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MMJ Repeal Draws 3 Times The Opponents 
Posted by CN Staff on February 02, 2011 at 19:41:44 PT
By Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau
Source: Billings Gazette
Helena, MT -- By a 3-to-1 margin, opponents outnumbered supporters of a bill Wednesday that would repeal Montana's 2004 voter-passed law legalizing the use of medical marijuana in the state.At issue before the House Human Services Committee was House Bill 161, by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade. The preliminary count of people signed up to speak showed 86 opponents and 28 supporters of the bill. The committee took no immediate on the vote.
Milburn talked about the huge increase in people obtaining medical marijuana cards  more than 28,000 people now have them  and what it has done to Montana and its schools, cities and towns with the increased use of marijuana by teens."So it's no longer an issue of medical marijuana," he said. "It's an issue of marijuana. We've opened the floodgate. It's like Hurricane Katrina. We're not talking about the dikes holding back the water anymore. We're talking about how do you rebuild the city."He said Montana is fast developing the reputation nationally as being the place nationally where people can come and buy their marijuana.He said there are no scientific studies that prove marijuana has any medicinal value, a claim disputed by opponents."We need to shut this industry down." he said. "We need to take another look at it. We need to start over. We need to do it in a calculated and reasonable fashion."Outside the hearing room, many people opposed to the bill carried signs that said, "Mr. Milburn, keep your hands off my medicine."Inside the hearing room, opponents, some of them in wheelchairs and others using crutches, told how using medical marijuana had helped their medical problems."Without medical marijuana, I wouldn't make it as far as I did with my life," said Jeff Swenson, who was in a wheelchair.Tess Raunig, who also was in a wheelchair, said she was born with cystic fibrosis that left her with spastic muscles.Last year, she said she discovered that medical marijuana worked much better than any of the prescription muscle relaxants she had tried without all the numerous psychological side effects like depression and anxiety."I am a productive member of society," Raunig said. "I hold three jobs. One of those is a personal therapist for another person with a disability. I don't believe without medical cannabis I would be able to hold this job. I'm also a straight-A college student. I'm graduating this semester with a degree in vocal performance and entertainment management certificate. ... I'm a good person and I don't want to be turned into a criminal."Katrina Farnum, an herbalist representing Montanans for Responsible Legislation, agreed that the current law needs some amendments but opposed its repeal, saying it would turn more than 20,000 people into criminals overnight."I paid $10,000 in taxes this year, and if I am made a criminal because this bill passes, someone will be giving me a return check for $4,000," she said.Meanwhile, supporters of HB161 included Candace Payne, representing the Rimrock Foundation, which treats people with additions. She quoted a Rimrock official who said the use of marijuana by at-risk kids now surpasses alcohol."Make no mistake about it," she said. "Marijuana is a very addictive drug. Today's pot is 25 percent stronger than the pot of the '60s and the baby boom generation. ... Legalizing medical marijuana has made this drug more assessable to our young people and they are increasingly using it."Mark Long, representing the Montana Narcotic Officers Association, estimated that medical marijuana is probably close to a $1 billion-a-year unregulated business in Montana, with, in some cases, criminal elements infiltrating it."The market in Montana is tremendously, oversaturated with marijuana," Long said. "There's just not enough patients in Montana to take the marijuana that's produced."Long said many of the medical marijuana patients he's met are low-income or fixed-income people, so he wonders where all the money is coming from.Law enforcement officers in other states refer to Montana as "a source country" for marijuana, he said.Susan Smith of Billings is one of the mothers who helped start Safe Communities, Safe Kids, a group that collected nearly 20,000 signatures in less than a week trying to put a repeal initiative on the 2010 ballot. The group fell about 5,000 signatures short.Montanans now know they have been "lied to, duped and deceived regarding current medical marijuana law," she said.Smith said she would hold legislators "morally responsible as a governing body" for the decision they make on this issue."Are you willing to ruin our communities and families in this state?" she asked. "The devastation and heartbreak has already touched the lives of many."Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Author: Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State BureauPublished:  Wednesday, February 2, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: http://www.billingsgazette.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/yRVC45z9CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml 
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on February 05, 2011 at 06:09:59 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Christmas is when we buy a DVD that we want. It looks like it will be very interesting.
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Comment #17 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on February 05, 2011 at 02:42:50 PT
FoM 13
Me, too.
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Comment #16 posted by kaptinemo on February 03, 2011 at 16:19:59 PT:
And, one more thing
The prohibs have a very odd view of their own neighbors:Montanans now know they have been "lied to, duped and deceived regarding current medical marijuana law," she said.Smith said she would hold legislators "morally responsible as a governing body" for the decision they make on this issue.As I said below, they're authoritarians. Such as they have nothing but contempt for democracy...and this woman has betrayed that contempt of not only democracy but her neighbor's native intelligence, as well. The implication is evident: in this woman's eyes, Montanans are too stupid to be entrusted with the sovereign franchise of voting to determine their own destinies via democracy.This is the very same insulting cant that was uttered by public servants Barry McCaffrey, Donna Shalala and Janet Reno immediately after Prop215 passed in 1996. That kind of insult deserves public scorn at the least, and traditional remedies (tar bath and feather rinse) at the most.
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Comment #15 posted by kaptinemo on February 03, 2011 at 16:09:17 PT:
'Compassion' on their tongues; hate in their eyes
Mirroring the hate in their hearts.Look, really look into the eyes of a dyed-in-the-wool, True Believer prohib. Watch those eyes when they speak of 'compassion'. There's a barely hidden sneer behind their words; for them, compassion is for weaklings. Their idea of compassion is viciously beating you instead of shooting you outright...and you're supposed to lick their hands in gratitude at being so 'favored' by such 'merciful' paragons of virtue at allowing you to continue to live on their terms. Nearly every prohib I've ever had the 'pleasure' of debating, when they had the courage to try (a very rare occurrence), when finally chivvied into a rhetorical corner by disproving their lies with facts, became just the way a trapped rat does, and you get to see the real person beneath the veneer of civility. The hate that shines from their eyes when they've been publicly caught in a web of their own ignorance and mendacity is unmistakable.They are exactly like Nietzsche described similar people of his day:"But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves 'the good and just,' forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but- power!"Strip them of their sweet words of compassion, and you find nothing but vengeful, hate-filled authoritarian control-freaks. Very dangerous ones.
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Comment #14 posted by The GCW on February 03, 2011 at 12:39:42 PT
Very Important Pothead of the Month: Roseanne Barr
"she writes of "a natural substance called THC" and says it's "the only drug that should be legal. In fact, it should be mandatory."MORE:http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2011/02/03/Very-Important-Pothead-Month-Roseanne-Barr
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 03, 2011 at 06:54:56 PT
por1 
Thank you. I just put the DVD in my wish list at Amazon.
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Comment #12 posted by josephlacerenza on February 03, 2011 at 06:43:59 PT
Montana is Going to Pot!!!
Well, I feel confident Montana will not repeal its MMJ act this year!!! My lab is open and ready for the new changes coming to the Medical marijuana industry here in Montana.
Open THC Testing Lab in Bozeman, MT
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Comment #11 posted by por1 on February 03, 2011 at 06:29:23 PT
thought you all might like this
http://www.realitysandwich.com/chemo_or_cannabis_treat_cancer As the word gets out the powers that be seem more foolish every day
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on February 03, 2011 at 06:11:15 PT
NO "Hurricane Katrina"
It's like Hurricane KatrinaWow.Someone is not being honest.
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Comment #9 posted by GeoChemist on February 03, 2011 at 04:00:01 PT
Hammer these morons
Milburn's email: mmilburn mcn.net
Payne's email: comm rimrock.org
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on February 03, 2011 at 00:58:09 PT
"...not gracious, sensible people. "
Girl, you could not make me live their lives at gun point! Caging me did not work, to kill me would not work either!I would not live a life of "ignorance for hire" or to profit at the cost of another's freedom or discomfort! I get the feeling that these types of people always know where to find their car keys in the morning, dress clean and fresh everyday, never get driving tickets and otherwise don't have a clue!You can see that in their declarations of "concern" for their fellow man. [sarcasm intended].I once heard a funny way to describe ignorance; "They couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the sole!" Sound familiar?
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on February 03, 2011 at 00:51:21 PT
Life's a risky thing but most risk isn't illegal
We usually have the right to take risks in the pursuit of happiness without the threat of imprisonment, even when the risks may end in death, and that's exactly the way it should be.Just a few days ago, there were four family members who drowned in a nearby river. They were celebrating the 11th birthday of a boy with his father, his mother's father and his uncle by gigging for fish. The water was barely above freezing, they were all loaded (overloaded?) in a 12-foot john boat and none of them had life jackets on. A conservation agent heard the cries of the grandfather as he clung to the capsized boat, but he died after he was rescued. The bodies of the other three were found in 10 to 12 feet of water. It's a horrible tragedy no matter how you look at it. It was all also PERFECTLY LEGAL, no matter how stupid and dangerous it was. Dammit, they had the right to give up their lives in the pursuit of happiness (and did,) yet they never once risked losing all of their possessions and their freedom by narco-terrorists with badges and automatic weapons.I can jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet yet I can't use cannabis for medicine. I can freely do any number of stupid-ass things that could lead to imminent death yet I can't use a natural plant that has never directly killed a single human being.The war on cannabis deprives me of my "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If it was important enough to include in the Declaration of Independence, then it's important enough for me to stand on 235 years later.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.I would argue with fervor that one of my unalienable Rights, endowed upon me by my Creator, is the freedom to use the creations of my Creator that were explicitly deemed by my Creator as "good" on the very first page of the Bible. Depriving me of my Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for obedience to my Creator is morally, ethically and legally wrong.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 02, 2011 at 23:08:54 PT
Right ... Runruff.
It used to just infuriate me to hear these hysterical lying spells and fits these prohibs go through. Now that more and more people can see them for what they are... they can be, on occasion, rather smile inducing.I'm thankful. I don't think I ever used to even smile slightly... ever... over their fits of wild eyed fantasy.Though, obviously not as powerful as they once were, they're still not gracious, sensible people. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on February 02, 2011 at 22:51:48 PT
"Devastation and heartbreak"
"The devastation and heartbreak has already touched the lives of many."The devastation and heartbreak of someone using marijuana/cannabis?That's very dramatic. Does she mean her personally just being "devastated and heartbroken" that some one tried the sinful, horrible plant and even more awful... enjoyed it and it's effects?I don't think she means the devastation and heartbreak over getting a diagnosis of cancer or something else very unpleasant.Maybe she means people losing their jobs or friends because of medical cannabis use? I still think her desire to punish over the use of the plant is more "sinful" than the "sin" of consuming a plant. Geesh. That's amazingly blind.They are devastated and heartbroken that someone had pleasure or enjoyment in consuming a plant, a plant banned as contraband by government and some elements of society. That is devastating and heartbreaking to some people.They lost control of you so now they must hate you? That's pretty harsh.So harsh that they would kill and imprison to stop the "sin"... the "immorality" of enjoying cannabis. Their pleasure at abusing a fellow human being because he devastated them and broke their hearts is appalling to me... and to many other people that apparently are just not blinded by whatever the zealous prohibitionists are blinded by.*sigh*I've found it devastating and heartbreaking that they would kill, imprison and persecute over cannabis/marijuana.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on February 02, 2011 at 22:45:40 PT
Who's afraid of the boogyman?
Three out of four said, "not me!"The "busybodies for cash" said,"the sky is falling, the sky is falling!"Thanks for the heads up, Mr Milburn, I'll alert Mr. Little!
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on February 02, 2011 at 22:41:14 PT
While reading this article...
...like a child I giggled!
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Comment #2 posted by josephlacerenza on February 02, 2011 at 21:30:38 PT
open lab thc testing in montana
I know I an not the only one to want to see this law stay.
THC Testing Lab Open in Montana
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on February 02, 2011 at 21:06:40 PT
MBT Against Repeal
I hope it is not as bad as it is being played out. there will be a lot of people who, over night, become criminals!!!!!
Open Pot Lab in Bozeman, MT
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