Medical Marijuana Laws Under Seige

In the fourteen years since 1996, when California voters became the first in the nation to enact legislation authorizing the physician-supervised use, possession, and cultivation of medical cannabis, there has never been a single state that has opted to repeal these patient protections. But that trend may change this spring.
On Friday, February 4, members of Montana House Human Services Committee, voted along party lines to pass House Bill 161, which would repeal the state’s existing medical cannabis law. All Republicans on the Committee voted ‘yes,’ while all Democrats on the Committee voted ‘no.’ The majority’s decision to ‘do pass’ came despite an overwhelming outpouring of public testimony against the measure from local patients and advocates.
This draconian measure now awaits action from the Republican majority full House. It is anticipated that the House may act on HB 161 as early as this Tuesday!
Opponents of Montana’s six-year-old medical marijuana law are falsely claiming that the law has been associated with a rise in youth drug use and traffic fatalities. NORML has provided a line-by-line rebuttal to these allegations here. For example, there were 221 traffic fatalities for 2008 (the last year for which data is available). In the two years prior to the law’s passage, there were 269 and 262 fatal traffic fatalities. Regarding teen marijuana use, according to federal data, marijuana use fell in Montana from 2004 (the year the law was passed) to 2008 by almost 30 percent. These and other specious claims by a handful of critics are not a valid reason to repeal Montana’s law. (For a compete statistical breakdown of the Montana medical program, click here.)
In New Mexico, newly elected Republican Governor Susana Martinez hinted to the Associated Press last week that she is backing off — for the time being, at least — her campaign promise to repeal the state’s three-year-old medical cannabis law. Under present law, some 3,200 patients are authorized to grow and use cannabis medically, and 25 private cultivators are licensed by the state to produce and dispense medical marijuana for sale. According to the AP, Martinez now says that dismantling the law is “not a priority in the 2011 legislative session,” though the new Governor admits that she continues to oppose it.
As a movement, it is imperative that we do not lose those gains that so many of us worked so hard to achieve. Successful passage of HB 181 would instantly criminalize over 28,000 Montanans who, as of today, are protected under existing law.
If you live in Montana, please make sure that your House member has heard from you. You can contact him or her by visiting NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center here. Montana NORML also has an action alert here that allows you to send e-mails to the full House opposing HB 161. Please consider following up any e-mail correspondences with a personal phone call. You can also get involved by contacting our allies Patients & Families United and following their legislative updates on facebook here or sign up for their e-mail alerts at:

69 thoughts

  1. This is incredibly disheartening. What the fuck are these politicians thinking, why the fuck do they think they can get away with repealing a legal and effective medicine. I’m sure there are cancer patients in Montana along with a people who have eating disorders, mental problems, and vision problems… Marijuana is being looked at as this horrible life changing street drug, when in fact, everything bad you have ever heard about this beautiful plant is completely bullshit. Don’t let these stupid faggot republicans take away your rights as an American citizen to use alternative natural medicines. I mean, I know many foods we consume are more dangerous than smoking cannabis. Get this through your thick fucking heads.

  2. The Dems give, The Repubs take away. Just like in the big deal about the health care debate. If you loose take your case to a supreme court in a state that is red or blue, depending on how you want the ruling to be. Remember when judges were impartial (judges dicisions should be right/wrong, not red/blue)? Year after year the general public get nothing, because next term all the laws we managed to correct will be undone. Back and forth year in and year out, the only winners are the politicians and lawyers getting paid to deny our freedoms.
    They want us enthralled in these 50/50 battles to keep us preocupied while they fleece this country into the poor house, while they escape with thier 2%er tax shelters. Where are they going to spend their take when the US folds?
    Isn’t it funny how the 2 political parties manage to keep the voting lines right about 50/50?

  3. Well Montana proves my point that while the democrats are far from perfect on drug issues they are the lesser of two evils. Are there any republicans in the full house that might cross the isle? If it does pass does it also have to go through the senate and get approved by Schweitzer and if so where does he stand on it?
    [Paul Armentano responds: Yes, HB 161 would also need to pass the Senate before going to the governor’s desk. Gov. Schweitzer likely does not back repeal,, but it is also possible that a veto could be overridden.]

  4. It’s time supporters of these bills register and vote politicians into office who support our personal positions on the many issues facing our country. The last election proved apathy gets us into trouble. Republicans are more reliable in the off year elections when it comes to voting. It’s important that we vote. It is the only time Americans can have a real voice in the process. Support NORML and MPP. They are the two main lobby groups we have. They can’t be effective without financial support!

  5. Looking at the stat’s there’s not that much of a difference between the traffic fatalities and the increase of medical marijuana patients.
    The traffic fatalities stay within 221-277, never rising above 280. Car accidents will occur whether marijuana is legal for medical use or not. Also who is to say that these traffic fatalities were a result of marijuana use or even to say they were a result of possession.
    Seems like they are just looking for an excuse to try and repeal it, and hopefully (for the patients’ sake) they do not succeed.

  6. Here we go again! Damn!!! They just don’t get it! It’s not a matter of Republicans v. Democrats, States v. the feds. It’s a matter of prohibs v. We the People – a face to face confrontation via the net. Here’s what they don’t get. First: Majority rules. If you don’t like the way America does business – pack up your shit and get the fuck out – and – don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Is that clear enough for you prohibs. We are simply tired of your crap – and we are not going to take it anymore. If you keep leaning on the will of the people, and our Constitutional rights, your going to [sadly] pay the price [that’s an educated guess]. Second: You prohibs don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground. I doubt seriously if you’re aware of your own arrogance. what we are sure of is the lies you spew to get your own little mendacious way. Third: I doubt whether this post will make it on the board – but – if it does please don’t consider it a threat – “it’s a promise.” You’ve pissed us off you fuckin’ jerks!!!

  7. Sorry I didn’t stay on the subject matter above.
    Here the deal my friends, 900,000 fellow citizens will be arrested for cannabis over the next year, like it or not, it is not my data, but it happens,. perhaps to you. Here is a petition calling for a National Debate between prohibitionist and anti-prohibitionist. It is time to act, it is time to support this deabte and get the lies into the open.
    Set the confusion aside! Set our houses in order! It is time for this Nation as a whole to address these cannabis policies that have failed to work and why. Time to air the facts and discuss cannabis like reasonable human beings. Time to end the “shock the sense of fair play.” policy of the government. A national debate has been long… over due.

  8. Sorry I didn’t stay on the subject matter above.
    Here the deal my friends, 900,000 fellow citizens will be arrested for cannabis over the next year, like it or not, it is not my data, but it happens,. perhaps to you. Here is a petition calling for a National Debate between prohibitionist and anti-prohibitionist. It is time to act, it is time to support this deabte and get the lies into the open.
    Set the confusion aside! Set our houses in order! It is time for this Nation as a whole to address these cannabis policies that have failed to work and why. Time to air the facts and discuss cannabis like reasonable human beings. Time to end the “shock the sense of fair play.” policy of the government. A national debate has been long… over due.

  9. “When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down; when a government enterprise fails, it is expanded. Isn’t that exactly what’s been happening with drugs?”
    – Milton Friedman

    This guy has been curing cancer for over three years

    A corrupt government stole our medicine away from us & put thousands out of work in 1938. Now the pharmaceutical companies profiting from killing us and making us sick. Pharmaceutical drugs are 300% more dangerous than illegal drugs. Cannabis is not a drug. It’s a plant. Nutmeg is a drug? It’ll get you high. It’s not illegal because it doesn’t threaten so many industries. The dirty filthy corrupt industries that have the lobbyists working against us, that sort of behavior should be illegal. How about arresting Pfizer? It’s genocide what they’re doing. The government has been destroying people’s lives in so many ways for so long. The government needs to be over thrown or all the states need to secede. That’s all there to it. I’m so sick of being afraid of the government. It’s supposed to be our government! We should all feel that our tax money pays our government to act on the behalf of the people. I’m 49 years old and as long as I’ve been alive anyone with open eyes knows we’ve have been living in fear of this corrupt government. This hasn’t been a free country since corruption took the place of humanity.

  11. It seems that Gary Johnson is one of the very very few Republicans that understands the futility and utter failure of marijuana prohibition… If not for Gary, I’d say it’s time for the Republicans to go the way of the dinosaur!

  12. Obama inhaled while the rest of us go to jail, he should step down, for he has not honored his pledge for change.

  13. And the conservative backlash begins…we all new this was coming. It is disappointing, but not surprising. Same old lies, same old fallicious reasoning. Shall we go over the problems again? Studity, ignorance, intolerance, racism, oppression, etc. They hide behind “save the children” arguments, and some actually believe they are valid. Science be damned, right? To them, we are criminals, abusers, addicts – not responsible people. We call them hateful and ignorant conservatives and they call us hateful and corrupt liberals. The insanity will never end. The debates of politicians and their uneducated following are never rational – its all about fear,hate, and unsound logic. Humanity will never learn.
    Anyone else for instituting basic logic classes in grade school? Ok kids, tonight go home and watch the news, opinion pundits, or congress on c-span, and write down how many appeals to emotion, straw man, and ad hominem fallicies you see.

  14. its funny they say they want to repeal it because of increased accidents blaming it on pot use. First of all if it isn’t a significant increase there is no point in blaming it on pot. Second of all what about the crashes I hear about almost EVERY SINGLE DAY from alcohol? that usually are crashing into buildings and killing numerous people. Yet repealing the alcohol law is never in question. Then they say that teen use is up? how, seriously how? you have to have a license to get this stuff and are they going around asking teens if they smoke? Bold faced lies is all they spread. I definitely think the time to overthrow this government and start fresh is coming. Egypt is just leading the example that living with a dictator type government just doesn’t work. Can I wipe my ass now mr. president ?

  15. This is a prime reason to continue to stay “illegal” even if you live in a state with medical marijuana and can qualify/get a recommendation/prescription.
    You know that if any of these laws are repealed, the cops will go visit all the people who were registered to use medical marijuana and arrest them if possible.

  16. If they do pass this bill then there should be armed revolt in the streets,and we need stonewall riot type of riot,and fucking show those pigs who boss.I wish you guys can understand that.Lets kick their motherfucker asses if they pass this sorry bill.Cop are nothing but pigs.Why do we as society treat them as angel is beyond me.I think they are nazis who need to be crushed.Lets start revolt so we can show them that we aren`t gonna take it anymore.Let do it!!!!!!!!!!

  17. “He who resorts to civil disobedience obeys the laws of the state to which he or she belongs, not out of fear of sanctions, but because he or she considers them to be good for the welfare of society. But there comes occasions, generally rare, when he or she considers certain laws to be so unjust, as to render obedience to them, a dishonor. He or she then openly and civilly breaks them and quietly suffers the penalty for their breach.” Gandhi
    This has certainly been the case with We the American Genesist People. Take heed prohibitionists – Genesists only have two cheeks [to turn]. Once you’ve slapped both of them – there’s nothing left to turn. We have no intentions to suffer the penalty for our breach any longer. You’ve backed us into a corner. Guess what happens when you back an American into a corner? You can certainly forget political correctness. The rest – we American Genesists will leave to your imagination. Enough said!

  18. Attention – Genesists in all 3141 Colonies [counties] in the U.S. – it’s time to be “true Americans” and unite against prohibitionists. We do not believe in violence, even if prohibitionists do – but – neither are we to regarded as weak and defenseless.

  19. Ugh i hate it when things like this happen medical cannabis would be a great thing for society ,but no everyone views it as addictive and a “harmful drug” so thats a majority of the reason why we are having difficulty passes laws such as these. I believe we should try harder on focusing getting the actual scientific research on medical cannabis instead of these bs fake reasons.

  20. Why can’t adults do what the heck ever they want with a plant that easys their pain etc. Is this no longer a free country? Look at all the harm alcohol does and does anyone stop that. How about cigarettes killing people.

  21. The war on pot smokers is non-partisan because pot smokers are non partisan. The problem with Republicans is the overwhelming majority of Republican voters are anti-marijuana. Talk about small goverment and liberty all you want, weed is always the exception. Don’t take my word for it, ask em yourself.
    People like Gary Johnson and Dana Rohrabacher stand out because their couragous stand on weed is literally heresy in the GOP. Legalizing weed by voting Republican makes as much sense as travelling from California to New York by heading west, on foot.
    A simple majority of Democrat voters are pro-weed. The problem for Democrats is pot smokers can not be relied for votes and certainly don’t contribute funds for war chests. No votes, No money, No thanks.
    When a Democrat says the same thing Gary Johnson says he or she 1. Raises no eyebrows 2. Gains Nothing 3. Gets his or her ass kicked in the next election.
    Republicans for weed are about as common (actually slightly a little more common) as Democrats with balls.
    If you like weed and your a Dem – Your never gonna make MJ legal by begging.
    If you like weed and your a Rep – Maybe you need to make a choice between the two. And give one Up.
    If you

  22. You stupid politicians ANSWER the people. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO FIX THE SO CALLED WAR ON DRUGS. This is a no brainier GOOGLE “Drug Arrests 2011” It’s a never ending battle, stop stealing our money!!!!!

  23. @ # 2; They want us enthralled in these 50/50 battles to keep us preocupied while they fleece this country into the poor house, while they escape with thier 2%er tax shelters.
    Isn’t it funny how the 2 political parties manage to keep the voting lines right about 50/50?
    20 % vote rep.
    20 % vote dem.
    the VAST MAJORITY, 60 % DO NOT vote !!
    (THAT’S why politics STINKS WORSE THAN SHIT; to keep as many voters away as possible)
    (they always say; don’t throw your vote away, vote for us corrupt bastards, the honest candidate has ‘no chance’)

  24. Of course! Government doesn’t want you to vote. The present hand on We the People says:
    “Don’t worry – we know better than you – we will take care of you.”
    Sure!!!!! My ass!!!!! If today is any indication of that statement – We the People will take you out with the trash.

  25. Look People its the law it self thats illegal ,its based on a lie only , ? how can 1 enforce a lie??? wake up people tell the gov, NO MORE LIES

  26. Everyone prefers to believe this is not a partisan issue, but it’s always the Republicans who do this kind of stuff.

  27. I am against the repeal of the MMJ act in Montana!!! There is TOO much at stake to repeal the law. TOO much money, too many lives…
    Medical Marijuana Caregiver, Providers Page
    Medical Marijuana Strains / Varieties Page

  28. I want out of this fucking country. It clearly isn’t America anymore. We’ve got mobsters in the White House, a schmuck for president (who insists other world leaders listen to their people, while ignoring the fact that the #1 question asked at all of his public forums has been if he’d be willing to legalize marijuana) and profiteers blatantly flouting their influence throughout our federal, state, and local governing bodies. I want to move to a country that holds above all else the civil liberties and freedoms of it’s constituents, the health of it’s environment, and honesty, integrity, dignity, and honor in it’s governors…

  29. well i tried telling you all mmj would be a liability, mmj growers want to hold on to their liveleyhood , they will vote against any measure for full will the doctors who prescribe it…it’s all about the money a matter of fact do some thinking people all injustice towards your fellow human has always been able to be traced back to the money….revolt, dont hide..full legalization or nothing..the growers can still make’s an art..horticulture isnt easy together your fellow man..and those who stick it to you to make a buck ..VOTE them out,..time we start being rational humans, stop being morality police..come on if a bunch of egyptians can change policy so can we!!

  30. hay website guy ..give us a list of political guys who are up for elections in 2012, either pro-pot or anti-pot..we need to know their views..then we can vote for the pro-pot guys and get our views noticed..start now..not 2 months before the election..stop whining people and get the facts..spread the word and lets get this wont change unless we vote , and the more votes the better, so take a toke..grab a few friends..and go to the voting booth..2012 is our year!!

  31. [“Opponents of Montana’s six-year-old medical marijuana law are falsely claiming that the law has been associated with a rise in youth drug use and traffic fatalities.”]
    The State Republicans in Montana knows that it was all a lie. They are the worse people on earth.

  32. I do need your support and I need it today. Please don’t brush me off like the legislaotrs do in this nation. The president call for a debate on cannabis, I want to hold him to it, don’t you? I ask you to sign this petition and demand an open deabte on this issue that has harmed us all. Join me, join the fight to bring these lies into the light. Time to share and show and tell with the evidence.
    Here my lastest brush off from the Kansas Legislators.
    Connie O’Brien View
    Medical use of cannabis is hard to control, look at California where it was misused by doctors. I am sure if it did all of the things you said the p…eople who have abused it would not have any medical problems. My sister had a stroke at the age of 39 from misuse of drugs and she started with cannabis. Until it can be controlled very strictly I will not support it use. Thank you for contacting me.
    Rep. Connie O’Brien
    Kansas State House 42nd District
    The Kansas Legislator’s behavior “shock the sense of fair play.”
    From: Susan
    Wagle View Contact
    Thank you for your e-mail. The thoughts of my constituents and all Kansans are always important to me.
    The 2011 legislature session is well under way. I can’t always personally respond to each and every e-mail but each communication is read and taken into consideration as I make important decisions and vote on each issue.
    If you have urgent, more specific concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at 785-296-7386.
    Again, thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns.
    Susan Wagle
    State Senator
    Here yet another brush off response from the Kansas Legislator.
    From: Annie Kuether View Contact
    To: Anthony
    I understand your plea and think there is a place for the use with canc…er patients. I… just don’t thiank with the makeup of this new legislature, this issue has as much of a chance as a snowball has in hell. Sorry to say that. Annie
    Bottom line is our State Legislators don’t care. They don’t care if the sick die. They don’t care if this herb will heal or not. As my House of Representartive said above, “as a snowball has in hell”, Death due to the Kansas Legislators willfull ignorance.
    Please sign my petition and lets drag these fools into the street. Lets put a light on their lies.

  33. Those who do not want to stay in America – Whoes stopping you? Those who don’t vote – you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Those who won’t put it all on the line – go sit under a tree. The time is now – not tomorrow – now. If you’re not on the train when it pulls out – You’ll be waving bye-bye to it. We’re under seige – you can bet your ass on that.

  34. PEOPLE !!!! were talking about the illegal law on pot it self, WE need to start there ,make the GOV. tell the truth about why its illegal, OTHER then a LIE, STAY focused on the point. Free all pot prisoners and let them work and TAX them not supporting them locked up in jail. attack the illegal law it self, stop saying make it legal!!!!!! its the other way around THEY need to come up with facts not LIES to make it illegal

  35. “… All Republicans on the Committee voted ‘yes,’ while all Democrats on the Committee voted ‘no.’”
    I scanned all the comments, particularly @25 had a lot of interesting things to say, but– nobody mentioned THE CIGARETTE COMPANIES which give twice as much money to Republicans as to Democrats (and in general, they bribe incumbants more than challengers).
    The next time you see someone smoking a $igarette, think: there’s more campaign money going to a Congressman they want to control, there’s more salary for the army of well-dressed lawbuyists (get it, Dr. Freud?).
    Doesn’t anyone agree with me that the key strategy might be to DOWNSIZE THE DRUG DOSAGE by converting all these “smokers” from high-profit 700-mg. commercial $igarettes to low-profit 25-mg. single tokes in a ONE-HITTER? Or to an E-CIGARETTE or VAPORIZER?
    Yes, be diplomatic and extend the courtesy of addressing this issue as if his/her/their toxic addictive nicotine tobacco was life-giving phytonutrient like our herb is; the main thing is
    so that the corporate oligarchs have LESS MONEY to feed into political control over legislatures and buy Cannabis Prohibition for another 38 years.

  36. +1 for the vaporizer,
    I am down to 8mg nicotine and heading for 0 nicotine systematically over my 1.5 year plan.. MY PLAN, not somebody’s preformed thing, but at my own pace.
    YES, we must all speak out ‘loud and clear’ every chance we get. I am signed up for all my congressman and senators newsletters.. They send out email stuff that you can reply to with your thoughts and ideas..
    When you do write them, do not use a bunch of f-bombs, just state your case and provide real world examples to back your ideas..
    believe me, this has all been done before with tobacco, alchemy, prescription drugs, gasoline, drivers licences and so on..
    Successful Regulation and Marketing Models we have.

  37. @39 Stompedonmyrights: I truly appreciate what you are trying to do with this petition. But I’ve put my real name and address on similar petitions in the past only to have our politicians ignore it.
    If NORML encourages us to sign it then I’ll do it for sure. They’ve been at this for a long time and I trust their judgement. I was very interested in getting everyone who is for legalization to wear an armband on 4/20 stating such but NORML chose not to get behind it (at least not yet anyway) so I guess that’s not going to happen. As for a march on DC on that date, I don’t see that happening either since NORML has other activities planned for that time period.
    I see NORML as our leader and because of their influence have a great deal of power at their disposal. I trust them to use it wisely!
    So again, if NORML gets behind this petition, I’ll sign it immediately!

  38. RE: 7. The bigger dog
    You have it exactly correct. It is not a matter of Democrat versus Republican any more when it comes to Prohibition 2.0 and the War on Drugs — it is a matter of repressive reactionary prohibitionists versus those seeking a repeal of Prohibition 2.0 and the end of the War on Drugs.
    We need to recognize that there are a large number of prohibitionists in both political parties. As activists and agents (hopefully) of change, we need to support those politicians of either political party that support cannabis re-legalization and/or States’ Rights to establish Medical Marijuana. There are 3rd parties, like the USA Green Party, that support the end of the War on Drugs. There are newly forming special interest political parties like Willie Nelson’s Teapot Party that we can support. There are also any number of special interest State and National organizations that seek cannabis re-legalization. All are deserving of our support in “manning the ramparts” against a resurgent tide of effort by the prohibitionists to put the “MMJ toothpaste back into the toothpaste tube”.

  39. I’ve seen a whole bunch of angry people shuffling down Las Vegas Blvd. barking at the moon. Barking at the moon never got nothing done.

  40. The hounds are howling, restless creatures
    Has it come time for hanging The Clintons, Bush Family, Biden and Obama?
    When Justice fails, and The Law becomes corrupted
    Be swift, do not look back


  42. After thinking about it for awhile, I have this to add.
    O.K. – Here’s my question and my statement to those who prohibit me from anything.
    Are you crazy? – because – if you are – I’ll have you committed.
    Why? you ask. – because – nobody is going to tell me what I’m going to put in my body. I don’t care if it’s Michelle Obama and her healthy food crap, or Barack Obama and his prohibition of marijuana.
    My next question is – Do you get it?

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