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1US WI: Column: Mills: It's Time To End The War On DrugsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Mills, Emily Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

I grew up in the 1980s, back when the "Just Say No" campaign was in full swing. I remember being prepared to fend off relentless peer pressure to do drugs, evil strangers offering what was not actually candy, and so forth. Then I grew up, and almost none of the scenarios I'd been taught in D.A.R.E. ever really came to pass.

I still avoided drugs, mostly because of a combination of a good home life and an over-analytical brain. It wasn't as if drugs weren't around, though. I watched too many of my friends experiment with everything from speed to acid. No one ever pressured me to try it. It was simply there if you wanted to dive in.

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2US WI: Gov. Scott Walker Signs Bills Fighting Spread Of OpiatesMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills Monday to combat the spread of opiates and was set to approve four more.

The 11 measures, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, would funnel more money into fighting opiates, tighten the ability to get some drugs from pharmacies and give doctors more guidance on treating addiction. They were passed in a special session the Republican governor called in January.

"We've taken serious steps to combat this issue, including creating the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse, but we won't stop until there are zero opioid overdoses in Wisconsin," Walker said in a statement.

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3US WI: Oped: Crowley: Legalize Marijuana To Combat Growing OpioidSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Crowley, David Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

America's opioid epidemic is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. From 2000 to 2015, over half-a-million Americans died of opioid abuse and overdose. Ninety-one Americans die every single day for the same reasons.

While illegal drugs like heroin have contributed greatly to this epidemic, prescription opioids are the leading cause of overdose and death for Americans suffering from opioid addiction.

Since 1999, the amount of prescribed opioids in the United States has nearly quadrupled without a meaningful change in the actual amount of pain that Americans report to their doctors. In Wisconsin, the rate of opioid-related deaths has nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015, from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents to 10.7 deaths per 100,000.

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4US WI: 2 Milwaukee Men Charged In Killing Of Teen During MarijuanaTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Two Milwaukee men were charged Tuesday in connection with a shooting on the city's northwest side that killed a teenager late last month.

[name redacted], 21, and [name redacted], 34, were charged with first-degree reckless homicide, as party to a crime and use of a dangerous weapon in a shooting that killed Ramsey Wheeler, 19, on June 28.

A 21-year-old man who was injured during the shooting was identified as Wheeler's brother in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

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5 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Could Solve Many State ProblemsFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:47 Added:06/13/2017

Thanks for the June 2 editorial, "Possession penalties are too harsh."

While any discussion about reforming Wisconsin's draconian marijuana laws is certainly welcome, decriminalization is an old idea that still leaves out a legal source for pot.

As your editorial noted, eight states have already legalized pot for adult use. More states are currently in the process. Our neighbors Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, which already have medical marijuana, are all exploring legalizing adult use.

Wisconsin is ready, too. The July 2016 Marquette Law School Poll found 59 percent favoring legal pot for adults. Wisconsinites also have long supported medical use by even higher margins. Yet failure to "get it done" has cost Wisconsin at lot.

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6 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Referendum Should Be WelcomedMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:33 Added:02/04/2017

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, recently introduced legislation that would place an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot asking state voters if they support legalizing medical cannabis.

In 2012, after Washington and Colorado voters passed initiatives legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press published an article looking at potential legalization in other states.

Wisconsin was included: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker said ... he's not interested in legalizing marijuana. The only way he sees it happening is if state residents approve the idea in a referendum similar to Colorado and Washington."

Walker has not weighed in on the advisory referendum proposal since it was introduced, but his 2012 comments to the AP certainly suggest he should welcome Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor's proposal to let voters decide.

Gary Storck, Madison

[end]

7US WI: Tittl, Lemahieu Talk Medical MarijuanaMon, 23 Jan 2017
Source:Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, WI) Author:Schafer, Alisa M. Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2017

MANITOWOC - A listening session hosted by State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, and Republican State Sen. Devin LeMahieu Monday was dominated by talks of legalizing medical marijuana.

Out of the 25 attendees to Monday's listening session, nine people voiced their support of legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Many cited mental health issues they believed would be better treated with cannabis oil than with pharmaceuticals. "It seems there is a numerous amount of people interested in passing medical marijuana in the State of Wisconsin," Tittl said. "I think it is to the point where we should have the conversation -- I'm not saying whether I am for it or against it -- but I think more information does need to come out on both sides."

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8 US WI: Editorial: Marijuana's Medical Benefits Can't Be IgnoredThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, WI) Author:Marlaire, Liam Area:Wisconsin Lines:93 Added:01/20/2017

Medical marijuana use should be legal in Wisconsin.

Twenty-eight states -- Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Ohio joined in November -- and the District of Columbia allow for such use. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana 11 years ago.

There are signs that Wisconsin may eventually adopt that stance. Although Republicans in the state often have opposed such measures, The Associated Press reported that state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, is circulating a bill that would make possessing a marijuana extract used to prevent seizures legal with a doctor's certification.

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9 US WI: PUB LTE: Gary Storck: 'Dr.' Scott Walker Needs Update OnSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Capital Times, The (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:50 Added:01/16/2017

Dear Editor: Gov. Scott Walker indicated in a recent interview that he believes the only medical use from the cannabis plant is limited to just one cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), and only for use for childhood seizure disorders that don't respond to conventional treatments.

Medical marijuana isn't needed according to "Dr." Walker, because "studies show medically there are much more viable alternatives within the health care community."

The health care community might beg to differ, having produced more than 22,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids. Marijuana has been studied more than 85-90 percent of prescription medications.

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10US WI: OPED: Brannon, Goldman: Shenanigans Cause Problems ForTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Brannon, Ike Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

It is time to take a second look at reforming the opioid market, starting with the regulatory environment.

[photo] Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman of Capital Policy Analytics argue that it's time to reform the opioid market, starting with the regulatory environment. Capital Policy Analytics is a Washington, D.C., based consulting firm that provides economic analysis to businesses regarding how government policies affect markets and the broader economy.(Photo: TNS)

Attorneys general from nearly every state and across the political spectrum agree that the makers of the drug Suboxone, a widely used treatment that reduces cravings for opiate addicts, violated state and federal antitrust laws.

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11US WI: Heroin Deaths In Milwaukee County Jump By 72%Mon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

The deadly toll of heroin, deemed a public health crisis by many officials in Wisconsin, isn't slowing down.

Heroin-related deaths in Milwaukee County skyrocketed by 72% last year compared with 2013, according to data released Wednesday by the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

In 2014, 119 people died from heroin-related overdoses, and for the second year in a row in Milwaukee County, heroin-related deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths, of which 74 occurred.

Heroin-related deaths also account for nearly half the 249 drug-related deaths investigated by the medical examiner's office. Several drug-related deaths from 2014 remain under investigation, but heroin has been ruled out as a contributing factor.

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12US WI: Federal, Local Officials To Target Opioid, Heroin AbuseMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

Federal and local authorities announced on Wednesday that Milwaukee has been chosen to take part in a new $2 million comprehensive strategy led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prevent opioid misuse, heroin abuse and violent crime.

The "360 Degree Strategy" will strengthen partnerships among health care professionals, social service organizations and government service agencies to provide long-term help and support to create drug-free communities, said Dennis A. Wichern, special agent in charge at the DEA's Chicago Field Division.

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13US WI: Soaring Drug Deaths Bring Search For AnswersMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

In Milwaukee County, a record 299 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, outstripping the 255 total deaths in 2015, which was itself a record. That preliminary total does not include an estimated 45 suspected drug-related deaths that are awaiting toxicology results.

[photo] Alyssa Anderson, 24, died in March 2015 of a heroin overdose. She was one of 281 people who died from heroin statewide in 2015 and the death toll continued to climb in 2016.(Photo: Family photo)

Annette Renk remembers her daughter playing the violin and bass guitar, exploring nature and caring for her pets -- a cat, a snake and a tarantula.

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14US WI: Editorial: Walker's Leadership Key In Fight Against HeroinSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

Walker rightly noted that addressing the issue will stem a public health problem and help the state's economy.

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday called for a special legislative session to fight heroin addiction and ordered state agencies to ramp up their response to a drug that kills hundreds in Wisconsin each year.(Photo: Associated Press)

Gov. Scott Walker has it right: Heroin addiction is a public health crisis in Wisconsin, and state officials must ramp up efforts to respond more urgently and effectively to a killer that takes hundreds of lives each year. His leadership will be key in making that happen.

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15US WI: CDC Warns Of High Opioid Use By Women Of Childbearing AgeSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Fauber, John Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

Narcotic painkillers - which can cause birth defects - commonly were prescribed for women of reproductive age, according to new data presented Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research, which looked at the years 2008-2012, found that 39% of women ages 15 to 44 on Medicaid and 28% of those on private insurance received an opioid prescription.

"Many women of reproductive age are taking these medicines and may not know they are pregnant and therefore may be unknowingly exposing their unborn child," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

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16US WI Scott Walker Signs Bills Aimed At Fighting Wisconsin HeroinThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Marley, Patrick Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills Monday aimed at fighting the state's growing heroin problem during stops around the state.

The new laws include ones that will allow drug users to call 911 about overdoses without fear of prosecution, expand treatment alternatives and create quicker punishments for offenders who violate the terms of their probation.

Walker signed the bills at events in Marinette, Stevens Point, Eau Claire and Milwaukee. The Marinette County Courthouse was chosen as one venue because it is in the district ofstate Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), who has taken a lead in drafting the measures. Nygren's daughter Cassie has struggled with heroin addiction.

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17US WI: Assembly Unanimously Approves Bills To Fight Heroin AbuseThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison - The state would expand the fight against heroin abuse and approve labor contracts with the few remaining state employee unions, under legislation unanimously passed by lawmakers Tuesday.

Without dissent, the Assembly approved the measures on drug abuse and sent them to the Senate, which is expected to take them up in the coming weeks. Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen support the measures.

If the heroin bills become law, users of the deadly drug would be immune from liability if they called 911 to report overdoses, and more first responders could carry drugs to counteract overdoses. People also would have to show identification when they pick up many prescriptions, and communities would be able to set up drug-disposal programs more easily.

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18US WI: Study Backs More Use In Wisconsin Of Life-SavingThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

A drug that can stop a heroin overdose, and potentially save a life, is available in Wisconsin. One agency provides the doses at no cost.

But it's against the law for an individual with a prescription for naloxone, commonly known by its brand name Narcan, to use the drug on a friend or someone else overdosing on other opiates such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone.

A recent report from the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse has recommended a 911 Good Samaritan Law to state lawmakers that, among other provisions, would offer limited immunity in such cases.

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19US WI: Scott Walker Signs Bills Targeting Heroin, Other DrugsThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison- Doctors will have to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs, under a broad series of bills that Gov. Scott Walker signed Thursday to curb the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.

"Wisconsin, like many other states across the country, is noticing a dangerous trend - an escalating number of cases involving heroin and opioid use, addiction, and overdose. The legislation we're signing into law today as a part of our HOPE tour works to combat this trend," Walker said in a statement.

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20US WI: Gov. Scott Walker Takes Actions On Heroin AddictionThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

[photo] Gov. Scott Walker announced the creation of a state task force to address the Wisconsin's troubling increase in opioid abuse at a Walgreens pharmacy at 3522 W. Wisconsin Ave.(Photo: Maggie Angst / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday called for a special legislative session to fight heroin addiction and ordered state agencies to ramp up their response to a drug that kills hundreds in Wisconsin each year.

The Republican governor held series of events Thursday in Weston, Green Bay and Chippewa Falls to announce the special session and the executive orders, which seek to implement recommendations from a report issued by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette).

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21US WI: Free Marijuana To Be Handed Out Inauguration DayWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/04/2017

WASHINGTON -- The DC Cannabis Coalition says it plans to hand out thousands of joints of marijuana on Inauguration Day -- for free -- to urge federal legalization of pot.

The group plans to start handing out joints at 8 a.m. Jan. 20 on the west side of Dupont Circle in the nation's capital, where recreational marijuana is legal. Then, marchers will walk to the National Mall where the real protest will begin.

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22US WI: Schools Want Input On Expanding Drug TestingWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:McMahon, Todd Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/04/2017

A recommendation by state Rep. Joel Kleefisch would have parents request their high school students be tested for illegal drugs.

Students drive out of the parking lot at the end of the school day at De Pere High School on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Students who have parking permits at the school are subjected to random drug testing throughout the school year.(Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)

GREEN BAY - Rep. Joel Kleefisch had a ready response for lawmakers and school administrators who were quick to speak out against a proposal late last year for statewide random drug testing in high schools.

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23US WI: Heroin Suspected In 20 Deaths In 2 WeeksWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Post-Crescent, The (Appleton, WI) Author:Stephenson, Crocker Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

Twenty people have died of probable heroin overdoses in Milwaukee County since July 27.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office says this is a photo of a typical drug-overdose death scene.(Photo: Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, Milwaukee County Medical Examiner 's Office)

Twenty people have died of probable heroin overdoses in Milwaukee County during the past two weeks, a toll the county medical examiner's office on Thursday called "unprecedented."

The county typically averages one heroin death every three days, the office said. The medical examiner is investigating the possibility that other drugs, such as fentanyl, played a role in the deaths.

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24US WI: Teen Charged In 15-Year-Old's Fatal OverdoseSat, 24 Dec 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Vielmetti, Bruce Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

Among the dozens of tragic stories of heroin abuse this year, one from Oconomowoc may stand out.

A 15-year-old girl whose mother believes had never tried the drug before died after trying what her ex-boyfriend told her was cocaine.

That was in July. Now a spray of pine boughs and red ribbons marks the holidays at Erika Reiner's gravestone, etched with a panda bear and a musical staff, as her parents struggle through her loss.

The boy, 17-year-old Seth Moretti, is in treatment at a state mental hospital and facing charges of first-degree reckless homicide. If and when doctors say he's stable enough to be released, he will move to the Waukesha County Jail unless he posts $50,000 bail. If he's still hospitalized, Moretti will appear by video at a Jan. 26 hearing.

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25US WI: Heroin Killed 281 In Wisconsin In 2015Wed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Litke, Eric Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

A police officer holds a bag of heroin confiscated as evidence on March 22 in Gloucester, Mass.(Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK)

Wisconsin's battle against heroin yielded more grim results in 2015.

The death toll rose for the ninth straight year, and the total of 281 deaths was triple the number killed by heroin in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of total opioid deaths -- which includes heroin and prescription opiates -- topped the number of Wisconsin traffic deaths for the third straight year.

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26 US WI: For Small-Town Cops, Opioid Scourge Hits Close To HomeThu, 29 Sep 2016
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Whalen, Jeanne Area:Wisconsin Lines:255 Added:09/30/2016

Flood of fentanyl and heroin is straining budgets, putting police at risk as drug networks spread

During an attempted drug-trafficking bust this spring on Chicago's South Side, police Sgt. James Madden took off running after a young man, chasing him into a darkened yard before losing the trail.

Sgt. Madden didn't know where he was going. That's because he works for a sheriff's office 500 miles away, in the northwestern corner of Wisconsin.

The officer's work doesn't normally take him so far from his home of Superior, Wis., (population 27,000), but today's drug trade is imposing unprecedented new burdens on small-town law enforcement. He made the eight-hour drive to pursue a Chicagoan who allegedly traveled to Superior to sell large quantities of a dangerous drug called fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times as potent as heroin. is supercharging the longstanding problem of drugs in small towns. Police, forensic labs and prosecutors are struggling to identify and safely intercept new narcotics that can sicken or kill anyone who handles them, and to combat trafficking networks that sometimes extend many hours away. Death rates from overdoses are now higher in rural areas than in big cities, reversing a historical trend.

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27 US WI: PUB LTE: Feingold Should Reveal His Thoughts OnThu, 18 Aug 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:42 Added:08/19/2016

Much has changed in the cannabis world since Russ Feingold lost to Ron Johnson in 2010.

Then, about 15 states had legalized medical cannabis, a number now at 25. Today, four states and Washington, D.C., have legalized adult use. This November, at least three more will vote on medical, and five more will vote on adult use.

Feingold's record has been thin. While cannabis activists extensively advocated for his support, he never sponsored any bills.

The federal CARERS Act would make it easier for researchers to study marijuana. It is sponsored by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and has 19 cosponsors including U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison.

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28 US WI: PUB LTE: Marijuana Is Not The ProblemMon, 18 Jul 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Schmutzler, Stefanie Area:Wisconsin Lines:40 Added:07/18/2016

The last sentence of Ann C. Pendleton's letter of July 11 posed a question: "If marijuana can be legalized for recreational use, then why are not other drugs being legalized for recreational use?" ("Marijuana is dangerous," Letters).

My immediate reaction: Are you kidding me? Just walk into any liquor store and you have a much more dangerous drug of all sorts to choose from. Pick your poison. Liquor and its use causes more deaths and accidents than marijuana. There is just no argument.

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29 US WI: Poll: Strong Majority Of Wisconsinites Want LegalThu, 14 Jul 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Sommerhauser, Mark Area:Wisconsin Lines:47 Added:07/18/2016

A majority of Wisconsinites want marijuana to be legal and regulated like alcohol, a new poll shows.

Results were released Wednesday for the Marquette Law School Poll, a leading measure of public opinion in the Badger State.

The poll asked registered voters: "When it comes to marijuana, some people think that the drug should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol. Do you agree or disagree with that view?"

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they agreed, while 39 percent disagreed.

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30 US WI: LTE: Marijuana Is DangerousSun, 10 Jul 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Pendleton, Ann C. Area:Wisconsin Lines:28 Added:07/12/2016

Because Colorado has materially experienced some advantages by legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use, one needs to evaluate what the real disadvantages are.

To say "marijuana does not kill anyone" is unrealistic when the use of marijuana many times leads to the use of heroin or other drugs that end in death, like my 20-year-old nephew, or may be a danger to others.

Marijuana is a drug. Use it only for medicinal purposes. If marijuana can be legalized for recreational use, then why are not other drugs being legalized for recreational use?

Ann C. Pendleton

Wauwatosa

[end]

31 US WI: Call To Reduce Pot Fines RenewedFri, 01 Jul 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Glaze, Jeff Area:Wisconsin Lines:82 Added:07/04/2016

A marijuana advocacy group has revived an effort to drastically reduce penalties for being caught with the drug in Monona.

Members of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) are circulating a petition that supports reducing municipal fines for pot possession to $1 in hopes of placing a binding referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Since mid-May, the group has gathered signatures to try to force action under the state's direct legislation law after a similar ordinance change was narrowly defeated by the city's Public Safety Commission earlier this year.

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32 US WI: PUB LTE: Legalize MarijuanaSun, 03 Jul 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Krowas, Wilma Area:Wisconsin Lines:41 Added:07/03/2016

One answer to Wisconsin money woes is to simply legalize marijuana, using Colorado as a model - legal, but controlled, taxed and sold for medical and recreational use.

I am a native of Colorado and am marveling over the improvements Colorado is getting from the "pot" tax. Even in my hometown Fort Morgan, schools are getting computers and a new school is coming. The state is booming.

Marijuana does not kill anyone and has helped many people cope with several medical issues. Moreover, new medical uses are being tested every day, such as for cancer, Alzheimer's and childhood seizures. As a cancer survivor, I want the benefits of cannabis and other options coming. The savings from policing funds can be used for research instead and help out with our infrastructure needs.

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33 US WI: Marijuana Supporters Pushing For Binding ReferendumThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Herald-Independent, The (Monona/Cottage Grove, WI) Author:Passon, Kevin Area:Wisconsin Lines:68 Added:06/21/2016

Surprise and disappointment have turned to a unique history-making opportunity for a group of people wanting a $1 fine for possession of marijuana in Monona.

Members of Madison NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), led by President Nate Petreman of Monona, are collecting signatures to force the issue to a binding direct legislation referendum on the November ballot. In addition to the $1 fine, the legislation would make possession of marijuana the lowest priority for Monona police.

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34 US WI: PUB LTE: Marquette Poll Should Ask About PotFri, 17 Jun 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:37 Added:06/18/2016

Another Marquette Law School poll is out. But once again, no questions about cannabis legalization were asked. One has to go all the way back to September 2014 for that.

Each time a poll is released, it gets massive media attention. The issues raised by the poll trigger public discussion and shape the state debate. By failing to include public opinions on cannabis, Marquette is stifling debate. Is that for political reasons?

Wisconsinites are not oblivious to developments in other states. Twenty-six states now have some sort of medical cannabis law, including Louisiana, where a formerly symbolic law passed in 1978 was recently amended to create a workable state medical cannabis program. Wisconsin passed a similar law in 1982. In Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and Washington D.C., voters have legalized the adult use of cannabis, and more states will be voting on medical and adult use this November.

Here in Wisconsin the topic apparently has been declared taboo. This represents a grave disservice to state voters. Professor Charles Franklin and the Marquette Law School poll must do better if they care about their mission.

- -- Gary Storck, Madison

[end]

35US WI: Column: Police Seize Oil From Vape ShopFri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stingl, Jim Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:06/10/2016

They Find Trace of Marijuana Ingredient

Janet Fazen and her family run a vape shop in West Allis, but a recent visit by police has left them feeling like dope dealers. Officers seized their entire inventory of CBD liquid, which is said to come from industrial hemp plants. "The original vape additive. Add to your favorite liquid or vape alone," the package says.

Customers who buy it have told Fazen that it gives some relief from pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety and other maladies. There is a trace of THC, the ingredient that gives weed its buzz, but not enough to make anyone high, she said. Minors are not allowed in the store without a parent.

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36 US WI: PUB LTE: Legalize MarijuanaThu, 09 Jun 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Yanke, Audrey Area:Wisconsin Lines:28 Added:06/09/2016

This is in response to Ernst-Ulrich Franzen's column of June 6 ("How will we pay for roads?" Opinions).

He asks: "How will we pay for our roads?" and "What's the answer for those crumbling roads and potholes and deteriorating bridges all around us?"

He might want to check with the state of Colorado, as it is swimming in money these days. I'll bet it has no problem whatsoever paying for road repairs, or any other issues that need fixing.

Wisconsin should wake up from its fuddy-duddy slumber and start looking forward to the future. The answer is plain as day: legalize recreational marijuana. Problem solved!

Audrey Yanke Waukesha

[end]

37US WI: Drug Charges Expected Against InmatesSat, 04 Jun 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:06/04/2016

Probe Underway After Overdose Death at Oshkosh

State corrections officials think multiple inmates will be charged in connection with alleged drug distribution within an Oshkosh prison and the recent death of one inmate of an apparent drug overdose, records show.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported on the May 5 death of the 33-year-old inmate within a segregated unit at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution. With investigations ongoing, officials at the prison said they are withholding any reports on the death or any potential probes into alleged drug distribution within the prison.

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38 US WI: OPED: Anti-marijuana Letter Worn Out PropagandaThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:Tomah Journal, The (WI) Author:King, Chris Area:Wisconsin Lines:114 Added:05/02/2016

I was recently scrolling the opinion pages of the Tomah Journal online, and buried behind all of the really interesting stuff, I came across another letter to the editor from Natalie Carlisle, the Drug Free Communities coordinator and member of the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition's Marijuana Workgroup.

I have no desire to take things personally on matters of public policy. However, before the city of Tomah elected me to serve as District 4 Tomah City Alderman, Ms. Carlisle and her coalition mentioned my previous column calling for reform of Tomah's municipal code in regard to the penalties for possession of marijuana within the city limits. Therefore, in the interest of perpetuating a necessary conversation and equality of information, I do feel it necessary to highlight some of the worn out, tired propaganda and misinformation that is used to try to justify the continued violation of human rights in the form of arrests for a substance that is widely understood to be less dangerous than alcohol.

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39US WI: OPED: Opioid Abuse: How We Got HereThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Khatri, Bhupendra O. Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:04/28/2016

Deaths from drug overdose now outnumber gun deaths in the United States. We should look at what got us into this situation.

In the 1990s, armed with the knowledge that nearly one-third of Americans will experience chronic pain at some point in their lives, and that 20% suffer from pain on a daily basis, Congress felt compelled to act. It could not bear the fact that "pain" was costing the country more than $125 billion a year. It went to work and expeditiously named the 2000s as the "Decade of Pain Control and Research."

[continues 776 words]

40US WI: OPED: The Missing Piece In State Response To HeroinThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Kraig, Robert Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:04/28/2016

In modern medicine, it is only common sense that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is well understood by patients and doctors alike that it is much more effective and cheaper to prevent a disease, or catch it in its early stages, than to treat it once it has become a serious health risk.

Although there is now an overwhelming expert consensus that drug and alcohol addiction are medical conditions, just like breast cancer or diabetes, our approach to prevention has not caught up to the medical science.

[continues 537 words]

41US WI: Sanders Not Blowing Smoke About PotFri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Kertscher, Tom Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:04/23/2016

Campaigning for president in the liberal oasis of Madison, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont rose to the defense of marijuana.

Critical of the nation's war on drugs, Sanders said the lives of millions of Americans have been "ruined" because they got a police record for possessing marijuana.

"Today, under the federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin. That is nuts," Sanders declared March 26, 10 days before he defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin's Democratic primary.

[continues 694 words]

42 US WI: PUB LTE: Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana CasesThu, 21 Apr 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Uller, Joshua Area:Wisconsin Lines:50 Added:04/23/2016

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm has announced he is running for re-election ("Milwaukee County DA Chisholm announces re-election bid," April 19).

To kick off his campaign, he hosted a campaign fund-raising event on April 20, or 4/20, a day heralded by the movement for reform of our country's marijuana laws. Perhaps Chisholm can celebrate both his campaign kickoff and 4/20 by announcing that his office will no longer criminally prosecute marijuana possession cases or distribution cases involving small amounts of marijuana.

[continues 249 words]

43 US WI: PUB LTE: Medical Cannabis Could Help Opiate CrisisFri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:37 Added:04/23/2016

News reports on the rapidly rising use of Narcan by Wisconsin first responders to revive people suffering opiate overdoses show the state's opiate crisis is continuing to escalate. This comes despite passage of many laws over the last two sessions intended to address this situation.

Wisconsin could address both the issue of opiate abuse and the huge need for safer pain medications by passing state medical cannabis legislation.

In Maine, where medical cannabis was legalized by voters in 1999, work has begun on adding "addiction to opiates and drugs derived from chemical synthesis" to the list of qualifying conditions that may be treated with medical cannabis.

[continues 90 words]

44 US WI: Smoke BreakWed, 20 Apr 2016
Source:Isthmus (WI) Author:Bren, Cameron Area:Wisconsin Lines:147 Added:04/23/2016

Dane County Pushing Municipalities to Lower Fines for Pot Possession

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has seen how possession of a small amount of marijuana can affect families in vastly different ways.

"A young person would get charged with possession of marijuana, and their family would be facing a fine of over $1,000; that obviously comes down disproportionately on people living in poverty, and that can really set them back," Parisi says. "Fines wouldn't get paid, which would make it difficult or impossible for young people to get a job."

[continues 1048 words]

45 US WI: In Sentencing, Judge Insistent Drug Court NeededWed, 13 Apr 2016
Source:Portage Daily Register (WI) Author:Stefonek, Jonathan Area:Wisconsin Lines:136 Added:04/12/2016

A sentencing hearing for a Portage woman charged with reckless homicide overflowed with emotional testimony, culminating in a decision in which the judge lamented the court being ill-equipped to deal with such cases in the absence of a drug treatment court.

[name1 redacted], 27, of Portage, was accused of first-degree reckless homicide as a party to a crime in connection with the August death of [name2 redacted], 27, of Lodi.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office responded Aug. 18 to a Lodi-area home for a death investigation.

[continues 885 words]

46US WI: Vos Vows Another Run At Cannabidiol MeasureTue, 22 Mar 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2016

Assembly Speaker Says He'll Again Push Bill to Treat Seizures

Madison - Frustrated with last week's failure of a bill to help children with chronic seizures, the head of the state Assembly said he's going to push the proposal as soon as possible next session.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has described himself as a former skeptic who's become a convert to the possibilities of socalled CBD oil, a strictly controlled drug sometimes used to treat severely epileptic children with few other medical options.

[continues 723 words]

47US WI: Editorial: The State Senate's FailureFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:03/18/2016

Scott Fitzgerald had indicated he was in favor of a bill to help kids prone to seizures get the medicine they need. So was a majority of the state Senate. But the apparent support of the Senate majority leader and his colleagues wasn't enough when three top Republicans - Senate President Mary Lazich of New Berlin and Senators Duey Stroebel of Cedarburg and Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa - blocked it.

So Fitzgerald derailed a floor vote on the legislation earlier this week by scheduling a hearing on the bill and then canceling it. Bills can't be brought to the floor if a hearing is pending. Fitzgerald used the end around to protect his colleagues. Democrats countered by attempting to take a two-thirds vote to override the rule, but Fitzgerald quickly adjourned the Senate before a vote could be held.

[continues 253 words]

48US WI: Senate Blocks Cannabidiol Oil BillWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2016

Online Voter Registration, Other Measures Approved

Madison- In a final marathon of voting, the Senate adjourned Tuesday by sending Gov. Scott Walker a bill to allow people to register to vote online and by blocking a proposal to make it easier for parents to get a drug to treat child seizures.

Senators also approved a bill that would prevent up to $5 million in property tax increases by public schools outside Milwaukee that lose students to voucher schools.

Also Tuesday, the Senate passed a different version of a bill on high-capacity wells than one the Assembly approved last month. That appeared to kill the measure since the Assembly has already ended its work for the year.

[continues 1039 words]

49 US WI: PUB LTE: Anti-Pot Laws Based On Racism, Greed AndFri, 11 Mar 2016
Source:Herald-Independent, The (Monona/Cottage Grove, WI) Author:White, Stan Area:Wisconsin Lines:25 Added:03/12/2016

To the editor,

Gary Storck (Monona voters want marijuana to be legal, Mar. 3, 2016) exposes another achievement of government-subsidized prohibitionist discrimination in a country where the prevalence of discrimination is undeniable. And make no mistake; bigots orchestrated cannabis (marijuana) prohibition from the beginning as an act of racism, greed and control. A sane or moral argument to force the black market to continue regulating the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given plant cannabis doesn't exist.

Stan White Dillon, Colo.

[end]

50 US WI: PUB LTE: No Sane Reason To Criminalize CannabisMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:White, Stan Area:Wisconsin Lines:32 Added:03/08/2016

Thursday's letter "Listen to the people about marijuana" reminds me how difficult it was for Colorado citizens to cleanse ourselves of cannabis (marijuana) prohibition.

If it weren't for the initiative process, the sky would still be falling in. Cannabis prohibitionists used every historically discredited lie, half-truth and propaganda they could muster, and then we voted. Like Colorado, the majority of Wisconsin citizens also support ending cannabis prohibition. But without the initiative process available to voters, government subsidized cannabis prohibitionists will continue ignoring citizens.

A sane or moral reason does not exist to continue punishing and caging responsible adults who use the relatively safe, extremely popular, God-given plant as described on literally the very first page of the Bible.

- -- Stan White, Dillon, Colorado

[end]


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