Gary Storck

Wisconsin: Senator Invests in Canadian Cannabis Farm Creating Conflict of Interest

Sen. Frank Lasee, Profiteer

Earlier this year, when the state senator voted to expand access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, he was doing so as an investor of a Canadian cannabis farm embroiled in turmoil

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2016, Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee of De Pere, bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp, according to public disclosures reviewed this week.

Wisconsin: Bills to Decriminalize Possession of 10 Grams of Cannabis Introduced


By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake), Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), unveiled Assembly Bill 409, a bill that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of cannabis, but acknowledged the bill's potentially grim fate in a conservative controlled Wisconsin Legislature.

On June 23, Senate Bill 318, a similar cannabis decriminalization bill introduced into the Wisconsin Senate, was referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

Wisconsin: Patients Receive Oregon Medical Marijuana Authorizations at Harvest Fest


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Forty-eight Wisconsin medical marijuana patients this year got their Oregon medicinal cannabis authorizations at the annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest. "But wait," you may be thinking. "They live in Wisconsin, not Oregon." That's entirely true -- but according to those in the know, having an out-of-state medical marijuana authorization gives these patients some legal cover should the police come calling.

The authorizations were issued by THCF Medical Clinics at the Harvest Fest as part of something called The Ben Masel Project. Masel was a famous Yippie activist based in Madison who started the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest; he died suddenly from cancer three and a half years ago.

"The Oregon permit has saved several people in Wisconsin from arrest," THCF founder Paul Stanford told Hemp News. The fact that Oregon issues permits to out-of-state patients has been helpful to those in Wisconsin and other non-MMJ states, according to Stanford.

"This weekend, we helped 48 patients in Wisconsin get Oregon medical marijuana permits, bringing in almost $10,000 in state fees for the Oregon Health Authority," Stanford told us. "Really, the Wisconsin Legislature should act to help its sick and dying patients, and keep those funds in Wisconsin."

Stanford said speaking at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest, the 44th annual event, "is an old tradition" for him. "I first spoke here in Madison 25 years ago, in 1989, and I came back and spoke again in 1990 and many years since," he told us.

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.

"Now I have had pets my entire life, and I treasure them more than most people, so I keep aware of the temperatures and conditions I subject my pets to, as many other owners will," Greg Kinsley explained. "Knowing we would only be at the event for about an hour, we walked around for about 20 minutes in a housed barn/shed where we talked to a few folks and wandered by the tables and then to the outside again."

Wisconsin: Gov. Walker Says 'Not Right Now' To Marijuana Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Democratic representative has introduced a bill into the Wisconsin Assembly to legalize marijuana, and the bill has attracted six Democratic co-sponsors, but Republican Governor Scott Walker says not so fast.

LRB 3671 would legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in Wisconsin. Its sponsor, Rep. Melissa Sargent, said the bill is a "good start" to bringing better cannabis policies to the state.

"After researching this issue extensively, I believe that this bill will benefit Wisconsin and its citizens in many ways, including: addressing racial disparities in arrests, providing medical benefits, time and cost savings to law enforcement, and additional revenue for the state," Rep. Sargent posted on her website.

But Gov. Walker remains unconvinced. "I don't think you're going to see anything serious anytime soon here, but if other states did, maybe in the next Legislative session there'd be more talk about it," he said.

Walker said he spoke with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at last week's National Governor's Association Meeting, where Hickenlooper said his state would see $134 million in sales tax revenue from marijuana this year -- a much higher figure than expected, reports WITI.

"He talked about the upsides of the revenue," Walker said. "He also talked about how they weren't rushing to spend that on other things because, he said, it's early and they're still concerned about the side effects."

Wisconsin: Democrats Introduce Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two Wisconsin Democrats are trying again to legalize marijuana for medical use. Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) held a Thursday news conference to announce a new medical marijuana bill, saying cannabis can provide pain relief that other medication doesn't.

Erpenbach and Taylor are cosponsoring the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act, which would legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. The bill is named after medical marijuana patient Rickert, who is in a wheelchair. "What is (getting) high?" Rickert asked. "Living or gaining weight?"

Sen. Erpenbach called Gary Storck, a medical marijuana patient and advocate for its legalization, "the most persistent constituent in Wisconsin," reports Jessica Vanegeren at The Capital Times. Storck, 58, has been lobbying Erpenbach and others to legalize medical marijuana, which he has been using for 41 years to treat his glaucoma.

"Medical cannabis is all but mainstream now," Storck said at the Capitol press conference.

Erpenbach said opponents claim legalizing medical marijuana will lead patients and others to use the herb for recreational purposes. "I've always found (that line of thinking) disrespectful," Erpenbach said. "I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to actually read the bill."

Wisconsin: Medical Marijuana Bill Unlikely To Pass, Despite Public Support


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are going to try to pass a medical marijuana law again this year; previous attempts have failed.

Thousands of Wisconsin residents are using medical marijuana illegally, according to Gary Storck, a Madison-based medicinal cannabis activist. And a majority of state residents support making it legal for medical purposes -- but the Legislature is unlikely to pass a medical marijuana law, according to observers.

"So many people have been forced into making that choice," said Storck, who has for decades used cannabis to treat this glaucoma, reports Allison Geyer at the La Cross Tribune. "People are going to do it anyway, if they're willing to break the law."

Sen. John Erpenbach of Middleton and Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison will introduce a bill to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes when the Legislature reconvenes for its fall session. Erpenbach has already sponsored such a bill twice before; Taylor is taking the place of Rep. Mark Pocan, who was elected to Congress last year.

"It will be a tough time," Erpenbach said. "It was tough last time when Democrats were in the majority."

United States: Hundreds of out-of-staters find comfort in obtaining Oregon medical marijuana cards

By Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! Twice in the past two years, Gary Storck has boarded Amtrak's Empire Builder outside his hometown of Madison, Wis., and headed west to Oregon. The trip takes about 40 hours and costs more then $1,000 – all for something that makes the illegal legal.

He pays a visit to one of the state's 15 or so medical marijuana clinics, fills out an application and sees a doctor. Storck walks out an hour later, the proud holder of an Oregon-issued medical marijuana card. It's a process he'll have to go through each year to keep the card.

Storck, 56, is one of hundreds of out-of-staters who each year make an unusual pilgrimage to Oregon – the only state in the country to issue medical marijuana cards to non-residents.

"It's not a bad place to visit," said Storck, who has used marijuana for four decades to treat glaucoma and other chronic ailments. "It lifts my spirits to be in a place where medical cannabis is legal and life goes on."

Some users of medical marijuana go through the effort to acquire an Oregon card because it allows them to use the drug legally when they're in the state. Others hope it provides some legal protection if they're arrested in a state where medical marijuana is outlawed. Many out-of-staters see an Oregon card as important recognition that their use of the drug is legally recognized somewhere in the United States.

Wisconsin: Capitol press conference to launch new medical cannabis bill

By Gary Storck, Madison NORML/Special to Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! MADISON - Wisconsin medical cannabis patients and advocates will have something extra to celebrate this holiday season with news that State Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) has scheduled a press conference to announce a new attempt to pass a state medical cannabis law. The press conference is set for the State Capitol's Assembly Parlor (2nd Floor West) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 1:00 pm.

Rep. Pocan's office has confirmed that he and State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) will again be the lead sponsors of the legislation, LRB-2466/1, again dubbed the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA). They will also be sending a letter to their colleagues asking if they would like to cosponsor the legislation.

In the 2009-2010 session, the JRMMA received an 8-plus hour combined Senate/Assembly Health Committee public hearing that drew hundreds of patients. State organizations including the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA), Hospice Organization and Palliative Experts (HOPE) and the WI ACLU testified in support along with representatives of national groups including Patients Out of Time (POT), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Opposition testimony was limited to a handful of groups who support the status quo of arresting and jailing medical users including the Wisconsin Medical Society (SMS), and the Wisconsin Narcotics Officers Association (WNOA).

Wisconsin: Scores of Medical Cannabis Rallies Boost Wisconsin's Jacki Rickert MMJ Act

By Gary Storck, Madison NORML

There is a truth that must be heard! MADISON: Wisconsin’s medical cannabis movement has matured into a fully state wide effort. There were scores of rallies Saturday at Wisconsin Wal-Mart’s supporting AB554 and protesting the chain’s firing of a Michigan medical marijuana patient with cancer. People spoke up, stepped up, organized their first medical cannabis events ever. Saturday, March 27, 2010 truly represents the high-water mark of this movement so far, and shows that Wisconsin advocates have statewide reach and influence.

Eau Claire, La Crosse, Berlin, Green Bay, Onalaska, Stevens Point/Plover, Oshkosh, Appleton, Fond du Lac, Madison, three Milwaukee Wal-Marts, Waukesha, Hartford, Kenosha, Racine and West Bend were among locations reporting rallies.

The events received media coverage both before and after in print, online and television. The Madison rally at the East Side Wal-Mart on Nakoosa Trail that I was at was covered by both WKOW (Ch. 27) as well as WMTV (Ch. 15). Footage from Madison aired on Fox 6 in Milwaukee. WEAU in Eau Claire covered the rally there. And there was other tv coverage across the state including Fox 11 Green Bay.

Wisconsin: Medical Cannabis Activists Swarm Capitol for ongoing "Operation Floodgates"

By Gary Storck, Madison NORML Examiner

Wisconsin: Medical Cannabis Activists Swarm Capitol for ongoing State medical cannabis activists have established a daily presence at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to push for passage of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act as the 2009-2010 legislative session winds down. There is a real sense of urgency and interest in the bill that extends from rural townships and villages across the state to the largest cities to people watching from around the country. A vast coalition of people across the state are getting involved, enlisting others and doing whatever they can to get the JRMMA passed: "This Bill, This Time!"

"Operation Floodgates" is an organized campaign aimed to highlight the urgency of the issue, to make people aware a bill is being considered and to allow constituents to act now and help legislators find the compassion and logic to allow the use of medical marijuana.

The daily presence on Wisconsin's Capitol Hill will soon be enhanced with the planned opening of a Wisconsin NORML office close to the Capitol. This will also create a place for supporters to help out, pick up literature, learn strategies and skills, etc.

Wisconsin: The State of State Medical Marijuana Patients Remains Hazy

by Gary Storck

Wisconsin: The State of State Medical Marijuana Patients Remains Hazy MADISON: For nearly 20 years, dating back to the middle years of Tommy Thompson's 14 years as governor, medical cannabis supporters began holding vigil outside the Governor's State of the State Address (SOTS) to the Legislature and other state officials. On January 26, 2010, they were outside the Assembly Chambers once again, with their leader Jacki Rickert.

Supporters spoke with lawmakers heading in to watch Gov. Doyle with several stopping to warmly greet Jacki, including bill sponsors Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Madison), and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, (D-Waunakee) as well as Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton) and Rep. Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire).

Medical cannabis supporters called out to Gov. Doyle as he ascended the stairs leading to the Assembly Chamber. He looked over at supporters with signs and a "Medical Marijuana is Healthcare" banner held by patients.

Most JRMMA supporters held vigil while others watched the SOTS from the gallery. JRMMA Media was also on hand, taking photos, filming video and doing interviews. Once the Address was over, supporters fanned out, speaking with individual lawmakers. We spoke to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), after the speech, and he remains hopeful that the JRMMA can move this session. One supporter even managed to talk to medical cannabis arch-opponent Rep. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa).

Wisconsin: Sides Square Off Over Medical Marijuana

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press

There is a truth that must be heard! MADISON, Wis. A Republican opponent to allowing medical marijuana in Wisconsin accused Democratic backers Tuesday of using chronically ill patients to push a secret agenda of making pot legal for everyone.

Rep. Leah Vukmir's claim at a public hearing drew boos and other derisive comments from many in the room packed with sick people in wheelchairs or walking with the assistance of canes. Supporters say marijuana helps patients deal with diseases, cancer treatments and other ailments by relieving them of pain and nausea.

Vukmir said there was no medical reasons to use marijuana and that other pain relief measures should be pursued that "do not require individuals to light a joint." She said once marijuana is legalized for medical uses, momentum will grow to make it available to everyone, as has happened elsewhere.

Wisconsin: Media Continues Heavy Coverage of Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

By Gary Storck, Madison NORML

Wisconsin: Hearing Wednesday on Legalizing Medical Marijuana Below is a compilation of recent news articles about the Jacki Rickert MMJ Act. More are on the way.

MADISON: As support builds, Wisconsin media outlets continue to portray the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act in a favorable light. Patients are sharing their stories with reporters, resulting in some very moving personal stories of just how much cannabis can help people in our state who are suffering today

Below is a sampling of highlights from the last week.

On Wednesday Nov, 25, the day before Thanksgiving, The Capital Times published a 4000-word cover story by Cap Times reporter Steven Elbow that presented a very broad view of the issue, with many viewpoints represented.

(State Rep. Mark) Pocan says that with polls showing overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Wisconsin and wide support in neighboring states, Republicans have seen the writing on the wall.

"I'm sure they're hearing from their constituents," he says. "My guess is where they're used to just saying no, because that's kind of what they do when measures come up from Democrats, in this case I think they realize there's a real price back home to pay by just having an obstructionist agenda."

The article also explored the difficult choices faced by patients attempting to manage serious debilitating conditions, like MS patient Christine Harrington, whose husband was jailed for growing her medicine.

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