Cannabadger Editor/Publisher Gary Storck
Gary Storck is a longtime medical cannabis Pioneer/Patient/Writer/Speaker/Activist in Wisconsin. Gary was born with glaucoma and began losing sight at a young age. Conventional treatments were risky and medications ineffective. Extremely near-sighted, Gary was a voracious reader and in 1971 read news reports of research on cannabis and glaucoma at UCLA. On Oct. 3, 1972, with a glaucoma checkup scheduled for later that afternoon, he decided to start his own study, medicating with cannabis before heading off to see his eye doctor in Milwaukee.
The doctor, who had treated him since the glaucoma diagnosis more than a decade earlier, was elated to find Gary’s typically highly elevated intraocular pressures at normal levels. Understanding that it could save his sight, Gary began medicating with cannabis on a daily basis.
He also began lobbying for Wisconsin’s Therapeutic Cannabis Research Act (TCRA), passed and signed into law in 1982. Along the way he also enlisted the help of his congressional representatives and the first legal federal patient Bob Randall and his wife Alice O’Leary in what was ultimately an unsuccessful attempt to find a physician to file a Compassionate IND on his behalf to gain access to federal medical pot. Gary was one of five glaucoma patients who in 1978, anonymously filed affidavits about their medical use of cannabis for glaucoma in support of Bob Randall s successful lawsuit against the federal government after his federal pot supplies were abruptly cut.
Returning to Wisconsin after a dozen years in California in 1995, Gary restarted his efforts in Wisconsin advocating for medical cannabis, later joining with medical cannabis patient Jacki Rickert to form Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMLY.org). Working with other state and local activists he was also a co-founder of both Wisconsin NORML and Madison NORML.
In 2005, Gary was one of four recipients of the NORML’s Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana, along with Jacki Rickert, Angel Raich and Diane Monson.
Gary has advised both Republican and Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers on medical cannabis and spoken at many public hearings and press conferences. Gary has lobbied for cannabis law reform at all levels of government including the Madison and Tomah city councils, the Dane County Board , state lawmakers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon and federal reps at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. He has done hundreds of interviews for print, television, radio and other media, and has spoken at many other different venues from Optimist and Kiwanis meetings to cannabis legalization events. In 2010, Gary, along with Jacki Rickert, were among the first out of state patients and the first Wisconsin patients to take advantage of changes in Oregon law allowing patients from all 50 states to register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). In 2016, he lobbied on behalf of out of state patients at the Oregon Capitol in Salem after the OMMP closed the program to new and renewing out of state patients due to a change in state law.
Gary has been a member of the board of advisors of the medical cannabis educational non profit Patients Out of Time for many years and was on the faculty of their 2012 conference in Tucson, AZ. He has also had hundreds of letters to the editor and OPEDs published in newspapers in-state and nationally, and has published many articles and blog posts for Examiner.com and the Madison NORML blog. Since March 2015, Gary has been posting here on his new blog, Cannabadger.com, looking at the intersection of Wisconsin and cannabis.