Montana Legislature Gives Initial Approval To Medical Marijuana Overhaul

Today the Montana House and Senate gave initial approval to SB 423, which would severely restrict the number of medical cannabis patients in the state. If the bill passes a final vote, it will be sent to Governor Schweitzer who can veto it, sign it, or change it and send it back to the legislature.

The measure carried by Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, aims to do away with the state’s profitable marijuana industry and replace it with a grow-your-own system. Under the bill, the drug would be given to patients free of charge on compassionate grounds and it would limit a provider to three patients. There is no limit now.

420times 000011882614XSmall 300x183 Montana Legislature Gives Initial Approval To Medical Marijuana OverhaulAs usual, politicians are erring on the side of regulation instead of on the side of patients. They would rather patients have to go to the black market to get their medicine than have someone get legal marijuana and use it recreationally. And that is what will happen. As growers struggle to keep up with demand, patients who can’t grow their own will either buy from dealers, go without their meds, or turn to dangerous and addictive prescription drugs.

The governor has expressed his opinion that the current system needs to be regulated. Hopefully he amends SB 423 to be less draconian and sends it back to the legislature. There is no reason a simple dispensary system cannot be set up, maybe a delivery-based system since Montana’s population is so spread out. If legislators insist it be non-profit, so be it; that would be better than nothing at all.

The bottom line is if a medical marijuana patient needs medicine, they should be able to go somewhere to get it or be able to contact someone to deliver it. Why should medical cannabis patients have less rights than someone who takes painkillers or some other man-made substance?

Joe Klare

http://the420times.com/2011/04/montana-legislature-gives-initial-approval-to-medical-marijuana-overhaul/

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