BERLIN -- Medical Marijuana Expo

BERLIN: On Saturday, February 6, 2010, as the community rallies together in momentum for National Medical Marijuana Awareness Week, the Berlin Wisconsin Public Library will house supporters of hemp and medical marijuana as various organizations come together to put on an expo style event showcasing the cannabis plant, The T.H.C. Expo (Talking Hemp & Cannabis) will run from 12:00pm-3:00pm in the Berlin Public Library, located at 121 W. Park Ave., Berlin.

This region was once a leader in Wisconsin hemp cultivation. Today, the federal hemp plants growing along roadways or on old farmsteads are the only remnants of an era when farmers benefited greatly from hemp cultivation. Berlin's THC Expo will not only examine the history and potential future role of hemp in the local and state economy, but also delve deeply into the medical use of cannabis and current legislation before the Wisconsin Legislature regarding both medical cannabis and hemp.

Organizer Jay Selthofner promises the T.H.C. EXPO, will "openly and honestly discuss this misunderstood plant". In a recent interview, Selthofner told Madison NORML Examiner, "The driving force behind the expo is the community who supports hemp and medical marijuana, and the cost to bring this event together was donated by the people of the district."

Berlin is in the state legislative districts represented by State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and State Assembly Rep. Joan Ballweg (R- Markesan). As of this writing, neither lawmaker has yet taken a formal position on the bill, despite what local activists call "a ton of constituent letters, phone calls, emails, Capitol office visits, and in the case of Sen. Olsen, not one but two public listening sessions".

The Expo will also include representatives of organizations including Is My Medicine Legal Yet? (IMMLY), Wisconsin NORML, Madison NORML, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), MJ2 Media, American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin (WI-ACLU), Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and Wisconsin Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access (WIVMMA).

IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert, namesake of the Wisconsin medical cannabis bill is expected to be in attendance along with state and regional activists including Gary Storck, Ben Masel, Teresa Shepherd, LEAP's James Gierach and others.

For more info: List of qualifying medical conditions included in the JRMMA. Jacki Rickert MMJ Act Hearing Recap & Action Alert. Report on Jan. 20 Mary Powers Memorial and JRMMA Lobby Day. For additional details on the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, info on the Dec. 15, 2010 combined Health committee hearing, bill text and status, how to donate, all the latest news and how you can help, visit;,; or; Visit my Madison NORML Examiner articles archive. Photos courtesy IMMLY/WI NORML and friends except where otherwise noted. Photo of Berlin Library courtesy Berlin Library; Photo of Rep. Ballweg courtesy WI State Legislature.

Stitch'n' Bitch Events

The Janesville Jets & Janesville Area Stitch 'n Bitch join forces for
Pucks 'n Purls @ Janesville Ice Arena on February 7

Join fellow knitters and crocheters for a fun filled afternoon of NAHL hockey brought to you by the Janesville Area Stitch 'n Bitch and the Janesville Jets. Enjoy working on your stitching projects and watching hockey at Pucks 'n Purls on Sunday, February 7 in the Janesville Ice Arena, 821 Beloit Ave., Janesville. The puck drops at 2:00pm. Call 608-752-5387 to reserve your advance stitchers ticket for $5 per person which includes seating with other stitchers, a "goody bag" (while supplies last), and the opportunity to win door prizes. For additional information call 608-752-5387, 608-752-9248 or visit

Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting February 27 @ Basics

Get fleeced at Stitch n' Bitch's Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting at Basics Natural Food Co-op, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville from 9am-4pm on Saturday, February 27. Come join us where yarns adorn us, addictive behavior to yarn is accepted and even encouraged, and where shiny needles are better than gold necklaces. Explore the fibers and products of south central Wisconsin farms including Firefly Field Finns, Pacesetter Alpacas, Rainbow Fleece Farm, Stone Crest Llamas, Nina's Goats, and more. Enjoy demonstrations of spinning and needlework, visit the "Yarn Bar" where you can try stitching with various yarns, receive a goody bag (while supplies last), learn how to knit or crochet, and enter for your chance to win prizes. Admission is free. All Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting activities are FREE and open to all ages but donations on behalf of the Janesville/Rock Valley Project Linus of fabric, yarn, and new, child-friendly handmade blankets to comfort, warm and provide security for area children will be gratefully accepted. For additional information call 608-752-9248,, or visit

3 Opportunities for Stitchers Every Week!

Join other stitchers of mass discussion each week where the focus of the group is knitting but needle-crafty of any portable skill, of all ages and of both genders are always welcome. No membership fees nor requirements. FREE spinning, knitting and crochet lessons, advise and trouble-shooting are always available. Gatherings:
Every Monday, 1:30-3:30, SpeakEasy, 19 N. High St., Janesville
Every Thursday, 6-9pm, Basics Natural Foods Coop, 1711 Lodge Drive., Janesville
Every Saturday, 10am-Noon, Codos Coffee Shop, 119 N. Main St., Janesville
For more information visit, e-mail, or call 608-752-9248.

Medical Marijuana Vigil Jan. 20th


Supporters of the medical marijuana bill introduced by Rep Mark Pocan (D-Mason) and Sen Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) will gather Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12pm in the Capitol Rotunda in Madison for a memorial remembering Mary Powers and other patients who simply ran out of time. Mary would have been 51 on Jan. 14. The price they paid, the pain they endured is enough. It is time to put aside hand-wringing that gets us nowhere and stand up with the now 14 states who have recognized the legitimacy of medical pot.

Following the noon vigil supporters will canvas the Capitol to urge their elected representatives to support AB554/SB368. There will be a table in the rotunda with information on meeting your reps and people who can help you with any questions.

If you cannot make it, please call your legislators and have their phones ring all day in support of Medical Marijuana. The Legislative Hotline is 800-362-9472. Or look up your representative at;;. Please make sure everyone you know who supports medical marijuana make the calls.

We cannot lose this opportunity to act, to do something, whether in person or phone, to get this bill passed now. We cannot be that state that does not look forward. We are much better than that. This law can be crafted to meet everyone's needs, and then some. Read more at; (Is My Medicine Legal Yet?) or;

Wisconsin NORML

Local GOP, Newspaper Targeting County Office

This is not a good day for Democrats in Rock County. If you've seen the Sunday edition of the Janesville Daily Gazette ( you will become painfully aware of how the Gazette is used by the Republicans in Rock County with the article they ran on Jenifer Keach, the Rock County Coroner. As many of you may know, Jenifer is my daughter. She is the most qualified coroner in the history of Rock County. Not only is she extremely intelligent, she has the highest credentials, being qualified and certified in every aspect of her work. Since being appointed to her job by Governor Doyle 5 years ago, she has totally rebuilt the Rock County Coroner's office from scratch following a drug scandal by the former Republican coroner. Since her appointment, she has successfully run for the office and earned the votes of 57% of the voters in Rock County. Since her election she has raised the standards for coroners state-wide and is currently the president of the Wisconsin Coroner and Medical Examiner Association. I might also add that Jenifer is the descendent of a 3-generation labor family and totally understands the values that we all hold dear. I can also attest to her character as being impeccable.

How sad it is that the Republicans in Rock County are so desperate to regain a foothold in public offices from near-extinction (thanks to the efforts of local labor) that they will use their lackey Republican rag to tear down such a successful Democrat. But this is just the first of many salvos to come. As we head towards the fall elections, the Republicans and the Gazette are going to be attacking all of our Democratic friends. I have become aware they are currently gathering evidence for sickening attacks on all of our political friends. I hope that as labor and political leaders you will join with me in making sure the voters in Rock County understand what the Republicans are up to and begin working to set the record straight. I'm sure that Republicans in Rock County are looking at the diminished presence of the UAW in our community as their best opportunity in decades to return to public office. Let's not let this happen.

Let me begin by saying the accusations and allegations made in the Gazette story are not founded on any facts and are not substantiated in any way. They are worded to appear as truths but are actually based on the claims of a disgruntled ex-employee of the coroner's office who quit without notice. Then, weeks later the employee filed hateful claims with the highly unusual assistance of two republican members of the Rock County Board. The information she gave the county administration and the county Human Resource office was brought to bear by the county board members Dick Ott (Dist. 23) and J. Russell Podzilni (Chairman, Dist. 22). Since this is a matter related to an employee who resigned her post and left without notice or explanation, one has to ask why two known republican board members would become involved in this matter. Board members have no authority in employee human resource matters. They are private and confidential. On the same note, one has to wonder why the Gazette was so interested in the accusations of a disgruntled ex-employee who left her job on her own volition without notice. In fact, they were so interested, they filed a dubious public information request for private employee records. In addition, why did the county administration and corporate council yield to this inappropriate request? Could it be to protect their jobs from two board members?

As a result of these shenanigans perpetrated by the Republicans and the "Republican Rag", Jenifer Keach was required to hire an attorney to protect her office and good name. This is a role the county corporate council is required to play. Why did they not represent Jenifer in this matter? Who is pulling the strings? Will other county Democrats be faced with these attacks and left to defend their reputation without support from the county?

It has been established that the disgruntled ex-employee is a friend of Melissa Haverly (Independent candidate for coroner - 2006), a highly vocal former deputy coroner who was fired by the deposed republican coroner. As the deputy coroner, the disgruntled ex-employee acted as an agent for Melissa during the four years she worked in the coroner's office for Jenifer. During that time she passed information to Melissa that might be used for Melissa's next political challenge for the coroner's office of Rock County. As comrades, Melissa and the ex-employee appear to have conspired with Republicans to position themselves for election as the coroner of Rock County or the insider promise of being selected as the next medical examiner for the county. The hopes of being promised the medical examiner's position was dashed when the county board reversed their position on the issue last year. That left the potential candidate and the Republicans with their only option - to destroy Jenifer's reputation with malicious hear-say to gain leverage for their challenge to win the coroner's office in 2010.

It is unthinkable that anyone would want to tear down the reputation of an exemplary public servant like Jenifer Keach that works diligently to provide the highest level of services to the voters of Rock County simply so they can have the office. Obviously, they are not interested in assuring the voters of good public servants - just get the office at any cost. I hope that you will join with me in support of Jenifer on the blog at or by calling Stan Milam (WCLO 1230 AM) at 608-752-4000 for his Monday, January 11 show at 9:30 am. Please voice your views on what a disservice the Gazette is doing to the voters of Rock County. I would appreciate hearing from you as well and I know Jenifer will also. By the way, on Monday Jenifer will be conducting the State of Wisconsin Coroner's and Medical Examiner's Association convention in Wausau, Wisconsin - doing great things for the voters of Rock County and Wisconsin.

Written by Richard L. Costerisan