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Medical Marijuana Laws Under Seige

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 7, 2011

    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.

    MONTANA

    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.)

    NEW MEXICO

    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.

    TAKE ACTION TODAY!

    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: info@mtpfu.org.

    69 Responses to “Medical Marijuana Laws Under Seige”

    1. Peter D says:

      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. shiny object over there says:

      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. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mouseclone, Jessica, Hemp Trader #9, MENTALONE, Wayne Dibner and others. Wayne Dibner said: RT @NORML: #NORML Medical Marijuana Laws Under Seige http://tinyurl.com/4t7qe3l […]

    4. Chris P. says:

      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, http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_386b666e-7a8b-11df-89b6-001cc4c002e0.html, but it is also possible that a veto could be overridden.]

    5. Kylucky says:

      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!

    6. Richelle says:

      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.

    7. The bigger dog says:

      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!!!

    8. Stompedonmyrights says:

      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.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-for-a-national-debate-between-cannabis-prohibitionist-and-anti-cannabis-probitionist#signatures

    9. Stompedonmyrights says:

      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.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-for-a-national-debate-between-cannabis-prohibitionist-and-anti-cannabis-probitionist#signatures

    10. Ray DiPasquale says:

      “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

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