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MADISON: In it’s endorsements before the Nov. 2 general election, the Sun Prairie Star had this to say about the Dane County Medical Marijuana Referendum, urging a No vote:

Legalized Marijuana Referendum – The advisory referendum asks if the state Legislature should enact a law allowing residents with “debilitating” medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if “supported” by their physician.

This question has already been dealt with by the Legislature, which failed to enact it. This is just another effort by high-minded (um, no pun intended) individuals on the county board to circumvent the legislative process to right another in a long list of perceived injustices.

We wish the county board would stick to the county’s business. Vote NO on the county medical marijuana referendum. — “Our View: Endorsements We endorse Walker, Lee, others and make our referenda statements too,” Sun Prairie Star, Oct. 21, 2010.

Sun Prairie voters loudly disagreed with the Star’s tirade, instead voting 2/1 to support the medical marijuana referendum. The Star website’s own online poll showed support of 62% to 48% as well.

The entire county went 3 to 1: 75.49% YES, with 159,408 YES votes being cast.

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MADISON: On Sunday Nov. 7, from 3-7pm, Madison’s High Noon Saloon will be the location of a “Post-election Victory Party & Benefit,” hosted by the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). The event, a celebration of Tuesday’s landslide victory for the Dane county Medical Marijuana Advisory Referendum, will feature live music, speakers and NORML vending.

High Noon Saloon
701 E Washington Ave # 101
Madison, WI 53703-2958
(608) 268-1122

While the referendum was advisory and non-binding, it gained nearly 160,000 Yes votes in winning with 75.49% of the vote, outpolling every candidate. Support was strong across the county, no matter which candidate’s voters were favoring. A sister referendum in River Falls prevailed with 68% of the vote.

The twin referendums represented the first time ever that any Wisconsin voters had been asked their opinion on medical cannabis, and voters were glad they asked with 3 of 4 saying Yes.

The celebration begins with Madison’s David Sewell leading off with a short set of acoustic music. Sewell, a fixture in front of the Willy St. Natural Foods Coop, is departing soon for warmer climes in California, and his appearance will be one of his last before he departs.

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MADISON: On a night when it seemed little could go right for progressive candidates and incumbents, the Dane County Medical Marijuana Advisory Referendum exceeded expectations, garnering a final total of 159,408 votes – 75.49% of the total cast. In River Falls, where Alder Bob Hughes worked to get the city’s MMJ Advisory Referendum rolling, the final was Yes by over 68%.

As expected, vote totals for the referendum surpassed those of candidates running on the same ballot. It also did very well in traditional Republican-leaning wards. For example, in the six Dane County wards of current State Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Beaver Dam), the Senator was outpolled in each, demonstrating that medical cannabis support transcends partisan politics.

0001 T ALBION WDS 1-2                        527/340
0008 T CHRISTIANA WDS 1-2                311/270
0012 T DEERFIELD WDS 1-2                 452/345
0043 V CAMBRIDGE WDS 2-3                 379/288
0047 V DEERFIELD WDS 1-4                 626/413
0065 V ROCKDALE WD 1                      66/51

What do these victories mean in light of the reshuffling of the Wisconsin governmental deck? Come January, Wisconsin will have a Republican governor in Scott Walker, who has so far been hostile to medical marijuana. Attorney General JB Van Hollen is returning for another term. Van Hollen sent his deputy to oppose the JRMMA at its hearing. Control of both houses of the State Legislature has shifted to the GOP, and arch-medical marijuana opponent Leah Vukmir succeeded in toppling State Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) and moving up to the State Senate, where she will likely chair a Health Committee. Will the medical marijuana victories even be noticed in the GOP landslide? Will this mean Wisconsin’s medical marijuana brain drain becomes a brain hemorrhage?

We’ll be taking a deeper look tomorrow….

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MADISON: The stunning landslide victory of the Dane County Medical Marijuana Referendum, which received 159,408 votes –a 75.49% margin –, stands in sharp contrast to the Republican landslide that swept the GOP into control of the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature. But while opinions are mixed as too what effect the referendum’s popularity will have on future efforts, the shift pushes advocates into unfamiliar territory.

Republicans needed just two seats to gain the state senate majority, but ended up winning four, switching control from 18-15 for Democrats to a 19-14 majority. Assembly, Republicans will have at least a 59-38 margin with one race still out and another won by an independent who will likely caucus with the GOP. Among those losing their seats were the top Democratic leaders, Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan of Janesville and Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker of Wausau.

While the GOP picked up four senate seats, two pro-medical cannabis Republicans, Ed Thompson and Rick Richard, whose ‘unequivocal’ support was the subject of a prior article, both lost. This means Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), will return for a second term of indifference to medical cannabis and her constituent Jacki Rickert. Former Senate Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tim Cullen beat Richard in the battle for Judy Robson’s Beloit-area seat. Former State Rep. Terry Moulton, a medical cannabis opponent, defeated Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Eau Claire) in another major upset.

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