It Could Get A Lot Tougher To Get A Marijuana Card In Montana


Photo: Anti/LAist

​​A committee of Montana lawmakers discussed on Monday plans to make it much tougher to get a medical marijuana card in the state.
The proposals would “clarify” the list of eligible diseases and “make it easier for authorities to track and regulate the industry,” according to Christian Hauser at NBC Montana.
After a summer’s worth of work, the legislators describe the proposed bill as “tightening up and cracking down,” reports Marnee Banks of KXLH-Helena, all in a misguided response to the state’s rapidly growing medical marijuana community.

“The intention of this group was to honor the intention as best we understand it from all of our various meetings and input what the public thought it was voting for,” Rep. Diane Sands of Missoula said.
But what did Montana voters actually approve when they legalized medical marijuana in 2004?
The answer seems to depend upon whom you ask.
“We are talking about medical marijuana,” said caregiver/patient Brad Comer. “We didn’t vote for a recreational law. If we had, tax us, limit us, do what you need to do, but we voted for a medicine.”
The medical marijuana community says the proposed changes are far too strict, while the Montana Medical Association complains that it still leaves some questions unanswered.
“Once the patients leave the physician’s hand, the physicians have no control over dosage or quality of what is being called by the state now a medicine,” said Erin MacLean of the MMA.
Well, Erin, to my layman’s understanding, the reason dosage is so important with conventional medications is because they can freakin’ KILL YOU if you take too much. Since that is not a factor with marijuana, mayhaps you should un-bunch your panties.
The proposed bill requires a two-doctor certification for patients with chronic pain, but, on the positive side,  increases the allowable amount of marijuana patients may possess from one ounce to two ounces.
The draft also limits caregivers to serving no more than five cardholders, which may result in many businesses shutting down if their only source of income is selling medical marijuana.
“The state hasn’t had the opportunity to see the huge benefits of persons like myself running this as a small business, giving us the opportunity to employ people, giving us the opportunity to add to the tax revenues,” said caregiver Charlton Campbell.
Under the proposed bill, local governments would not be allowed to prohibit medical marijuana.
“The mayor and city council of Billings would like to have prohibition as an option,” whined Billings City Attorney Brent Brooks, who, as an appointed official, is free to display his utter contempt for the will of the voters.
The Children, Families, Health and Human Services interim committee is expected to approve the overhaul on Tuesday.
If passed as expected, it will then go before the full Legislature when the next session begins.
About 23,000 Montanans had medical marijuana cards at the end of July. That number had risen from 12,081 cards at the end of March and 16,255 cards at the end of May.