Wisconsin: Menominee tribe prepares vote on legalizing marijuana

Still burning from the January rejection of its long-sought Kenosha casino, leaders of the Menominee tribe will find out this week whether tribal members want to tap a new vice to help it find economic bliss — growing and selling marijuana.

The approximately 9,000 members will vote Wednesday and Thursday in a two-question advisory referendum asking whether the Menominee should legalize marijuana on their reservation for medical and/or recreational use. If either question is approved, tribal legislators would begin the process of writing ordinances to legalize weed on the reservation, located near Shawano, said Gary Besaw, tribal chairman.


The changing face of marijuana

MADISON, Wis. -- Marijuana has been the talk of the nation for a while, it has made big strides in legalization for medical and recreational reasons. However, here at home, it still remains illegal--but it is changing. We investigated the changing face of marijuana and bring you the latest forms it comes in.

Weed is nothing new, but are you familiar with other THC products like Hashish and Hash Oil? It's a relatively new form of the drug that's morphing fast, and it shows that there is more to marijuana than your basic joint.


Wisconsin: Menominee Indian Tribe to hold marijuana referendum

Menominee Indian Tribe members will soon have a chance to weigh in on whether marijuana should be legal for recreational and medicinal use on their reservation in northeastern Wisconsin.

The tribe plans to hold a referendum vote on Aug. 19-20 to find out how its members feel about legalizing the drug. Members will be asked whether medical marijuana use should be allowed and whether anyone age 21 or older should be allowed to use the drug recreationally on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

"This is just a start," said Gary Besaw, chairman of the Keshena-based tribe. "We'll see if the tribal membership wants us to move forward and wants us to commit more energy toward this."


Wisconsin split on decriminalizing marijuana

He calls marijuana a gateway drug to harder substances, saying “it’s a big jump between someone having a beer and smoking marijuana.” And his fellow Republicans who control the state Legislature maintain there is not enough support among their ranks for changing the law.

But that doesn’t mean the issue is not up for public debate in the Badger state. Rep. Melissa Sargent proposed bills in the state assembly during the last two sessions that would legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.


Senator to VA: End mindless narcotics prescriptions now

In the days leading to his death, former Marine Cpl. Jason Simcakoski sent a text to his dad from the inpatient psychiatric ward at the Tomah, Wisconsin, Veterans Affairs hospital.

"I slept horrible last night," Simcakoski wrote Aug. 27, 2014. "I tossed and turned sweating … then I just stayed up. I couldn't take it. I'm worse now than before I came in."

Simcakoski had checked himself into the hospital for chronic drug misuse, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. He was taking 14 medications, including antipsychotics, muscle relaxers, antidepressants and tramadol — a powerful opioid painkiller prescribed to him by Tomah doctors.


Remembering when hemp was king in Wisconsin

During the heyday of the industrial hemp industry during World War I and II, Wisconsin was home to over 70 percent of the hemp mills in the U.S.

Quite a feat for an industry that was largely unknown in the Badger State in 1912.

One of the oldest cultivated fiber plants in the world, hemp seed was brought to the U.S. by the pilgrims in 1620. The early settlers used the fiber from the woody stalk to produce twine, thread and rope.

According to state archives, six acres of hemp were grown on the asylum farm at Mendota and three acres as the Wisconsin State Prison farm in 1908, by the Agronomy Department of the Wisconsin Experiment State in cooperation with the Office of Fiber Investigations of the USDA.


Tribes Exploring Marijuana Industry

SENECA, NY -- There's a push to get the medical marijuana industry up and running on Indian territories. Leaders of the National Tribal Cannabis Association expect to see the industry in full swing on some reservations within the next year.

Former president of the Seneca Nation, Robert Porter, helped organize meetings that about 75 tribal leaders from across the country have attended.

Last week Porter met with tribes within the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan region.

Porter say most tribes are showing interest in the medical marijuana industry and regulations are starting to be drafted.

Porter said, "I don't see many leaders talk about adult recreational use at this time."


Medical Marijuana Oil Hits new Roadblocks in WI


A Wisconsin committee is taking up a bill that would allow the legal use of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizure disorders, but it’s hitting new roadblocks.

It’s called CBD oil and right now, it’s legal in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean it’s available. The oil is still illegla under federal law unless doctors get an FDA waiver to prescribe it and so far, none in Wisconsin have been willing to get one.

“She was on everything, Depakote, every pharmaceutical you could imagine to treat her seizures,” said Steve Figi of Menasha, “[her seizures] were at a rate of 20-40 grand mal seizures a day, when she was 4-and-a-half-years-old.”


Legalize marijuana extract, legislators urged

MADISON — Lawmakers and parents told a Wisconsin committee on Wednesday that a bill that would allow residents to legally possess a marijuana derivative to treat seizure disorders would help give people relief while a doctor said it could have potential dangerous repercussions.

The Assembly Committee on Children and Families heard testimony on a bill that would allow parents to legally possess cannabidiol oil known by the acronym CBD, which doesn't produce a high in users. Families with the drug wouldn't be able to produce, purchase or transport the drug in Wisconsin and would still be subject to federal law.


Arrest Underscores China’s Role in the Making and Spread of a Lethal Drug

MILWAUKEE — Scores of travelers streamed through Los Angeles International Airport in March, just off a flight from China. But one passenger, a 33-year-old Chinese chemist, never reached baggage claim.

The passenger, Haijun Tian, was arrested at the airport by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, the prize at the end of an elaborate sting operation aimed at stemming the importation and sale of spice, the street name for a family of synthetic drugs that look like marijuana and are sprayed with a dangerous hallucinogenic chemical, then smoked.


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