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Surprisingly, Wisconsin is now among states with cannabis on the ballot this year. Wisconsin’s constitution does not allow for the kinds of statewide initiatives that brought legal medical cannabis to states including California, Colorado and our neighboring Michigan.

While the state constitution does allow statewide advisory referendums, the legislature needs to place them on the ballot. Wisconsin’s Legislature not only did not move the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act out of committee after an 8 hour plus public hearing in December 2009 that brought hundreds of patients and supporters to the Capitol on a bitterly cold day, they also were unwilling to put the issue before voters statewide this November.

When we learned the JRMMA was dead for the session, ironically on April 20, state activists began moving forward with a new strategy to place medical cannabis advisory referendums on ballots around the state. Citizens can gather signatures and place advisory referendums and direct legislation on city and village ballots. City councils have to approve these petitions and can also place them on the ballot themselves as can county boards.

With the longtime strong support for medical cannabis in Madison and Dane County, we worked with Supervisor John Hendrick of Madison and he found 12 cosponsors for a resolution placing this question on all Dane County ballots in the Nov. 2 general election:

"Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

The resolution passed out of the County Board’s executive committee July 8 on a 6-0 vote. On Thursday July 15, after hearing testimony from myself and other patients and advocates and offering some amazing discussion themselves, the Dane County Board passed the resolution unanimously.

Here is my article about the vote: Dane County Board votes unanimously to put MMJ Advisory Referendum on Nov. 2 General Election Ballot

State activists are also working to gather signatures in River Falls, La Crosse and Milton, Wisconsin and are also looking at campaigns in Mondovi, home to bill namesake Jacki Rickert, Lodi, Rio, Poynette and other locales. There is more info at, and if you are interested in helping gather signatures in any of the ongoing campaigns or doing a local advisory referendum, you can learn more there. The Wisconsin Association of Counties has been sent the Dane Resolution for use by other counties who may be interested.

Originally posted to gary storck on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 03:54 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good luck, and keep up the great work. (4+ / 0-)

    I read your article for, and was struck by this quote from District 28 Supervisor Kurt Schlicht:

    I'm a recovering alcoholic and addict. I played for the University of Wisconsin. I blew my knee out very badly. I got hooked on pain pills. So I started washing them down with alcohol. I couldn't function on the opiates, and started using cocaine.  I have been sober almost 10 years.

    I stand in support because of my mother. Died of pancreatic cancer. And the last 6 months of her life were so horrific. I am against using drugs to get intoxicated, and all that but I watched my mother die. she was a registered nurse. The marijuana, acquired illegally, gave her an appetite and gave her a littler energy and probably sustained her a few more weeks. It was really intense. So I stand in support, and I'll take it to my constituents and I hope it passes. Thank you.

    What a great message.  I'm converted and don't need to be convinced that prescribed medical marijuana would be both sane and compassionate.  It is seeming contrarians like Kurt Schlicht who need ample podium time, when communicating the issue to your average American.  Tipped and rec'd.

    And I need to know that everything's all right. -- World Party.

    by bsmechanic on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 04:30:05 PM PDT

    •  Ironically, Schlicht, a Republican (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redwagon, bsmechanic

      is running for the State Senate against Jon Erpenbach, the lead senate sponsor of the JRMMA.

      "Clark, we need Superman's help in the Gulf." "Right on it Mr. President, soon as I can find a phone booth."

      by ben masel on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 05:28:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Duly noted. (0+ / 0-)

        Back future blockquotes with more research.  Especially because though I am a neighbor, I'm not a Wisconsinite, and should thus edumacate myself better.

        Dammit.  Schlicht has a good message, but yeah, it's a  pretty damned advantageous quote, in the wake of state senator Erpenbach's lead work on the issue.

        And I need to know that everything's all right. -- World Party.

        by bsmechanic on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 05:41:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redwagon, beltane, bsmechanic

    One can safely assume the presence of the referendum will help drive turnout on the University of Wisconsin campus, and among other young voters, to the benefit of Senator Feingold and other statewide Democratic candidates.

    In California, the Resolutions Committee of the Democratic Party Executive Committee today foolishly voted against backing prop 19, the Cannabis Tax and Regulate Initiative. Floor fight tomorrow.

    Voters in Arizona and south dakota will be deciding in November on measures to create Medical Marijuana programs, while oregon voters will chose whether to expand theirs by allowing dispensaries.

    "Clark, we need Superman's help in the Gulf." "Right on it Mr. President, soon as I can find a phone booth."

    by ben masel on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 05:37:32 PM PDT

  •  They need a pot room on the S.S. Badger. (0+ / 0-)

    Once the boat crosses halfway across Lake Michigan, start selling pot.

    by DingellDem on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 07:42:27 PM PDT

    •  reciprocity on the SS Buddy Badger (0+ / 0-)

      Had the JRMMA passed, it included reciprocity so MI and WI patients could freely travel between the two with medicine! Maybe the Badger will set up the room yet. They could name it "The Buddy Badger Lounge" after our Harvest Fest mascot.

      Speaking of which, this year is the 40th: for lineups. Keith Stroup, Mason Tvert, Judge Jim Gray, Jacki Rickert, Ben Masel, myself, Jim Miller all on the bill!

      Nice slideshow of photos of Harvest Fests past too.

      by gary storck on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 10:48:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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