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  House OKs Heavily Amended Medical Pot Rule
Posted by CN Staff on April 12, 2011 at 05:46:25 PT
By Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau  
Source: Billings Gazette 

medical Helena, MT -- The House voted 77-23 to pass a heavily amended Senate medical marijuana bill that even its backers conceded is still a work in progress as the Legislature winds down.

Senate Bill 423, by Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, now faces a final House vote, probably Tuesday, before returning to the Senate and will likely head to a conference committee to iron out differences between the chambers. The bill, introduced late in the Senate, was completely rewritten in House committee.

The vote for SB423 was bipartisan, with 65 Republicans and 12 Democrats supporting it, while 20 Democrats and three Republicans voted against it.

As backers pointed out, it is the last-surviving bill at the Legislature to impose tighter restrictions on a medical marijuana industry that even some supporters admit has careened out of control since its passage as an initiative in 2004.

The options are becoming scarce as the Legislature enters its final 10 days.

A bill to repeal the law, HB161, by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, has passed both chambers, but a veto by Gov. Brian Schweitzer appears likely. Schweitzer has said a number of times he prefers to fix rather than repeal the current medical marijuana law.

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee took away another option by tabling HB175, by Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, which sought to ask voters next year they want to repeal or retain the current medical marijuana law.

"If we do not pass this bill and the governor vetoes (HB) 161, we will be going home with nothing," Rep. Tom Berry, R-Roundup, told the House.

Berry readily acknowledged that HB423 "is not a perfect bill," but he said lawmakers would continue to be work on it at an expected Senate-House conference committee.

The latest version of SB423 seeks to greatly limit the number of people licensed to use medical marijuana, now at 28,300, with backers hoping to bring that number fewer than 2,000. SB423 first would repeal the current law and shut down medical pot growing and dispensing operations on July 1.

The bill seeks to squeeze all profits out of the industry by eliminating paid caretakers who grow marijuana for cardholders. SB423 would create a system that permits one person to grow medical marijuana for a patient, and not vice versa, but for no compensation. One person could grow marijuana for up to three people, provided two of them are relatives.

Leading the opposition was Rep. Pat Noonan, R-Ramsay, who said he thought legislators came to Helena to pass stricter and responsible regulations and controls on medical marijuana in Montana.

"This bill is the opposite of responsible regulation," Noonan said. "This bill is a turn-a-blind-eye, grow-it-yourself bill, and that is the exact opposite of regulation."

Noonan told how House Human Services Chairman David Howard, R-Park City, who called medical marijuana "a scourge" on Montana and compared it to "arsenic mixed with valium," said SB423 was as close to repeal as the Legislature could make it without actually doing so.

"This bill is mass repeal," Noonan said. "This bill is repeal in sheep's clothing."

Berry said the bill is not some "knee jerk reaction." The amendments came from parts of other bills that have been before the session, he said.

Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, criticized the bill for overturning the public vote for medical marijuana.

"I think it's absolute hubris to ignore the will of voters of Montana," she said.

Another critic was Rep. Bill Harris, R-Mosby, suggested organized crime would profit from selling illegal marijuana in Montana on the black market if SB423 passes.

"My guess is the (drug) cartel men, whoever they are, are sitting in their fancy apartments in Florida watching this," he said. "They're probably celebrating and talking about, 'Let's take a trip or two to the bank.'"

Rep. Cary Smith, R-Billings, said the bill tries to bring Montana's law back to what people voted on, based on the language from the 2004 ballot and voter information pamphlet said. Smith, one of sponsors of the amendments said he never said it was the next best thing to repeal but he called it a good compromise.

"This is not going to be the end of medical marijuana," Smith said. "We're going to back here next session talking about medical marijuana. That's a fact of life, folks. I wish it would go away, but it's not."

Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Author: Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau
Published: April 11, 2011
Copyright: 2011 The Billings Gazette
Contact: speakup@billingsgazette.com
Website: http://www.billingsgazette.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/GHpHrZm0

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Comment #24 posted by FoM on April 19, 2011 at 20:57:24 PT
Ekim
Happt Earth Day and 4/20 to you and everyone.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #23 posted by ekim on April 19, 2011 at 20:39:26 PT
rained out tonight
like to say happy earth day

to new commers every day here is

the thought of human effort being used to eliminate a plant from the face of the earth like Cannabis for dislike,

cries out for not being fair and asks for help

all who carry her out and plant and water -how is that to be regulated with a patent how many strains have been saved.

again thanks everyone for allowing the young to benefit form having saved the seed.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #22 posted by josephlacerenza on April 17, 2011 at 13:36:07 PT
Patents and Trademarks
Did you know you can get a trademark or patent on your unique variety or strain of cannabis? You can also trademark or patent a service, or product pertaining to marijuana! Montana Biotech can help with it's Plant DNA Collection Kit™.

Plant DNA Collection Kit™ http://tinyurl.com/44a5wk7

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #21 posted by josephlacerenza on April 15, 2011 at 14:59:30 PT
Growing Green
Growing Green is a TV show streamed on the internets from Missoula Montana! They will be discussing ALL things cannabis... It is an 8 week series, one show per week, Fridays 5:30PM Channel 7 on Mcat.org.

http://mcat.org/MCAT_ch7_stream.php

April 29th, Montana Biotech will be on discussing the science behind cannabis, genetics, and the Grow Buddy™, the at home cannabis THC test kit!

Check it out tonight, and see Montana Biotech on the 29th!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #20 posted by Hope on April 14, 2011 at 14:00:45 PT
josephlacerenza
Well, congratulations on getting past this hurdle and I hope they don't get all that crazy 'you have to grow it for free' stuff and all, through, or there won't be anyone growing it.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #19 posted by josephlacerenza on April 14, 2011 at 10:28:17 PT
Hope, He is Very Reseptive to the MMJ Community
Schweitzer does not agree with the 28,000 + patients. I do not agree with that thinking. Chronic pain is a huge factor of working with you back, back breaking labor... etc. We have ~570,000 people suffering from chronic pain in Montana. Some choose the pharma narcotics, 20,000 choose cannabis. Cannabis should be as available as aspirin, it is SAFER!

That is why I warn of Schedule 2 listing of cannabis....

HB423 calls for an out right stop to everything mmj related in Montana. Then, "THEY", CAN start it up again. Every word is important.

Intent in the VOTER, WTF?!!!

WE PUT THE WORDS IN THERE!! WE KNOW WHAT HB148 SAID!!!! I KNOW WHAT CHRONIC PAIN IS!!

WTF!!! I SAY LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!

$$$$IT IS ALL ABOUT THE$$$$$$ WHO MADE IT$$$$ WHO THOUGHT THEY WHERE$$$$$$ AND WHO DID NOT$$$$$!!!!!

Sheesh!!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #18 posted by Hope on April 14, 2011 at 07:52:26 PT
josephlacerenza
It is wonderful that your Governor vetoed the repeal bill.

Now it's understandable, depending on what they do, they are tweaking and adjusting the rules, if they stay reasonable and it's not about just trying to restrict it's use. I hope the Governor will be willing to veto, too, anything that reaches his desk that's too harsh or stringent.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #17 posted by Hope on April 14, 2011 at 07:49:21 PT
malcolmkyle
Great to see you posting here. Thank you.

I read this information at the Cancer Institute site, I thought... but I did not notice the term "Gavage" before in reference to how the mice and rats were dosed in the anti-tumor study. Gavage. They were force fed into their stomachs. They weren't injections of pure THC or anything like that. They were fed THC. Very interesting.

It's a crime to keep cannabis away from people. A crime against humanity and nature.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #16 posted by josephlacerenza on April 14, 2011 at 06:43:51 PT
Ladies, FoM & Hope, I am LOVING THIS!!
We have a Gov on our side! This is not over, HB423 looks no better! Repeal in sheep's clothing....

But, a little victory is all we needed!!! Baby steps! Always, baby steps!!! A veto under his belt, Schweitzer knows his constituency.

Keep an eye on the up coming Gov race for 2012. Looks like a MMJ opponent vs a proponent! I will be supporting the latter :) Lary Jent is a D-Bozeman in the Senate that was for repeal. David Wanzereid D-Missoula is a senator who is running for Gov and is for MMJ!

The fight never ends!!! NEVER, we move from protecting our right as cannabis consumers, to gay rights, it NEVER ENDS!!! Any good solder of light looks to a new area of darkness to shine the light of knowledge and wisdom!!!

Fight on solders!!!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by malcolmkyle on April 14, 2011 at 01:28:18 PT:

MARIJUANA DOES HAVE GREAT MEDICAL VALUE
The following text is taken directly from the US government's National Cancer Institute website: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

* ANTI-TUMOR EFFECTS -Sadly, the first three paragraphs were removed on March 28th 2011 shortly after media attention: http://www.americanindependent.com/176139/first-federal-agency-to-acknowledge-medical-marijuana-removes-anti-tumor-information-from-database

Here's an image of the original entry: http://images.americanindependent.com/NCI_Cannabis.png

One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.

Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.

In an in vivo model using severe combined immunodeficient mice, subcutaneous tumors were generated by inoculating the animals with cells from human non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines. Tumor growth was inhibited by 60% in THC-treated mice compared with vehicle-treated control mice. Tumor specimens revealed that THC had antiangiogenic and antiproliferative effects.

* ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS

In addition, both plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied for anti- inflammatory effects. A mouse study demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation. As a result, a hypothesis that phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be useful in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer has been developed.

* ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES

Another study has shown delta-9-THC is a potent and selective antiviral agent against Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8. The researchers concluded that additional studies on cannabinoids and herpesviruses are warranted, as they may lead to the development of drugs that inhibit the reactivation of these oncogenic viruses. Subsequently, another group of investigators reported increased efficiency of KSHV infection of human dermal microvascular epithelial cells in the presence of low doses of delta-9-THC. Appetite Stimulation

* APPETITE STIMULATOR

Many animal studies have previously demonstrated that delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids have a stimulatory effect on appetite and increase food intake. It is believed that the endogenous cannabinoid system may serve as a regulator of feeding behavior. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide potently enhances appetite in mice. Moreover, CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus may be involved in the motivational or reward aspects of eating. Analgesia

* AS A PAIN KILLER

Understanding the mechanism of cannabinoid-induced analgesia has been increased through the study of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and synthetic agonists and antagonists. The CB1 receptor is found in both the central nervous system (CNS) and in peripheral nerve terminals. Similar to opioid receptors, increased levels of the CB1 receptor are found in sections of the brain that regulate nociceptive processing. CB2 receptors, located predominantly in peripheral tissue, exist at very low levels in the CNS. With the development of receptor-specific antagonists, additional information about the roles of the receptors and endogenous cannabinoids in the modulation of pain has been obtained.

Cannabinoids may also contribute to pain modulation through an anti-inflammatory mechanism; a CB2 effect with cannabinoids acting on mast cell receptors to attenuate the release of inflammatory agents, such as histamine and serotonin, and on keratinocytes to enhance the release of analgesic opioids has been described.

The American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Academy of HIV Medicine, two former U.S. surgeon generals, and hundreds of other medical professional groups all say that marijuana should be available to patients whose doctors recommend it.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by FoM on April 13, 2011 at 14:57:40 PT
Hope
I think people are starting to wake up and realize that it is almost all Republicans that have no guilt in trying to tear down what the people voted for. Words mean nothing without actions. Look what they want to do to Medicare. Vouchers for a poor sick senior to buy their own insurance. Unbelievable. Who would insure a senior with health issues like all seniors have? I guess they would just die and that would be ok with the Republicans.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 13:44:36 PT
FoM Comment 12
I'm sure he will. His job...so many people's jobs... his business, so many people's businesses... his health, so many people's health are saved by this veto.

Of course, there's bound to be more trouble down the line, but this decision by the Governor is just wonderful and holds true to my belief and fervent hope that the vote of the people means something in this country.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 13, 2011 at 13:18:06 PT
Hope
I'm sure Joseph will be very happy.

Dongenero, I agree with you.

Afterburner, I hope this time it works in your favor.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 13:15:34 PT
I'm ready to see some
josephlacerenza type joy on this matter.

:0)

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 13:12:27 PT
There is joy!
Grammar police... back off!

Yay! There is joy in this matter. No doubt. Although I know some are angry... they are wrong to be so harsh on other people and so into trying to control everyone's lives in a "Don't taste. Don't touch" sort of way.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by afterburner on April 13, 2011 at 12:54:12 PT
Breaking News from Ontario
Here we go again:

Pot laws ruled unconstitutional, judge says fix problem now or else. Published On Wed Apr 13 2011. http://www.thestar.com/news/article/973886--pot-laws-ruled-unconstitutional

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by dongenero on April 13, 2011 at 12:28:34 PT
Governor Schweitzer
Governor Schweitzer....champion of the voters!

I still find it amazing that a Governor had to step in and protect the will of the voters from Republican legislators in Montana.

I never want to hear another Republican harp about freedom, or patriotism, or democracy, or The People,...or the founders for that matter. It's nonsense. The reality is, they are full of greed for power and dictatorial control at the expense of democracy.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 12:11:53 PT
And their is joy
in Montana today!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 12:10:53 PT
Lol!
Lol!

Wonderful!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 13, 2011 at 12:02:48 PT
Thank You Governor Schweitzer!
Gov. Schweitzer Vetoes Repeal of Montana’s Medical Marijuana Law

By Associated Press

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Helena, Mont. -- Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has vetoed a bill that would have repealed the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law.

Schweitzer, a Democrat, vetoed the Republican-backed measure Wednesday along with several others he called “frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana.”

Montana voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved the use of medical marijuana by the very sick. There are now more than 28,000 registered medical pot users.

Supporters of repeal say the boom has gone too far and that the voter initiative has too many holes to be effectively reformed.

A separate bill proposing changes in the law is now in conference committee. It may be this Legislature’s last chance of acting on the issue with little more than a week left in the session.

Copyright: 2011 Associated Press

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 13, 2011 at 11:51:08 PT
josephlacerenza
Governor Schweitzer might veto it if he feels strongly enough about not interfering with the will of the people as shown by the original vote.

I hope he does veto it, too.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by disvet13 on April 12, 2011 at 15:29:00 PT:

republicans forced themselves
i was amazed how the republicans had so many "constituents" begging them to change their votes, what was it? 62%, boys and girls thats a lot of begging. i'm sure the republicans took it upon themselves to bear so much begging to spare the children from a cure for cancer that would only cost pennies for the families to grow for themselves. it would be far better to let big business handle it all. no need for small business men like J.Lacerenza of Montana Biotech making a living, he might have started producing rick simpson's hemp oil way to cheap.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by josephlacerenza on April 12, 2011 at 13:35:46 PT
Governor Schweitzer Do Not Repeal Medical Marijuan
Governor Schweitzer, My name is Joseph Lacerenza. I started a small plant biotechnology company, Montana Biotech, in January 2010 here in Bozeman, Montana. I became a medical marijuana patient and caregiver of three patients in the fall of 2009.

I started in August 2006 as an undergraduate student at Montana State University studying plant biotechnology and working full time as a lab tech. I was asked to leave the plant science department, as an employee in August 2010, do to my choice of entrepreneurial adventuring.

I was not a trouble maker. I was published twice as the first author in two peer reviewed publications, one in Cereal Chemistry, 2006, and the other in The Oxford Journal of Experimental Botany, 2010. In 2007 I was awarded the Spirit of Ethanol Award from EPAC (Ethanol Producers And Consumers) for my research in bio-fuels at M.S.U. under the tutelage of Dr. Mike Giroux.

After I was asked to leave the plant science department I, Montana Biotech, had to lean heavily on the medical marijuana community for revenue by providing potency analysis of cannabis products, as well as, genetic profiling of marijuana. Clientele was hit and miss from August to November 2010 because there was already a well established potency analysis business, Montana Botanical Analysis.

There was not enough business coming in to the lab from potency and genetic analysis alone, that I had to remove myself from active status at M.S.U. this spring term and take a second job as a medical marijuana caregiver, actually asking for compensation.

My business made a profit for the first time in December 2010. I had to employ a friend to help with the 52% increase in business from December to January. February this year saw another 50% increase in business over January! February was the first month that potency and genetic analysis brought in more to Montana Biotech than medical marijuana receipts. March was looking better!!

Then, March 11th hits, the DEA comes and attacks one of my largest clients, Big Sky Patient Care. Business in potency analysis almost stopped over night!

Governor Schweitzer, please, I need some type of help to be competitive with the other plant biotech GIANTS like Monsanto, ADM, etc. I am actually getting to do science THEY can’t. I have this bubble of exclusivity!! Please, the bill HB 161 would force my small business to Washington State, Oregon, Arizona anywhere other than here. I provide a service no one else currently is, genetic profiling and plant sexing, females are currently worth more then males.

My sole proprietorship, plant biotechnology company is dependent on the medical marijuana community to be competitive, so……

PLEASA DO NOT REPEAL THE PEOPLES WILL!!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by dongenero on April 12, 2011 at 08:06:17 PT
Rep. Berry - R
"If we do not pass this bill and the governor vetoes (HB) 161, we will be going home with nothing," Rep. Tom Berry, R-Roundup, told the House.

Rep. Berry, all of you ridiculous and disgusting Republicans, bent on overbearing, authoritarian government control and directly thwarting the will of the people, correction, the direct VOTE of the People, should be "going home with (absolutely) nothing".



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