Pubdate: Sat, 17 May 2014
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2014 Lee Enterprises
Author: Laura Hancock


Three Casper residents demonstrated for the legalization of medical
marijuana and industrial hemp products Saturday, part of what they say
will be regular demonstrations at Conwell Park.

As people in passing vehicles stared or honked -- one person gave the
group a thumbs-down sign -- demonstrators held signs that said "Help
end marijuana prohibition," "Cannabis -- fuel, paper, food and
medicine" and "Cannabis cures cancer."

The demonstrators are part of the new group Wyoming Cannabis

The organization had simultaneous demonstrations at the Cheyenne Depot
in the capital city, at which 10 people showed up, and in Jackalope
Square in Douglas, at which local resident and U.S. Senate Republican
candidate Thomas Bleming demonstrated, said Marcia Stuelpnagel,
co-founder of Wyoming Cannabis Activists.

Stuelpnagel, 37, was diagnosed with cancer while living in Wyoming,
she said. Having seen the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on her
mother, she moved to Vancouver, Washington, for two years and began
legally using cannabis oil. It also helped with depression,
post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, she said.

"I was sleeping 16 hours a day," she said. "I was always tired. I
didn't have an appetite. Then I slept eight hours a day (after using
cannabis oil.) I had so much energy. I had a life again."

Stuelpnagel would like to continue using cannabis in Wyoming, which is
why she helped form Wyoming Cannabis Activists. The organization would
like to get an initiative on the 2016 ballot to legalize the drug for
medical use. Proponents also want industrial hemp products to be legal.

Their numbers were small in Casper, but demonstrator Kristine Nelson,
who supports marijuana legalization for all purposes, said support is

"They're scared to lose their jobs," Nelson said of supporters.
"They're scared what others will think. There's more people than you
see on the sidewalk."

The group was in Conwell Park, across the street from the Wyoming
Medical Center, which they said was perfect for their message of
support for cannabis for medicinal purposes. They plan to demonstrate
in the afternoon every other Saturday through October.

Wyoming Cannabis Activists is just one group that's attempting to have
marijuana legalized. Wyoming NORML is also working on an initiative
for the 2016 ballot to legalize pot for all uses.

The organization has submitted a draft initiative to the Wyoming
Secretary of State's Office three times, attempting to make the
language in the initiative conform with current laws.

Jackson resident Chris Christian, executive director of Wyoming NORML,
said an attorney is working on the initiative so the group can submit
it a fourth time.

Once the Secretary of State's Office approves it, the organization
must gather roughly 37,000 signatures -- the exact number will be
derived from votes in the 2014 election -- for it to appear on the
2016 ballot, said Peggy Nighswonger, state elections director. 
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