Marijuana Legalization Promoted

  Marijuana Legalization Promoted

Posted by CN Staff on May 28, 2002 at 18:51:46 PT
By Terri Pederson and Citizen Staff 
Source: Daily Citizen 

A handful of speakers presented reasons for legalizing marijuana during Weedstock Monday afternoon in Beaver Dam. Democratic Governor candidate Ed Thompson and Bernie Delsey, a candidate for the 43rd district state assembly seat both talked in favor of legalizing marijuana."I'm a strong proponent in legalizing medical marijuana," Thompson said. Linda Radloff of Beaver Dam attended the event and agreed with Thompson.
"I'm a nurse, and I like the idea of medical marijuana," Radloff said. "I've worked with AIDS and cancer patients. They need relief, and it is terrible to think of them as being criminals."Thompson said there are other reasons for legalizing marijuana."After five years of working in federal prisons I know non-violent people do not belong locked up with violent people," Thompson said.Although he does not personally use alcohol or any other illegal drugs, Thompson said he believes marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco are. He stressed that he was not advocating selling any form of drugs to children. In fact, he said it may lead to those under age to have less of an opportunity to get the drugs."Gangsters don't have a problem selling drugs to our children," he said.Delsey agrees that legalization is the way to go. He said it would help law enforcement to focus on more violent crimes such as rapists and child molesters."Last week Dionne Warwick was taken away for pot in a lipstick dispenser," Delsey said. "What kind of threat is Dionne Warwick to us?"Organizer Ben Masel shared concerns that having marijuana as an illegal drug has caused more problems then it is worth."There are victims on both sides of the war, and no one is winning," Masel said, about the war on drugs. For 65 years, the drug has been prohibited, but that has not made it unavailable. However, it has made the drug less regulated."Related Article: Weedstock Sees Less Support Than Expected Police presence may have caused many to avoid the gathering Weedstock 2002 saw no arrests but very little support as well."There weren't any arrests," Beaver Dam Police Chief Gary Cox said. "It was good. A very peaceful day."The largest amount of people at the event at one time was about 200 people, and by the end at 6 p.m. only a handful of people were still in attendance. The majority of people who attended the rally stayed around the band shell area, where speakers and bands were heard, while the rest of the park was open for others to enjoy.Several children, in the play area of the park, played without paying attention to the rally.The city staffed extra police for the park during the day, which made many of those in attendance questioning about the presence of the police force."It's a little ridiculous," said Alexis Noles, who traveled more than 90 minutes to come to the event. "If you remove the police, how many people do you actually have left. There is about one cop for every ten people here."Noles said the strong police presence may have stopped many from coming to the event."We had a normal police presence considering the amount of people that the organizer had estimated," Mayor Tom Olson said.The organizer Ben Masel had told the city of Beaver Dam that there would be at least 450 people in attendance, and the city had learned from other reports that there may be about 2,500 people at the event, Olson said.The Dodge County Sheriff's Department staffed a communications truck set up at city hall and the auxiliary police was on hand in the park with the full-time officers."I give the sheriff and police chief a lot of credit for respecting views they may not agree with," Masel said.Press corps from Milwaukee, Madison and as far away as La Crosse descended on the park at the noon kick-off as attendees trickled in.Masel opened Weedstock by reminding the handful of early attendees that it was illegal to smoke marijuana in the park and to "keep it clean."Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ed Thompson, Green Party candidate for State Assembly Bernie Dalsey and Democratic candidate for attorney general Joel Winnig followed Masel with speeches.A.E. Hausman poetry was read and acoustic guitarists played Bob Dylan songs while booths advertised tarot readings and sold incense.A single set-up tent sold t-shirts with slogans like "Thank you for pot smoking" and book titles that included "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts" and "Pass the Test: an Employee Guide to Drug Testing."Bottled water was also sold beside hemp seed and hemp flower brownies."The only high you get from them is from good nutrition," said Karen Thomas, an organizer of the event for more than a decade.Masel said he did not see the day as a loss."I'm happy about the impact," Masel said. "The turnout is only part of the impact. There was more local folks, since it was in town and not on a farm."The annual festival, which supports the legalization of marijuana, had previously been a weekend event held on farm land.Masel said since many of the people that organized the event had other commitments and since it was only a six hour event, they had known it would be smaller than in the past. They had, also, started advertising later than they had in the past."The success was that we were able to hold the event more than the amount of people at one time," Masel said.A lot of the past supporters may have had other things they wanted to do, Masel said."There are people that are more interested in partying, and those more interested in the point," he said. "Since it's Memorial Day, some are more interested in camping for three days."Weedstock has moved around the state, so it may not be held in Beaver Dam next year. Masel said he is unsure of what changes will be made for next year.Tim Cigelske contributed to this story.Newshawk: Is My Medicine Legal -- http://www.immly.orgSource: Daily Citizen (WI)Author: Terri Pederson and Citizen StaffPublished: May 28, 2002Copyright: 2002 Conley Publishing Group, Ltd.Website: Articles & Web Site:Weedstock Thompson High on Reform of Marijuana Laws Thompson Makes the Most of His Time Thompson Joins Call for Medical Marijuana Candidate On Tap - Washington Post 

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Comment #6 posted by fixjuxa on May 29, 2002 at 15:09:25 PT:
would have been a more appropriate name for the event. I attended Weedstock and I have to say I was little disappointed that there was a ton of cops and no pot smoking at all. This is the first time I attended anything like this so I guess I'm ignorant but I just assumed there would be a bunch of pot smoking going on, as opposed to none whatsoever. Don't people usually smoke pot at these type of events?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 29, 2002 at 15:06:25 PT
Hi Gary
I just looked on the page and the links are gone. The one was right under the one you sent me when I went to the web site. They look like they archive but not right away and you're very welcome. Thank You Too!!!
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Comment #4 posted by Gary Storck on May 29, 2002 at 14:52:59 PT
Thanks FoM!
FoM, Thanks for finding the related article. Where was that from? I have ordered the hard copy of the Watertown paper whose reporter was very busy. I suspect it is a good, long article, but not online.It was a non-traditional Weedstock, but a good one. We opened a few minds, and met some great folks.Medical cannabis patients are everywhere, including Beaver Dam!I talked to a whelchair-bound man who was paralyzed from the waist down from an accident. He told me cannabis works the best of any medication he's tried for spasticity and helping him sleep. But he was busted 5 years ago and convicted, with no regard to his condition, and is now too fearful to use cannabis.This cruel prohibition has got to end!Gary
Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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Comment #3 posted by Letsgetfree on May 29, 2002 at 08:49:16 PT
You are a very smart guy, and I'd be happy to join with you the country of Humans, where we all realize it doesn't matter where you're born, cuz we are all humans. But yes America is petty.
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Comment #2 posted by Richard Lake on May 28, 2002 at 23:50:20 PT:

Weedstock! Links! Pictures!
Hope you will not mind if I build on this a little, and throw in a few links, to include some to a few of the pictures I took, Gary.G F Storck wrote: Found this on a news search:Weedstock May Be Greeted By Protesters Festival Promotes Legalization Of MarijuanaPOSTED: 1:48 p.m. EDT May 27, 2002An annual Wisconsin festival might be met by protesters Monday.Some people in Beaver Dam, Wis., plan a human blockade to block Weedstock.The annual event promotes the legalization of marijuana.Critics are especially upset that this year's event will be held in a park, within the city limits.Weedstock is traditionally held in rural areas of western Wisconsin. ----------- Here's my recollections:The event came off nicely. There was a small number of religion-inspired people leafleting and sometimes talking to folks, but nothing organized enough to make any impact. They didn't have a good answer when it was pointed out cannabis is a god-given herb, and the human body is hard-wired for cannabinoids to several of them.Police presence was very evident. There were groups of 3 or 4 scattered about the perimeters and sometimes walking through the crowd. No cannabis use was evident.The event occurred at and near a bandshell in Swan Park. With sunny skies and temps in the upper 70's, many sat in the shade stage left of the bandshell. There was an Ed Thompson for Governor LP table staffed by Aaron Biterman and Rplf Lindgren, and another with t-shirts, bumper stickers, hemp ice cream, etc.Ed Thompson's schedule put him first as a speaker at around 12:30. The crowd was still pretty light at the time. He gave a strong speech emphasizing his supprt for medical marijuana.Picture of Ed speaking: website: speakers included Bernie Dalsey, Green candidate for WI Assembly who gave a powerful denouncement of the War on Drugs. Following him, Candidate for WI Attorney General Joel Winnig, a Democrat, gave a very libertarian sounding speech about his views on cannabis and how he would change current policies if elected.He like Thompson, also talked about the caucus scandal.Steve Wessig also spoke somewhere in the lineup too. Sorry about anyone I missed.After several performers, MAP/DrugSense Senior Editor Richard Lake gave a speech about Rainbow Farm and Tom & Rollie, and remembering them on Memorial Day.Me speaking: to http://www.rainbowfarmcamp.comAfter a poetic interlude by Elliott, I spoke for a few minutes about medical marijuana in Wisconsin and also repeatedly praised Ed Thompson and asked people to work to get him elected. Somehow, it turned into a pro-Ed speech more than I planned it to.Picture of Gary speaking: is wearing a high fashon (Is My Medicine Legal Yet?) T-Shirt. He told us about his plans for the Madison DEA action on June 6th. Jacki plans to be there (National Day of Direct Action June 6th - Push back the DEAs expanding war on Americans! Keep medical marijuana safe and legal! 53 U.S. cities and more being announced every day! See )Purple Penquin spoke next in a powerfully moving fire and brimstone denunciation of cannabis prohibition made all the more poignant by the fact of charges he is facing in Madison.As we headed out about 4, a speaker from Michigan was talking about Rainbow Farm. Not sure how much longer it was going to continue.Hmmm. Wonder who that was. Nice to see someone else remembering Tom and Rollie!Channel 27 estimated there were 200 people there in a brief report on the 6PM news tonight. 10PM news should have more reports. Ch 3000 just did a tease for the 10PM news.GaryThe activist information area was very nice, IMHO. Just about everyone spent time there.Loved seeing all the photos from Human Rights and the Drug War as shown in this picture the beautiful "There is no justice in the war on drugs" banner from The November Coalition pictured at the Razor Wire and plenty of good books available as shown at to Ben and crew for making it happen! Don't let some of the poor reporting get you down. The educating we did was worth every cent of the low cost of doing it, IMHO. This from a TV website in Rhode Island!
Cops kill activists, don't they?
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Comment #1 posted by Lehder on May 28, 2002 at 19:32:33 PT

strong words!
"I'm a strong proponent in legalizing medical
       marijuana," Thompson said.What an insipid, pathetic society we live in when it takes a maverick or a leader - your pick - to make an essentially banal statement like "I favor legalizing medical marijuana." Americans bores me. Their TV bores me. Their pettiness and ankle-deep wisdom are so tiresome. I live here, but I'm no American.

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