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Patients For Reform Not Repeal

In their official ballot arguments for IR-124 (SB 423), last year’s legislation which all but shut down the medical marijuana law which was approved by Montana’s voters in 2004, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann and Republican House Majority Whip Cary Smith bizarrely cited Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Prohibition’s End
Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer called the GOP-controlled Legislature “bat crap crazy” when they voted to overturn the will of the state’s voters on medical marijuana

Schweitzer famously referred to the last Legislature as “bat crap crazy,” and vetoed HB 161, the bill Sen. Essmann and Rep. Smith supported aggressively to completely overturn the will of the voters on medical marijuana.
Later, in addition to issuing an amendatory veto of SB 423, Schweitzer also said of it: “Everybody’s who’s read it says, ‘Oh yeah, it’s unconstitutional.’ “; “I’m kind of disgusted right now”; and “It seems to us unconstitutional on its face.”

Gov. Schweitzer also said SB 423 “violates your constitutional rights to illegal search.” The governor said it requires someone using medical marijuana to “be turned over to law enforcement in every town.”

Cash Hyde Foundation
R.I.P., Cashy. Here Cash is just two weeks ago in his Buzz Lightyear costume for Halloween.

Cash Hyde — the child who united the medical marijuana community with his brave fight for life against cancer — died Wednesday night at his family’s home in Montana. Only minutes after four-year-old Cashy’s passing, according to family members, the Missoula Police Department and coroner’s office forced their way into the home.


​The collapse of Montana’s once-booming medical marijuana industry after a conservative Republican-controlled Legislature all but shut the program down with tough restrictions — in addition to raids where federal agents hit dozens of providers — was Montana’s top news story of 2011, according to an annual member poll from The Associated Press.

It’s the second straight year medicinal cannabis has been chosen as the state’s top story, reports Matt Volz at the Great Falls Tribune. But a world of change has occurred in Montana’s medical marijuana scene since a year ago.

Photo: Eliza Wiley/Helena Independent Record
District Court Judge Jim Reynolds hears testimony during a case brought before him by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. On Thursday, the judge blocked implementation of key parts of a new restrictive medical marijuana law passed by the conservative Republican-controlled Legislature.

​A judge has blocked key parts of Montana’s law that would have imposed tough new restrictions on medical marijuana suppliers starting on July 1. 

In a preliminary injunction issued on Thursday, state District Judge James Reynolds in Helena ruled the new limits would effectively deny access to cannabis for many patients entitled to use it under the state’s seven-year-old medical marijuana statute, reports Emilie Ritter of Reuters.
Montana’s medical marijuana law was approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of voters in 2004.

Photo: Cannabis Fantastic

​The Montana Legislature this spring all but repealed the state’s medical marijuana law — passed by an overwhelming 62 percent of voters in 2004 — but the court battle rages on, as does the battle for public opinion.

First, the Montana Cannabis Industry Association filed suit to block implementation of the new law. Now, the state has responded with court filings of its own, reports Scots Kersgaard at the Colorado Independent.
Montana’s attorney general claims the new, more restrictive law is not unconstitutional, and his office is prepared to fight for it in court in about two weeks. Meanwhile, that same office is tasked with certifying the language being used in a referendum drive to overturn that very law.

Photo: Eliza Wiley/Helena Independent Record
Chris Williams of the Montana Caregivers Association watches as DEA agents and local law enforcement raid his Montana Cannabis grow operation on March 14. Willliams is now suing the federal government.

​Two Montana medical marijuana providers have accused the United States government of civil rights violations in what is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind, in response to a federal crackdown on medicinal cannabis operations nationwide.

The owners of Montana Caregivers Association and MCM Caregivers said that federal raids on medical marijuana businesses across Montana in March were unconstitutional, exceeded the government’s authority and preempted the states’ medical marijuana law, reports Matt Volz at the Associated Press. Montana’s medicinal cannabis law was approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of voters in 2000.

Graphic: THC Finder

​Montana medical marijuana advocates are getting ready to start a signature-gathering effort to suspend a soon-to-be-enacted law restricting the industry — and they won’t need to collect as many names as they initially believed.

The Secretary of State’s office has determined that advocates need at least 31,238 signatures to block the Legislature’s medical marijuana overhaul bill from becoming law, reports Charles S. Johnson at the Billings Gazette. It could take up to 43,247 signatures, depending on which state House districts they use, but they won’t need to gather 73,010 signatures as some originally believed.

Graphic: KTVQ

​Montana’s state House and Senate have passed a bill aimed at radically slashing the number of authorized medical marijuana users and eliminating large cannabis businesses in the state.

The measure cleared both chambers of the Legislature on Wednesday, and now heads to Governor Brian Schweitzer for his signature, veto or amendment recommendations. Schweitzer has already vetoed an outright repeal of the state’s medical marijuana law, saying it went against the will of the voters, who approved the law in 2004.

Photo: NBC Montana

​Montana legislators have just a few days to reach compromise on a bill to “overhaul” the state’s booming medical marijuana industry. If they can’t do that, they face the prospect of the industry continuing to grow. What? An actual bright spot in the Treasure State’s dismal economy? Hurry up, guys, snuff that bitch out!

Legislators started on Monday working out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the overhaul measure, Senate Bill 423, reports
Governor Brian Schweitzer last week vetoed the Republican plan to repeal to voter-approved medical marijuana law.

Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog

​Medical marijuana is still legal in Montana.

Governor Brian Schweitzer has vetoed a Republican bill that would have repealed the state’s medical marijuana law, approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of state voters in 2004.
Schweitzer vetoed the bill on Wednesday, along with several others he called “frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana, “reports The Associated Press.
Montana now has more than 28,000 registered medical marijuana patients.
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