Court Rejects Patients’ Right To Medical Marijuana; Patients’ Group Says Voters Will Reject ‘Godawful Law’ by Defeating IR-124
The Montana Supreme Court ensured late on Tuesday that voters will have the final say on the Legislature’s 2011 medical marijuana law this November, and Patients for Reform, Not Repeal believes voters will say “No” to it.
The court held there is no fundamental right to use medical marijuana, or any drug that’s prohibited under federal law, reports Sam Favate at the Wall Street Journal. In a 6-1 decision, the court reversed a lower court ruling blocking enforcement of IR-124, a state law to restrict access to medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana had been approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of Montana voters in 2004, but the conservative Republican Legislature evidently felt they knew better than the voters who elected them. (Montanans, don’t forget to let them know what you think about that on November 6.)
|Code of the West
|Lori Burnam of Missoula, who is suffering from emphysema and advanced cancer: “To reclaim our rights and get real regulation for marijuana, we must defeat IR-124”
“The court did not say whether this is a good or bad law, but I can tell you, for patients, this is a godawful law,” said Lori Burnam, a 64-year-old cancer patient in Hamilton. “Our rights have been violated, our access to medicine taken away. We are asking voters to listen to the patients. As voters learn more, they will go against IR-124.”
“To reclaim our rights and get real regulation for marijuana, we must defeat IR-124,” Burnam said.
IR-124, which will be on the November 6 general election ballot, gives Montana voters the chance to accept or reject Senate Bill 423, the draconian “grow your own” law passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature in the 2011 session after repeal of voter-approved I-148.
On Tuesday, the Montana Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s findings regarding some provisions of SB 423, effectively restoring parts of the law that had been enjoined.
“The timing of this ruling will energize our campaign,” Burnam said. “We are already hearing from people all over the state. Now the situation is crystal clear. We must defeat IR-124 in November, and we will.”
Burnam suffers from advanced cancer and has used medical marijuana to relieve pain, nausea and other side effects of her cancer treatment. She was one of three co-authors of arguments for the Voter Information Pamphlet against IR-124, along with patient Sarah Baugh and Dr. Edwin Stickney, past president of the Montana Medical Association and the Montana chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The campaign against IR-124 led by Patients for Reform, Not Repeal is online at www.patientsforreform.org.