Dane County Board votes Thursday night on County MMJ advisory referendum for Nov. ballot
Thirteen Cosponsors for Dane County MMJ Advisory Referendum Resolution
Wisconsin State Journal: Should Dane County hold an advisory referendum on legalizing medical marijuana?
MADISON: In a voice vote, the Dane County Board unanimously voted Thursday night to place a Medical Marijuana Advisory Referendum on county ballots for the Nov. 2 general election. Thursday’s vote sets up the first-ever vote in Dane County on medical marijuana.
The resolution was sponsored by District 6 Supervisor John Hendrick, who was joined by 12 cosponsors. It had previously passed out of the board’s Executive Committee on July 8 on a unanimous 6-0 vote.
The vote means that on Nov. 2, all Dane County ballots will carry this question:
“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?”
Four people spoke in support including Madison NORML board members Jason Glaspie, a cancer patient and Marine vet, Charles Wachtel, speaking on behalf of veterans and Gary Storck. Storck included this in his remarks:
“It goes without saying that Medical marijuana is healthcare. Had the Jacki Rickert MMA passed, it would have provided thousands of Wisconsinites with enhanced health care at no cost to the state. Some may say this issue belongs before the state legislature rather than the County Board. But it is a local issue and it gets even more local when the unthinkable happens and you or a loved one or friend has an accident or gets sick and nothing the doctors offer helps. This is about freedom of choice, quality of life and living one’s life with dignity”.
Several supervisors joined sponsor Hendrick in speaking in support, some citing family members who had turned to it to deal with terminal illness. No one spoke against the resolution.
District 28 Supervisor Kurt Schlicht, a former Wisconsin football player who represents the NW corner of the county including Cross Plains and Mazomanie, was one of the supervisors who endorsed the referendum.
“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.”
Schlicht is in a September Republican primary election to face JRMMA sponsor and 27th District State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) this November. His support makes him at least the second Republican State Senate candidate who supports medical marijuana. Longtime medical marijuana supporter Ed Thompson is the other.Thompson, a 2002 Libertarian candidate for WI governor, is attempting to unseat first-term Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), who opposed the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act despite being Jacki’s state senator,
Supervisor Brett Hulsey, a Democratic candidate for the State Assembly seat held by Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison) also spoke in support, citing how it helped a family member::
“This is sometimes the best medicine”
“I hope we can change the policy and fight back the reefer madness that has stopped this medicine from being available”
After District 25 Supervisor Eileen Bruskewitz of Waunakee, a nurse, stated she supports medical marijuana but felt it was a state issue and not an appropriate board matter, District 32’s Mike Willett, representing Verona and vicinity, responded:
“Thank you Mr. Chair. I often rise to speak at things like this because I don’t feel that they are Dane County issues. When this first came up I felt that way. It seemed another thing that we were doing where we were [exercising] power we don’t have, and we don’t. The more I thought about it I changed my mind and I thought I could support this. I support it because it is putting the question out to the people. and The idea this time of this being a referendum is why I’m supporting this”
Sup. Hendrick then spoke:
“In conclusion, I would just invite all of you to join Representative Vedder to represent our constituents and to represent the opportunity for all of your constituents to vote on this in November and to advise the legislature that they have nothing to fear from the people of Wisconsin if they decide to pass a bill to legalize medical marijuana.”
A vote was then called, and the resolution passed without a single vote against. Sup. Hendrick also stated he would be forwarding the resolution to the Wisconsin Association of Counties to encourage other County Boards to follow suit.
For more info: While efforts to pass the Jacki Rickert MMJ Act (JRMMA) failed in the 2009-2010 legislative session, plans for advisory referendums this fall and other efforts are underway. Learn more by signing up at www.jrmma.org or on Facebook. Please add your name to their email list and stay in touch as this movement continues to pick up momentum. 6/24/10: Gary Storck OPED: Isthmus: Rejection of Wisconsin medical marijuana bill was a profile in cowardice. This Oct. 1-3, 2010: Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival. Madison NORML Examiner: Jacki Rickert MMJ Act 2010 runs out of time in Wisconsin Legislature. For additional details on medical cannabis and Wisconsin visit JRMMA.org, IMMLY.org, Wisconsin NORML or MadisonNORML.org. Visit my Madison NORML Examiner articles archive. Photos courtesy of Madison NORML/IMMLY. Special Thanks to Nate Petreman for transcription assistance. All rights reserved. Madison NORML Examiner is dedicated to the memory of our sister and hero Mary Powers (1949-2009).