Wisconsin: Medical Marijuana Patient Vigil Jan. 26, State Capitol

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Photo: Madison NORML
Gary Storck has been using marijuana medically since 1972 — but 38 years later, it’s still illegal in Wisconsin. This newspaper clipping is from 2005.

‚ÄčWisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who supports the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, will deliver his final State of the State address before a joint meeting of the Legislature on Tuesday night, January 26, at 7 p.m. local time.

Medical marijuana supporters will hold a patient vigil at Gov. Doyle’s last official speech. Supporters will gather outside the Assembly Chambers after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 26, for the address, according to Gary Storck of Madison NORML.

Gov. Doyle has been on record throughout his two terms as willing to sign medical cannabis legislation if it reached his desk. Since the introduction of JMMA, he has gone further in his support, calling it “senseless” to block safe access for patients.

Wisconsin marijuana advocates have been reaching out to the Governor’s office recently, requesting that he mention the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act in his address.
The JRMMA, sponsored by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and Sen. Joe Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) remains in committee.
In the Legislature as a whole, no Republican member has yet publicly supported the bill, despite sympathetic responses from some GOP lawmakers.
A recent ABC News poll found that nationwide, 81 percent of Americans support legalizing medical cannabis — including 75 percent of Republicans.
Supporters crowded the state capitol on January 24 for a memorial for Mary Powers and JRMMA Lobby Day. Advocates filled Madison’s High Noon Saloon for a benefit, enjoying four hours of music and speakers including Jacki Rickert, Gary Storck and Teresa Shepherd.
Jacki’s refrain, “This Bill, This Time” was echoed repeatedly. Camera crews recorded the event for upcoming TV ads and online posting.
Rickert and supporters hope that Gov. Doyle will urge passage of the JRMMA Tuesday night.
“What a better legacy to leave behind — a legacy of hope for patients,” Rickert said Monday.
As for the Wisconsin Legislature, “We’re willing to negotiate,” Rickert said. “People don’t have time, another year, another six months. It’s got to be this bill, this time.”
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