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. I don’t mean to be cynical–but the GOP got back in power–what do you expect? Did you honestly expect them or the Tea Baggers to go to bat for MJ? We were told over and over that if we just put the Tea Baggers in, they’d legalize pot–apparently people weren’t listening to what most of them were actually saying.
    I still say time is on our side. We nearly got pot legalized in CA last year; we were defeated by old conservatives and too many greedy back-stabbers (you know who you are). But the old conservatives are slowly dying off, and hopefully the greedy backstabbers will learn a lesson or two from the continuation of prohibition in CA.

  2. Last night I watched a show on TV about someone with a strange addiction. This guy liked to eat glass and live bullets. They filmed him breaking and eating light bulbs and swallowing several real live bullets. Unbelieavable – That’s incredibly dangerous but apparently legal! Just don’t fire up a joint since that will land you in jail and get you a huge fine… What a crazy world we live in!

  3. I say we all shut the fuck up and actually do something about this, if Egypt can riot so can we. Cannabis isn’t dangerous in any way shape or form, and I’m living proof of that. If cannabis really did cause things like memory loss then why do I have the highest grade point average in my school? Also, did you know the government suggests that cannabis causes nausea and migraines when it in fact treats those things? And impaired driving? Ha give me a break, every person I know that smokes cannabis actually drives better while under the influence. If you’ll stand against the government with me I’m willing to start at any moment but most of you just complain and don’t take action, well ITS TIME TO TAKE ACTION and since our government has caused peaceful revolution to be impossible it is time to start a violent revolution and stop being the lazy fucking stoners they portray us as. If anybody Really wants to do something contact me at, if not YOU ALL NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT REAL STONERS!

  4. Thank you NORML for not approving my comment, it just shows you’re as against our rights as the government is. This organization is nothing but a front to make us think there’s an organization fighting for cannabis users rights when it is in fact controlled by government officials just like everything else in this country. America is no more, it has become an illusion everyone is willing to blindly follow, because you’re all retarded.
    [Editor’s note: ?]

  5. This country is the biggest terror organization I know of. They kidnap us from our children and torture us with jail for a natural herb… Oh, but feel free to smoke Arsenic…. It’s legal to do if you want.

  6. Can some one pleas tell me when will norml start hosting and voter regstration And norml does need to start puting up the pro cannabis poltion so we can vote for them

  7. @Steven Benedetti: What school did you go to? I wonder because you don’t sound all that bright but claim to have got the highest GPA in your school! My guess is that you are really just a messed up drop-out.

  8. @Don (the dumbass) Do you think the government would really allow an organization to exist that speaks for a drug they so blatenly criminalized, if you’re really that much of an idiot by all means hang yourself right now!

  9. @ Don: And if you’d like I’ll send you a picture of my report card, a list at my school with the students with the highst g.p.a. (which I’m at the top of), and a picture of my sweaty balls 😀

  10. Play nice everyone. We need to have a new government with the idea of implementing humanity into the scheme of things to run this government instead of the already failed time and time again method of insanity fueled by greed to run a government. It’s going to end badly. I say stock up on dry goods, bury your money in the back yard, after converting to silver or gold, then try to help other people get through this. Congress will fight cannabis users over greed. Hemp/cannabis threatens too may industries. The pharmaceutical companies are one of the very richest. Cannabis cures cancer and just about everything else you can think of.

  11. Steven Benedetti – LOL! You are really funny! So, what school did you go to? And when did you graduate? I don’t believe you although I do believe it is totally possible for a pot smoker to achieve what you claim. Your words are far from wise however and so, even if you really did graduate with the highest GPA as you claim, you are really lacking in common sense.

    Our emotions are under seige. There’s a whole bunch of advocates out there that are going at each other’s throats – usually they have included what is happening in the Islamic counties in their dialogue. We have enough problems with our own politics. Someone is looking for a fight.

  13. Nay sir, fore you know not of what I speak, fore the blind can’t see the lies even if they bust out your teeth!

  14. Common sense is a phase, for little boys and gays, who know nothing of the real world, playing with their vibrators all day!

  15. Studying the work of “Steven Benedetti” @53 above, I am first mildly suspicious that it is our old friend Ratzinger/Benedetto whose Mentor & Precursor John
    Paul “Art Treasures of the Vatican Exhibit Sponsored by Philip Morris” II helped Ronald “Chestefield is My Cigarette” Reagan and Margaret “Tobacco Institute” Thatcher shoot the Soviet Union out from under Mikhail Gorbachov to keep him from doing something about the binge-drinking plague which helps the tobacckgo industry recruit millions of youngsters into $igarette addiction slavery yearly worldwide.
    (take a breath)
    The above cited @53 certainly looks like another classic ploy to trick readers into thinking cannabis users advocate violence. Even citing Egypt to give a false impression– because the pride of Egypt today is that they did it nonviolently, and “peaceful revolution” may not be so “impossible” after all.
    (Google up ‘Hashish Egypt” and read about the vindictive crackdown by Mubarak drug thugs against hashish supply– well publicized busts, shortage, skyhigh prices etc. from April 2010, to get an idea what maybe was the last straw. Besides which, most of the hash supply arrives from Morocco through Tunisia so any change there possibly looked like the supreme opportunity.)
    I stick by the “It’s the tobacckgo, Stupid!” theory– promote all possible Dosage Reduction alternatives to the hot burning overdose high profit $igarette format, espcially vaporizer, cheap vaporizing one-hitter, both nicotine and cannabinoid e-cigarette, to CUT OFF TOBACCKGO INDUSTRY PROFITS so they have NO
    MONEY to bribe (especially Republican) legislators to prohibit cannabis.
    Serve notice that the moment prohibition gives way, earnest well-spoken craftspersons and advocateurs will spread out like Mormons and Witnesses everywhere, promoting cheap ubiquitous 25-mg. serving-size one-hitters which physically embody the moderation, control and regulation every rational adult wants, and (unlike pseudobenedetto above) using civil language to describe their function, i.e. eliminating “stoner”, “dope”, “shit”, “pot” and all those other pro-sneakotine slurs from the dialogue.

  16. Sadly large forces in our government want to legislate morality. They would force their right wing conservative agenda down our throats at the barrel of a gun if they thought they could get away with it. Yet at the same time as they work to destroy what little positive progress that has been made on marijuana, they completely ignore the fact that alcohol is more destructive than all other street drugs combined. Also that children are negatively effected by alcohol in many ways. It is my opinion that these right wing tea drinkers are hypocrites of the worst kind, and I consider them fanatics. Often referring to them as religious communist, or Christian Taliban. In the state I live in N.J. The Governor has taken a medical marijuana bill that would have helped many sick people, and reduced it to help only those with terminal illnesses. This guy is a true believer, and must be voted out of office. The attempt to legislate morality in this country is just right wing religious influence in the government. If they have there way every thing that is good for the poor and sick will flow into the pockets of the fat cats. There can really be only one reason to stop the sick from growing pot for themselves, that would be to protect the Drug companies.

  17. Just decided to come check this thread again to the person who disagreed with me about using violence, you are a damned idiot! Alcoholics got their way using violence, a bunch of lazy hippies won’t get shit done with words please kill yourself?
    [Editor’s note: You’re an idiot if you believe ‘alcoholics’ ended Alcohol Prohibition by being violent and you’re a an even bigger fool to advocate that cannabis consumers need to be violent against the government to implement alternative policies (and consistent with the Constitution and free market values of America) to Cannabis Prohibition.
    FYI: Any future posts from you that advocate violence (or blood libel cannabis activists as ‘hippies’) will be deleted.]

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