Author: Eric Marsch

Cannabis Saves Lives – An Art Piece Proposal

Someone had a great idea for an artistic visual aide to the number of lives cannabis can save in Wisconsin by reducing opiate deaths by 25%, which would save 216 lives in Wisconsin based on the 2016 opiate death toll of 865. The idea is to use 865 prescription bill bottles to create a sculpture in the shape of a human body, with 216 of them colored green to represent the lives that would be saved by medical cannabis laws. Once completed, this piece will be a powerful visual to draw media attention to the importance of reforming cannabis laws.

The first step to making this is collecting 865 prescription pill bottles. The exact size of the bottle doesn’t matter, but we want them to be real prescription bottles. Make sure to take the labels off first, to protect your privacy, and of course, the bottles should be empty.

SE WI NORML will be at Knucks Fest at the Miramar Theater on Friday 9/14, then at Bay View Bash on Saturday 9/15. We’ll also be at Harvest Fest in Madison 10/6 and 10/7. Stop by our table to drop off prescription bottles. Otherwise contact me at eric@sewinorml.org to arrange a way to get them to us. We’ll be reaching out to local businesses for collection as well.

This will probably not be done in time for the election, so we’ll plan to have it ready for the new legislative session in January, when we’ll have to pressure the newly-elected representatives to make cannabis law reform a priority.

Advisory Referendum Hearings in the Next Couple Weeks

Many county boards will be hearing public comments regarding cannabis legalization advisory referendums over the next two weeks. Please attend your local hearings and voice your support for referendums on the November ballot so we can highlight the support that legalization of cannabis has.

If you do choose to speak, please arrive a little early and come prepared either with facts, statistics, studies, or a personal story of how cannabis has helped you or someone you know. And please remember to be civil and respectful – we don’t want any board members to vote against us out of spite.

Langlade County

Tuesday, August 21th
9:00am
840 Clermont St, Antigo
County Board Room on the lower level

Fond du Lac County

Tuesday August 21th
6:00pm
160 S Macy St, Fond du Lac
Legislative Chambers of the City-County Government Center

Eau Claire County

Tuesday August 21th
7:00pm
721 Oxford Ave, Eau Claire
Room 1277

Marquette County

Tuesday August 21th
7:00pm
67 W. Park St., Montello

Forest County

Tuesday August 21th
7:00pm
200 E Madison St, Crandon

Kenosha County

Tuesday August 21th
7:30pm
1010 56th St, Kenosha

Racine County

Tuesday, August 28th
6:30pm
14200 Washington Ave. Sturtevant

Hope to see you there!

Legalization Advisory Referendum Hearings Coming Up

This is a big month for cannabis legalization advisory referendums. There are County Board hearings about adding a cannabis legalization advisory referendum to the November ballot in 7 counties! If you live in one of these counties, please try to make the hearing so you can speak in support. There is opposition to these referendums in these counties, so we need to show strong support for them and tell the board about the importance of cannabis legalization.

St. Croix County

Monday July 9th @ 5:00pm
County Board Room
1101 Carmichael Road, Hudson
Meeting Agenda

Brown County

Monday July 9th @ 5:30pm
Room 200
305 E Walnut St, Green Bay
Meeting Agenda

Sauk County

Tuesday July 10th @ 1:00pm
Room 213, West Square Building
505 Broadway, Baraboo
Meeting Agenda

Langlade County

Tuesday July 10th @ 1:00pm
County Board Room, Public Safety Building
840 Clermont St, Antigo
Meeting Agenda

Walworth County

Monday July 16th @ 10:00am
Walworth County Government Center
100 W Walworth St, Elkhorn

Winnebego County

Tuesday July 17 @ 6:00pm
Supervisors’ Room, Fourth Floor, Winnebago County Courthouse
415 Jackson Street, Oshkosh

Marathon County

Thursday July 19th @ 7:00pm
500 Forest St, Wausau

Help Us Get Cannabis Legalization Referendums on the Ballot

As many people now know, on May 10th the Judiciary Committee of the Milwaukee County Board voted in favor of adding a cannabis legalization advisory referendum to the November ballot. If passed by the full county board on May 24th, it will ask Milwaukee County voters in November if they think Wisconsin should legalize cannabis. While the results have no legal effect, if legalization wins by a large margin (which we expect it will, given 64% of Americans support legalization according to Gallop Polling) it will help strengthen the push for legalization once the new governor and lawmakers are in office next year.

We want these referendums to be on the ballot in counties all over the state. Please contact your county supervisors and ask them to put a referendum on the ballot in your county as well. If you live in one of the more populated counties of the state, please look below for how you can email a pre-written letter to your county supervisors in support of a referendum.

Unlike with state legislative and congressional lawmakers, we don’t have a slick system for targeting your specific County Supervisor. But we do have an easy way to send a pre-written letter to all of the Supervisors in your county. When you click the link for your county, your web browser will open your default email client with a pre-written letter to send to the supervisors. You can edit the letter if you wish, or you can simply hit send. If this doesn’t work on your computer, try from your phone, which is more likely to have your email client properly setup.

If your county is not listed on here, we can get it up soon. Please contact me at eric@sewinorml.org if you would like me to add your county.

Milwaukee County

The fight in Milwaukee is not over yet. The full county board must approve the advisory referendum in their meeting on May 24th. Please use the link below to contact the Milwaukee County Supervisors.

Email Milwaukee County Supervisors

Dane County

Email Dane County Supervisors

Waukesha County

Email Waukesha County Supervisors

Racine County

Email Racine County Supervisors

Outagamie County

Email Outagamie County Supervisors

Winnebago County

Email Winnebago County Supervisors

​Kenosha County

Email Kenosha County Supervisors

Fond du Lac County

Email Fond du Lac County Supervisors

Pro-cannabis billboard fundraiser

SE WI NORML will be getting pro-cannabis digital billboards in early March! How many billboards we’ll get and how long they’ll stay up all depend on how much you donate! Please contribute at the bottom of the page!

Because the billboards are digital, we will have have our spot rotate between four different messages. Here are the billboard images:

So, where will they go? The two main spots we want them are in Milwaukee:

  • Oakland and North, by the donut shop
  • State Fair Park along I-94 facing Westbound traffic

If we can raise enough money, we would like to get these all around the state!

The goals of these billboards:

  • Show Wisconsin politicians that cannabis legalization will be a major issue in the November election
  • Spur public dialog about cannabis legalization; the more people talk about it and the more the facts are out there, the more support we gain.

With 59% of Wisconsinites supporting cannabis legalization, the only thing holding us back is our current lack of political influence. By putting our messages in front of hundreds of thousands of people and organizing a grassroots army to support pro-cannabis candidates and initiatives across the state, we will quickly attain the power that will enable us to elect a state government that will finally end the injustice of cannabis prohibition.

Fill out the form below, adding your name, email and donation amount. Once you click Continue to PayPal, you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation via PayPal funds or credit card.

Racine Mayoral Candidates – Where They Stand

On October 17th, Racine will be holding a special election for mayor. Here is where the two candidates stand on cannabis law reform.

Alderman Sandy Weidner has been in office for 17 years and did sign the Racine Green Party’s petition to decriminalize possession of 25 grams of cannabis to a $1 fine and a warning within the city limits. She was one of the two candidates of the six running during the primary to reply to SE WI NORML’s questionnaire regarding cannabis law reform. She voiced opposition for legalizing and possessing cannabis, however she did voice support for medicinal and industrial uses of hemp and the benefits hemp could have to Wisconsin’s agricultural economy.

See full answers here.

State Rep Cory Mason has been in office for 11 years and he did not sign the Racine Green Party’s petition to decriminalize possession of 25 grams of cannabis to a $1 fine and a warning within the city limits. He did co-author bill AB409, which decriminalizes up to 10 grams and did say he was in support of Senator Cory Booker’s decriminalization bill. However, according to Cannabadger’s article last year, he doesn’t think that cannabis arrests are a priority. He is not a sponsor of the state medical use bill AB482 and he did not respond to SE WI NORML’s questionnaire regarding cannabis law reform.

SE WI NORML Endorses Fabi Maldonado for Racine Mayor

On September 19th, Racine will be holding a primary election for mayor. The top two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election in October. Southeastern Wisconsin NORML is endorsing Fabi Maldonado for mayor of Racine. If you live in Racine it’s very important that you vote for Fabi. This will likely be a very close race, and a couple dozen votes could very likely mean the difference between victory or defeat. If you know someone who lives in Racine, please urge them to vote for Fabi Maldonado on September 19th.

Fabi has demonstrated a strong commitment to ending the injustice of cannabis prohibition. As co-chair of the Racine Green Party, Fabi lead an effort to lower the fine for cannabis possession in Racine to just $1, collecting over 5,200 signatures for the initiative in 60 days. The current government in Racine ended up disqualifying the ballot initiative on a technicality, but as mayor, Fabi will continue the effort to reduce cannabis arrests in the city and end the injustices of cannabis prohibition upon the community.

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West Milwaukee Update

The Village of West Milwaukee is trying to pull some shenanigans on us. At the village board meeting, the board unanimously voted to reject the petition, on the advice of the village attorney, who told them that the ordinance we are attempting to pass is in conflict with state law. This action of the village board is illegal, in violation of Wisconsin Statute 9.20(4) which gives the village board only two options at this point: either pass the ordinance as-is, or put it on the ballot.
We have attempted to contact the village attorney to resolve the issue, but they have not responded to us. After some research, it appears that we can file a civil lawsuit against the village, seeking what is called “mandamus”. Mandamus is when the courts compel the village to perform its mandatory duty.

Such a lawsuit will likely incur a cost, so we are still hoping to resolve the issue with the Village of West Milwaukee outside of the court system.

The following is the email I just sent to the village board, the village clerk, and the village attorney. It goes into detail about why the village board does not have the authority to make the decision it did, and what we plan to do to remedy the situation.

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Victory in West Milwaukee! Now to Racine!

We have a couple big updates regarding our local decriminalization initiatives!

West Milwaukee

We just received word last week that we collected enough signatures in West Milwaukee to move our $5 decriminalization initiative forward! We turned in 209 signatures, and the village found that 205 of them were valid, well more than the 189 we required. The ordinance now moves to the village council, where they have only two options:

  1. Enact the ordinance right way; or
  2. Put the ordinance on the ballot for the people to vote on

We are confident that the ordinance will pass if brought to a vote of the people of West Milwaukee, and we are prepared to Get Out The Vote for the initiative if it does end up on a ballot. But, we would rather the council pass the ordinance right way so the people of West Milwaukee can benefit from the reduced penalty for cannabis possession as quickly as possible.

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Announcing the 7th Annual Milwaukee Marijuana March

In keeping with tradition, the 7th Annual Milwaukee Marijuana March will be held on the first Saturday in May: Saturday May 6th at Gordon Park! We will be one of hundreds of cities around the world marching for an end to marijuana prohibition!

Meet up at 3:30 at Gordon Park (1321 E Locust St, Milwaukee). We will have a couple guest speakers to get you energized, then we’ll start marching at 4pm.

In past years, the Milwaukee Marijuana March has attracted thousands to speak out against marijuana prohibition. Let’s make this year the biggest yet and send a powerful message in these times of change, that marijuana prohibition needs to end!

Bring signs, noise makers, and all of your friends! This will be a protest against the injustice of prohibition that will be heard all the way to Madison!

RSVP on Facebook