Legislature Should Consider Repealing MMJ
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Legislature Should Consider Repealing MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on February 16, 2011 at 07:13:35 PT
By Rep. David Howard, R-Park City
Source: Billings Gazette
Helena, MT --  As chairman of the House committee that has overseen the bulk of the medical marijuana bills this session, I have heard arguments from those who use it, those who abuse it and those who are most affected by it. After hours of testimony, one thing has become clear. Medical marijuana has become a billion-dollar industry that Montana can ill afford.Our state currently has 28,362 medical marijuana users, a figure which has grown by more than 1,000 in the last month alone. Of those, less than 2 percent are over the age of 70, with the largest demographic falling between the ages of 21-30. Three-quarters of these individuals were issued cards for “severe or chronic” pain.
When Initiative 148 passed in 2004, it provided for the limited use of medical marijuana under close medical supervision by those with debilitating conditions. There can be no question that voters who supported legalizing medical marijuana were grossly misled by out-of-state special interests.During a recent public hearing in my committee, one caregiver testified that in order to supply 6,000 patients with medical marijuana, the network he represented was legally allowed to possess up to six plants and one ounce of marijuana per patient. If a fully grown plant is capable of producing 21 ounces of marijuana per year, this means a caregiver can produce upwards of 126 ounces of marijuana per patient.By comparison, a typical marijuana cigarette or joint has less than half a gram of marijuana and produces an effect that lasts a minimum of 2-4 hours. If an individual were to smoke six joints every day, they would consume less than 40 ounces of marijuana over the course of an entire year. This leaves 86 ounces of an unused drug that is currently valued at $225 per ounce. Taken as a whole, this translates to $540 million worth of excess and unaccounted for marijuana.Testimony from local educators confirms that the illegal use of medical marijuana has begun to infiltrate our school system. Drug dispensaries are popping up next to schools while students with cards are selling marijuana to peers. Meanwhile, teachers from across the state are noticing an increase in the rate of dropouts of kids whose parents abuse medical marijuana.Law enforcement officials are also struggling to combat the problems associated with the “legal” use of medical marijuana. On multiple occasions, caregivers have been caught attempting to sell the drug to undercover agents and falsifying card applications for patients that failed medical screenings. These problems are only compounded by the fact that nearly one out of every 10 Montanans on parole or probation currently carries a medical marijuana card. During one hearing, a narcotics officer stated that the market has become so oversaturated with the drug that the DEA has labeled Montana a “source country” for the illegal distribution and trafficking of marijuana outside the state.There is no question that the use of medical marijuana in this state is being abused by those with recreational, profit-driven and even criminal motives. Unfortunately, they have done so at the expense of those with debilitating medical conditions. As legislators, we did not have a say in bringing this drug to Montana, but as citizens, we have a chance to prevent its proliferation from spiraling out of control. It is high time legislators start seriously considering whether a full repeal of this dangerous drug is in the best interests of the communities we were elected to represent.Rep. David Howard, R-Park City, chairs the House Human Services Committee.Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Author: Rep. David Howard, R-Park CityPublished:  February 16, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by josephlacerenza on February 18, 2011 at 07:06:33 PT:
Economics of MMJ in Montana
There is ONLY one way to get to those in power, and that is MONEY!!!Here are some round numbers to put in your head and shake around:~28,000 MMJ patients in Montana, this does not include caregivers, providers, dispensaries.If each patient used 1 ounce per month at $250/ ounce, that is a monthly income of roughly $7 million. Now take that figure per month and take it to a year... ~$77 million.These numbers fail to take into account the expenditures, we as business owners, make in our local economies. is a quote from the paper, "...Valerie Sigler, who has a medical marijuana businesses in Bozeman, Big Sky and Butte, said she paid $183,000 in wages and workers' compensation on 12 employees last year, $79,000 in rent, $17,000 in utilities, $3,500 for carbon dioxide, $10,000 for phones and Internet and $7,500 to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services."Montana Biotech, I, work with Big Sky Patient Care providing their potency testing.I currently employ a previously unemployed MMJ patient. He was "let go" do to the fact he works with and on cars, he's a mechanic. But, his employer did not think it safe for their insurance to keep him on.I was "let go: from my JOB at the university, August of last year. They did not like having me in their plant science department any longer if I was going to continue trying to start my own business. In the end, this repeal thing would be a jobs killer, where are all these people to go when they have NO job, and there does not appear to be any new jobs being created. We as a MMJ community, lifted ourselves up by our boot straps, WE created the jobs WE needed!!!Keep up the good work you Montanan's!!!! 
Montana Biotech Lab Potency and Genetic Analysis
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Comment #7 posted by ekim on February 17, 2011 at 11:25:25 PT
Judge on Freedom Watch took other Judge to task
the other night because said Judge was attempting
to stop people from handing out fliers in front of court 
house on becomming a fully informed jury.Freedom Watch Judge said we have the right to free speech.i want to think about this - can not yell fire in a crowded building -as someone might get if the jury can not debate say a drug law as to it being a just law or a unjust law in say a cannabis possession case, . Or should the Judge have the prosecuting Attorney prove what the Gov't says about cannabis use -- that it will make one become violent and if that can not be shown the accused
is the underlying premise is not correct.the Gov't cannot be yelling fire where non exist.
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Comment #6 posted by ripit on February 17, 2011 at 08:38:58 PT
there has got to be some way
 we canstop all these idiots lies.i see no way that we cant call bullscat!just how are they getting these so called facts and figures about schools and just how do they know who's parents use cannabis?
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on February 16, 2011 at 17:29:42 PT:
It's long past time for lawsuits
If false statements concerning how 'dangerous' the single most non-toxic plant on the planet are used as the basis of legislation, then those telling those lies need to be dragged into court and made to testify under oath.This nonsense won't stop until those lies - which make up the whole of cannabis prohibition, itself - are exposed as lies. And those telling those lies are exposed as the liars they are.If cannabis prohibition can be placed on trial courtesy of such a lawsuit, the government would have to admit it had engaged in officially sanctioned mendacity against the very citizens it claims it wants to 'protect'. And there would be legal penalties for those who continued that mendacity. Penalties few prohibitionists could afford to pay.So long as the lies are allowed to stand unchallenged in a court of law, the prohibs will keep winning. So long as the lies remain unchallenged, they'll always be able to sidle up beside us and hit us where we're vulnerable. It's time to take the legal gloves off. Those organizations that state that they are for ending cannabis prohibition have a ready-made, cut-and-dried victory just waiting to be won if they'd sue the prohibs who keep spouting these so-easily-refuted lies. I'd be willing to contribute funds towards such an endeavor; imagine if every cannabist sent a small donation, a la Yeson19. It's one fight worth picking...
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Comment #4 posted by tajjy on February 16, 2011 at 15:35:28 PT:
Supply and Demand
"Our state currently has 28,362 medical marijuana users"That clearly shows there is demand. Why would you repeal a law which is wanted by the people?The only thing that needs repealing is the Federal Government and Prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on February 16, 2011 at 10:03:26 PT
21 ounces per plant? In MONTANA???
Maybe outdoors, in the "Green Triangle" or Southern California you might get a bonanza like that, but most indoor plants yield one or two ounces! Considering that the winters in Montana are long and very cold, with unpredictable freezes the rest of the year, Montana sounds like prime INDOOR growing territory!This dude needs a reality check AND a new job where his delusions will not harm others! 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 16, 2011 at 09:02:36 PT
I never thought that I was super intelligent but darn the logic of those that should be smart and intelligent (elected politicians) really blows me away.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on February 16, 2011 at 08:55:25 PT
Great form of democracy there Sen. Howard
Another Republican to show us all the light. He's the guy that has it all figured out. He's going to protect all the sub-standard intelligence voters from their erroneous vote.He appears to be math wizard too....worthy of a Wall Street accounting job, judging by his "fuzzy" math. Imagine if every plant in Montana actually yielded 21 ounces, heh. Sen. Howard does.....he's quite imaginative.Where there's a will to subvert democracy, there's a way. The fear card always works well for them.
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