A local newspaper poll indicates that Montanans still support legalized medical marijuana in their state.
The citizens of Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004 with an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote.
The new law didn’t attract a lot of attention until the federal government announced last year that it would not go after medical marijuana patients and providers who are abiding by their state laws determining legal use of cannabis.
But since then, the medical marijuana industry has boomed in Montana, and some anti-drug zealots are now claiming the law is too vague, that it has allowed the sale of marijuana in circumstances that voters didn’t have in mind when they passed the initiative six years ago, reports the Helena Independent Record.
The newspaper asked readers: “If medical marijuana were put back to the public vote now, would you vote for it given the lack of regulatory framework?”
Even with the somewhat, shall we say, negatively phrased question, a healthy majority of the 247 readers responding to the unscientific poll — 138, or 56 percent — said “yes,” they would still vote for medical pot.
“The time and energy spent on this debate is beyond all comprehension and reason,” one reader commented. “Don’t we have enough to worry about — like the war, the economy and the oil spill, to name a few? Legalize marijuana and tax it and help solve our debt problem big time. Is it as bad as the damage done with legal substances such as alcohol and cigarettes?”
“Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water,” another reader said. “Obviously, the state’s regulation of the growth, distribution and approval for use of medical marijuana has been inadequate, and the medical profession has not adequately monitored unethical MDs who have become a traveling, use-approval sideshow. The problems can, and should, be remedied without denying marijuana to legitimate medical users.”
“If medical marijuana provides relief for even one patient who is suffering the pain of cancer of the nausea associated with chemotherapy,” wrote another reader, “then it is worth my vote.”
“I voted for medical marijuana and would again,” commented yet another reader. “It is the legislators who messed up. Marijuana should be legalized, put under ATF and then taxed.”