posted by Gary Storck
September 17, 2014

I discussed the Baraboo incident on the Devil's Advocate on Sept. 17. Below is the audio.

Gary Storck from Madison NORML & IMMLY discusses Baraboo incident, doctor's notes and out of state medical state cards

Posted by Gary at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2014

Hemp News: 14 Sep 2014: Wisconsin: Activist Released At Festival After Showing Oregon Medical Marijuana Card

Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, September 14, 2014

Had a little excitement up at Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo on Saturday!

Hemp News: Wisconsin: Activist Released At Festival After Showing Oregon Medical Marijuana Card

Well-known Wisconsin medical marijuana activist Gary Storck and two companions were briefly detained by law enforcement at the Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo on Saturday, but were ultimately released after one of the group showed the officers an Oregon medical marijuana card.

"Around 1:20 p.m., we decided to leave, with Karen [Kinsley] stopping at the vending barn to grab some campaign materials while Greg [Kinsley] and I headed to the car," Storck posted on Facebook Saturday. "Upon returning to the car, we were contacted by a Baraboo officer.

"Sadie's barking had made them concerned she was in an overheated vehicle," Storck posted. "But Sadie was not barking because she was hot. A delivery device and a tiny crumb of alleged medicine was spotted, the officer told us.

Read full article: Hemp News: Wisconsin: Activist Released At Festival After Showing Oregon Medical Marijuana Card

Posted by Gary at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)