On Thursday November 15, host Tony Castaneda speaks with medicinal marijuana activist and spokesperson and chair of Is My Medicine Legal Yet (IMMLY), Mr. Gary Stork. He says that the election results from last week, regarding legalization of marijuana in states of Colorado and Washington, was a ‘huge victory’ for marijuana activists. Colorado now allows people to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants, in addition to possessing a legal ounce of marijuana; Washington also allows an ounce of marijuana. “We’re finally starting to see the Marijuana prohibition crumble after 75 years” comments Gary.
Gary qualifies the difference between the medicinal use of marijuana and a law allowing general use: those with specific health conditions are exempt from the law prohibiting the use of marijuana, and are allowed to possess and even grow small amounts of it. Under a full legalization law, anyone over the age of 21 can access marijuana without needing a medical reason. They speak about initiatives across the nation, among various states, to begin legalizing the use of marijuana. He speaks specifically about Wisconsin as well, “We did a poll back in 2002, and we found that over 82% of people wanted the state legislature to pass the medical marijuana law. At that time we thought the lawmakers would see this poll and they would do it, but unfortunately they have different priorities…but eventually, marijuana legalization advocacy is going to affect [the legislators]…it’s affecting them right now. It might be a longer road here, but things are beginning to change very fast.” Gary explains that at the Wisconsin state-level, the second offense of any amount of cannabis is considered a felony.
Gary explains the benefits of legalizing cannabis, that it would even improve the economy of Wisconsin. He has even referred to marijuana legalization as the “mother of all job creators.” He also explains the various uses the hemp plant can be put towards, including being a source of food, paper, building material, and even fuel. “It used to be a great crop for Wisconsin farmers, it helped us win WWII.” Hemp foods, Gary says, is an industry by itself.
Is My Medicine Legal Yet is working with Representative Chris Taylor’s office who will now be handling the medical marijuana issue. Gary and activists from Madison NORML will also be working on revisions on the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. He also hopes to have the latest version of the medical marijuana bill in Wisconsin introduced shortly after January 1. “What’s happening in Colorado and Washington is really starting the discussion of this, and its made it okay to talk about, and that’s a big step. People are now going to start saying ‘why not, why should we be wasting all this money to arrest people for something that really isn’t hurting anybody.’ Alcohol is causing far more problems than cannabis could on its worse day. The time has come.”
Listen to the entire interview here: