Major state media outlets focus on Wisconsin medical cannabis patients and hopes for passage

Posted: April 9, 2019 by Gary Storck
Category: Breaking News

On Sunday April 7, two long articles about medical cannabis legalization in Wisconsin were published, the first in the Wisconsin State Journal, the second a project of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WCIJ) that appeared in media all over the state starting including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, Wisconsin Law Journal, US News & World Report, Channel3000,, WBAY-Green Bay, Appleton Post-Crescent, WTMJ, Urban Milwaukee, Wisconsin Public Radio, Lake Mills Leader, Madison365, Door County Pulse, Superior Telegram, and other media outlets. I was a source for both articles and was quoted in both as well as photographed vaporizing my medicine for the WCIJ article. My work here at Cannabadger was also noted.

I am grateful to Dee Hall, Suzie Kazr and Coburn Dukehart of WCIJ and David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal for this excellent reporting. It took decades of efforts to get medical cannabis awareness in Wisconsin to where it is today. I worked with patients who gave it their all, knowing they would not see it in their lifetime.

As I noted in the WCIJ article, “The push for medical may be a step too far for some, as well as the proposed decriminalization, but these issues have majority popular support, and I hope the GOP will listen to the will of the people”

Read the WCIJ article below:
Marijuana advocates have hope but face hurdles as Wisconsin eyes legalization
Public support for cannabis is growing, but GOP lawmakers mostly oppose Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to legalize medical cannabis and possession of small amounts

By Suzie Kazar (Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism) April 7, 2019

Gary Storck has been here before.

For decades, Storck, a longtime medical marijuana advocate from Madison, has been pushing the state Legislature to legalize his medicine. Storck suffers from glaucoma. He uses cannabis to slow progression of the disease, which is gradually robbing him of his sight.

The first big moment was in 2002, when statewide polling found that 80.3 percent of Wisconsinites supported medical marijuana. Storck was ecstatic. When he first heard the numbers, “I jumped in the air about a foot, I think. I was so happy to see that level of support.”

Storck was convinced that this would be the moment to finally legalize medical marijuana. Volunteers from Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, a group that Storck co-founded, placed copies of the polling results in every office at the State Capitol.

“We thought, they see this, they’re going to pass it,” Storck said. “Well, it didn’t happen.” A bipartisan bill sponsored by former Republican Rep. Gregg Underheim of Oshkosh did not make it out of committee.

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Madison, Wis., resident Gary Storck has suffered from glaucoma since he was a child. When he was a teenager, Storck read that marijuana could relieve the pressure and pain in his eyes, and he has been using it as a medicine ever since. He is seen in his apartment in Madison with his cat, Roy, on March 20.

In 2009, Wisconsin Democrats swept into power and took control of the governor’s office, the Assembly and the Senate. Medical marijuana was back on the table, with help from politicians including Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point. Political support seemed to be on the upswing.

That year, a public hearing was held. “People came from all over the state,” Storck said. “It was an eight-hour, standing-room-only public hearing. A lot of patients, they drove so far, and they were waiting and waiting, and they had to leave.”

Fifty-five people spoke in favor of the bill; another 49 registered in favor. Five people spoke against it.

“It seemed like the stars had aligned for us,” Storck said.

But the bill, unable to garner enough bipartisan support, never got a vote. Powerful interests, including the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, were opposed.

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