Comp Time with Gary Storck

Comp Time with Gary Storck
Posted by CN Staff on March 26, 2008 at 09:45:15 PT
By Nathan J. Comp 
Source: Isthmus 
Wisconsin -- Chronically ill and in pain, Gary Storck says marijuana is the only thing that brings him relief. Unfortunately for Storck and many others, doctors canít prescribe it.Storck, 52, has worked tirelessly over the last 30 years to get medical marijuana legislation passed in Wisconsin. His latest effort, like his previous ones, failed when the stateís legislative session ended two weeks ago.
So far, 14 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.Storck spoke with The Daily Page about why medical marijuana is a tough sell in Wisconsin. The Daily Page: How was the medical marijuana bill railroaded this time?Storck: Rep. Leah Vukmir, the chairwoman of the Healthcare and Healthcare Reform committee, stated a year ago that the bill would not pass out of her committee. That alone did not kill it. That was the bidding of Speaker Mike Huebsch and Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald, who couldíve sent it to another committee, such as Rep. J.A. Hinesís Public Health committee. Rep. Hines had promised to give the bill a fair hearing. So Huebsch and Fitzgerald made the decision to put it in Vukmirís committee knowing full well it would die there.  How difficult is it to find sponsors to introduce medical marijuana legislation? Weíre fortunate to have in the Assembly the two representatives who are reliable co-sponsors of this legislation. I consider them real heroes. Theyíre Rep. Frank Boyle and Rep. Marc Pocan. Iím really proud of them for sticking up for patients.  Have you ever persuaded a politician opposed to it to switch sides? Scott Suder. Heíd been a long time opponent of medical marijuana. He was quoted as saying the patients at the press conference announcing the bill were tools being used to legalize marijuana for all uses. We found that very offensive, so we confronted him one day as he left the Assembly chambers. I think we go through to him that weíre just people trying to take care of our lives and marijuana is the only thing that works. Since then he actually became more open to it. He spoke with Marc Pocan and he talked to Jacki Rickert, who the legislation was named after, for 30 minutes on the phone one night, which is amazing because she couldnít even get her own state senator, whoís a Democrat, to talk to her for 10 minutes.  Looks like our neighboring states have some promising legislation in the works.Yeah, Iím really excited. Itís almost certain that medical marijuana will be on the ballot in Michigan. That means, this November, the people of Michigan will have the chance to vote on it. Not only that, but in Minnesota, efforts are underway in the Legislature, and a similar bill passed committee in Illinois a few weeks ago, so itís on the move there again.  At its core, medical marijuana seems to be a human rights issue. So, why are politicians reluctant to get on board?I donít know. There was a hearing in the state senate this session as well. I worked with Sen. Jon Erpenbach who chairs the Senate Health Committee and he had me bring in extra witnesses. Unfortunately, it was just an informational hearing and the only senator who stuck around for the whole thing was Jon Erpenbach. The other senators werenít even there to listen. We spent a couple thousand dollars bringing in these great experts who couldíve answered any questions they had and they werenít there. Iíve said this bill was killed by the Republican leadership in the Assembly, but thereís some blame to be spread around Democrats, too.Source: Isthmus (WI)Author: Nathan J. Comp Published: March 26, 2008Copyright: 2008 IsthmusContact: edit isthmus.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 27, 2008 at 23:53:02 PT
Gary and Jacki
Thank you. You both have medical problems that would just shut some people down and yet you keep getting out there and working so hard to attain your goal. You guys are amazing.
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Comment #5 posted by Gary Storck on March 27, 2008 at 12:16:53 PT
Thanks, Hope, and all!
It's really been a struggle in WI. Like the Senate hearing was huge, but then few senators bothered to show. I'm still hopeful that next session could be the charm. But I'm afraid that will leave some folks behind who need it today to stay alive. Hope to see some of you at the upcoming Patients Out of Time Conf. in CA!
Madison NORML blog
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on March 26, 2008 at 17:48:36 PT
Gary and Jacki
Two of my earliest and dearest cyber-friends. When I first got my computer... I didn't understand about desktop backgrounds and such. Somehow a photograph of Gary and Jacki appeared, seemingly mysteriously to me, as my desktop background.As far as I could tell... it might have been a miracle. It was sometime before I branched out to the many, many photographs since then. But they were first. Not even my grandchildren. Gary and Jacki.Gary, with his beautiful white cat, (another picture). Jacki, telling me about being carried through a snowstorm by a very kind and careful trooper after a snow and ice storm, in Florida, as I remember, caused the vehicle she was riding in to become trapped in a deep and treacherous ditch. That's how I saw it anyway. Grieving with Jacki when her little canine friend of many years died of a stroke or heart attack that was brought on by a "Drug Raid".  They are among those people I'd like to give a hug in person someday.I'm so sorry this fine bill... and these fine people have been treated so reprehensibly by these officials and "Representatives". I'm sorry, Gary, Jacki, and everyone who has supported this effort and them through this.I can't imagine that you are going to give up. You ain't dead yet.:0) 
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on March 26, 2008 at 16:40:56 PT
 Top Story: Hugely Important California Supreme Court Ruling Ignored by Media. State Officials Must Obey State Ė Not Federal Ė Law. 
Posted by Richard Cowan on 2008-03-26 16:20:00 
Posted March 26, 2008 Analysis by Richard Cowan
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Comment #2 posted by charmed quark on March 26, 2008 at 16:37:42 PT
if if if
if the rest of the country had binding initiative processes, we'd probably have medical cannabis in about 40 states based on the polling numers
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2008 at 12:03:51 PT
If Wisconsin had the inniative process like Colorado, Gary Storck would already have this law passed.
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