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 feral 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 medical cannabis 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.