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Montana Lawsuit Could Ban MMJ Sales

Jars of Silvertip and OG Kush from Lion Heart Dispensary in Montana
Photo by Taylor Kent

Legal

Montana Lawsuit Could Ban MMJ Sales

While more states all over the nation are legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, the patients of Montana have found themselves locked in a furious battle with the state in hopes of simply keeping their program operational.

Earlier this week, some of state’s legal henchmen argued before the state Supreme Court that law enforcement should once again have the authority to stop dispensaries from selling medical marijuana, as well as resurrect a portion of an old law place that places heavy restrictions on caregivers, allowing them only to distribute medicine to a small number of patients.

In addition, the state also made a myriad of other requests, including imposing mandatory investigations on any doctors who recommends cannabis to any more than 25 people.

If the court sides with the state, the sale of medical marijuana would effectively be banned throughout Montana. Patients would still be allowed to cultivate their own medicine, but the concern is that many seriously ill patients will not have the resources or endurance of good health to manage an undertaking like caring for a personal grow space.

Legal experts privy to the cannabis industry say if the court decides to ban sales, it would contribute to one the most ominous medical marijuana programs operating in the U.S. today.

“Montana stands alone in the extreme way in which it has nearly repealed its medical marijuana laws and in the way it has strangled out its own medical marijuana industry,” Seattle attorney Hilary Bricken told The Associated Press. It “is desperately trying to put the genie back in the bottle, from what I can tell.”

The state’s medical cannabis program, which was approved by voters in 2004, increased in popularity a few years later after the federal government announced plans to take a hands off approach to medical marijuana states. This caused a serious uptick in the number of registered patients as well as a swelling of providers. Those who opposed the law argued that the medical program had become a front for the illegal trade. Eventually, the Drug Enforcement Administration came crashing in and unleashed their vile wrath against the local industry.

Now, that state wants to establish a system where “you can grow for yourself, or you can have someone else grow for you without pay,” but there will be no commercial access.

James Goetz, the attorney representing the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, argues that the market must be controlled in a different way.

“When the state says it has too many cardholders… What it really means is you’re certifying people who shouldn’t be certified. So enforce it that way,” he said. “I don’t know if there are 800 or 8,000 glaucoma sufferers in this state. Whatever the number is, they should be entitled to this kind of treatment.”

The court is expected to rule on this issue within the next six months.

What you you think? Do patients in Montana deserve the right to medicinal cannabis? Tell us in the comments below.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jane Stanley

    November 8, 2015 at 8:11 am

    This is an outrage!!! The voters approved this and the dispensaries give patients and caregivers a save place to grow. Not every patient is able to afford what is needed to grow an indoor garden, since their growing season is short. Not all patients are mobile so have a caregiver that can safely obtain their medication.

    The government told the states they are not allowed to raid or interfere with the dispensaries business. By doing this they have told the constituents their opinion and votes do not matter.

    Our own country is grow and distributing cannabis to patients, has a patent on cannabinoids. Thanks to the freedom of information act we were able to get information on research that proves our government knows that cannabis helps more than just glaucoma patients.

    Doctors should be freely prescribe any patient medical cannabis that this plant can help. Everyone is talking about FDA approval so we know it is safe. We already know that 0 people have died from cannabis, and this is due to the fact that our middle brain, the area for learning, memories, and creativity, have few CB receptors but have many opioid receptors. This means that cannabis does not effect this area but are affected by opioid use. There are also very few CB receptors in the brainstem, the area responsible for cardiac and respirtory functions, but many opioid receptors. This again means cannabis does not affect this area, but opioids do. Opioids reduce both these functions, which contributes to cardiac distress. Yet so many patients like myself are put on medications that can kill us. These medications are only FDA approved for single use. I have been told by doctors that although this medication is not approved for pain control we use it because it was found to be safe to use with my other medication. These cocktails we are on are not FDA approved and the side effects are too many to mention. Where as cannabis only has positive side effects. Patients are able to choose a strain that works for their lifestyle and still are functional. This is not true when you are on pharmaceutical medications. How many commercials do we have to watch of lawsuits from FDA approved medications doing harm to our bodies. Or how many more post and testimonies of the sick healing from cannabis before this country does what is right for those who voted them into office to do what is right for the constituents that voted for them?

    This can of disrespect for patients right to choose which medications and preventative herbs in our bodies. It is not up to the courts, law enforcement, or doctors, it is our choice.

    I want to be able to take an herb to heal and this is what cannabis is. Cannabis belongs to the “Cannabaceae” genius of plants, which also includes hops. It is a botanical plant that has some psychoactive properties. Which is misleading, the high has been explained as been a feeling of euphoria, wellbeing, brings out our creative abilities and most importantly it is safe.

    It is time to support full legalization nationwide and if We The People want to use this plant as an intoxicant or as a medication and preventative herbal remedy that is our human civil right to do so.

    This government should have learnt that prohibition does not work. We need to get our people healthy, let them prosper from jobs created, and fix this countries deficit.

    Jane Stanley
    NORML NE member 112

  2. Terry

    November 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Im not saying that there arent some who probably abuse the use of it…But as for me I moved here from Missouri alnost a year ago sue to my husband job…Life here in Wolf Point, MT is very hard…I had seen several specialist in St Louis for Severe Osterarthritis and Degentive joint disease and tried numerous methods of pt, back injections and was put on severe narcotics which seem to mask the pain for a short time…Then I was diagnoised with Fibromyglia as well as lived in pain every day and still on narcotics but they didnt last more than a few hours…I also had a medtronic nerve stimulator placed in my back which helped for perhaps a year but the arthritus continues to spread and me joints are wearing out ..Montana doesnt do narcotics and I mean a veru unkind Dr in Glascow who was suppose to wean me off then slowly..but the script never apprived on timr at the pharmacy in time…Ended up in ER with severe withdrawals…Mind you I did put myself on these meds so I found another dr and they recommended medicinal mj…It doesnt take all the pain away but at least the edge…I have very caring Caregiver and I am unable to grow and process my own…I am not physically able to and a lot of the othet older people wont be able to either.. The weather affect arthritis with a mere change of 10 degrees…Please dont take it away from the people that really need it…I saw a specialist this week in Miles city that told me I can never work again as my L4-L5 S1-S-3 are totally worn out and bone on bone and no surgery can fix it.. I have had osteroarhtritis at the early age of 24 and now at 58 it has gotten much worse…Some days its a struggle to even get out of bed!!! Thank you for listening real listening!!!

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