Nation's Worst Pretend MMJ Law Would Defy Voters 

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  Nation's Worst Pretend MMJ Law Would Defy Voters 

Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2011 at 12:33:32 PT
By William Strizich  
Source: AlterNet 

Helena -- When Montanans legalized medical marijuana in 2004, they did so by a larger majority than Californians had a few years earlier. More Montanans wanted to protect patients who receive medical benefits from marijuana than voted for President Bush or any other statewide candidate that year.Today, along with broad agreement that there have been problems and that the law’s loopholes and gray areas require fixing and regulation, polls consistently show that Montana voters still strongly support the principle of medical marijuana rights.
One by Public Policy Polling several months ago found only 20% of voters want to repeal the law, and 76% support either new regulation or no changes at all. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted more recently obtained similar results, showing that a whopping 87% supports either new regulation or no change in the current law.Yet Republican leaders of the Montana Legislature, who have the votes to pass nearly anything, have insisted only on trying to repeal the law rather than fix it. For months, they have ignored bipartisan regulatory proposals strongly supported by law enforcement, local governments and patients, and instead passed only a repeal bill. Now that the Governor vetoed that, the sole remaining option is SB 423, which proponents openly admit has been designed to “get as close to repeal as possible.” Republicans don’t want to fix the program so that it actually works for both patients and law enforcement; they don’t want to strictly regulate and thus save some of the many new jobs that have been created to produce an array of superior cannabis-based products for patients. It seems they’d rather keep marijuana illegitimate, shameful and subject to unsavory black market pressures.Instead of fixing our law’s problems, SB 423 will make the voter-adopted policy even more broken and dysfunctional, and legitimate patients all over the state will suffer if it becomes law. Its proponents make no secret of their goal to arbitrarily shrink the number of legal patients to fewer than 2,000 – rather than simply tighten the law to ensure that all patients are medically justified and supervised.In its current form, SB 423 would leave Montana with only the pretense of allowing medical marijuana, under the draconian terms of the nation’s very worst medical law. The bill defies federal rules on healthcare privacy by requiring patient status to be divulged to local law enforcement without guarantees of confidentiality. It intrudes in unprecedented ways on physician standards of practice and free speech by requiring any doctor who makes more than 15 marijuana recommendations to pay the cost of an automatic investigation. It virtually guarantees that if any patients could obtain medical recommendations, very few would actually have consistent, dependable access to medicinal quality cannabis, because it would require that cannabis be grown, magically “for free,” either by a sick patient or by a close friend or relative who can’t grow for anyone else. The bill maximizes the difficulty and cost of producing cannabis, yet bans any payment for it. It’s replete with provisions like these, intended solely to obstruct compassionate voter intent rather than allow its fulfillment in controlled and socially acceptable ways.We don’t treat people this way who use narcotics to deal with their chronic pain, cancer, glaucoma, MS and other severe and usually permanent medical conditions. And yet narcotics, even when used as directed, kill hundreds of people every year, while marijuana itself has never killed anyone. A study of Montana’s marijuana patients conducted by a pain specialist and published last September in Practical Pain Management documented that these patients sharply reduce their dependence on narcotics, and function more productively as a result. Hundreds of sincere and suffering Montana patients have traveled great distances in lousy weather over the past few months to testify that medical marijuana offers them a better option, in many cases the only one that actually works. How can we tell a woman who no longer endures a dozen seizures every day that she has to go back to using the narcotics that didn’t control her epilepsy but whose side-effects did cause her to gain hundreds of extra pounds? How do we tell an MS patient that he has to return to using the drugs that made it impossible for him to talk coherently with his children?We have to do better. The Montana Legislature should reject SB 423 and go back to the drawing board, or leave it to the executive branch to use administrative powers under our current law to create regulation that will control rather than obstruct the will of the state’s voters.Note: The Mt. Legislature should reject SB 423 and start over, or let the executive branch create regulation that controls rather than obstructs the will of the state's voters. William Strizich is a former Montana legislator and a 30-year veteran of the criminal justice system who lives in Great Falls, MT.Source: AlterNet (US)Author:  William Strizich  Published: April 20, 2011Copyright: 2011 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website:  Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #36 posted by FoM on April 26, 2011 at 10:06:11 PT
It won't take long after the laws change for the price to fall very low and then it will be affordable like all bulk herbs are. In business eliminating the middle man saves a lot of money. 
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on April 26, 2011 at 09:57:54 PT
FoM Comment 34
Sounds very sensible to me. But since prohibitionists are involved, "sensible" is going to be hard to come by.
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on April 25, 2011 at 07:30:05 PT
The way I see it is cannabis is a medicinal herb. I can buy medicinal herbs at my health food store and it says on the bottle not evaluated by the FDA. As long as we can treat cannabis like other herbs I will be very happy. 
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on April 25, 2011 at 07:15:16 PT
Had Enough
It is always great to see you!
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Comment #32 posted by Had Enough on April 25, 2011 at 01:06:18 PT

Opps!!!Here I go again….Should have been…Re:21…But I’m sure everyone already knows that…************LEGALIZE FREEDOM…What a concept…

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Comment #31 posted by Had Enough on April 25, 2011 at 00:41:59 PT

Museman Re: 21…It’s only Logical
Cool…I’m with you on that…But…You already knew that…Our place, in this place…************The Logical Song Roger Hodgson w Orchestra / Supertramp_ The Logical Song
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Comment #30 posted by Had Enough on April 25, 2011 at 00:10:57 PT

Cool Love Song….

Everybody loves a love song…************Bread - Make It With You Lyrics

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Comment #29 posted by Had Enough on April 25, 2011 at 00:05:11 PT

For my freinds...Thank You all
Thank You All...for being who you are…Haven’t been posting recently…but I’ve ben checking in…Just thought I would say Hey….************Neil Young - Heart Of Gold
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on April 24, 2011 at 21:14:35 PT

I agree.The main thing is that people aren't being overwhelmed by a senselessly tyrannical government. I want it to be free enough from overbearing laws that people can plant it in their yards for decoration if they want to. But I do understand that commercial products will need to be tested and regulated for quality and strength of the various cannabinoids and that it will indeed mean many jobs and an industry. I'm not terribly interested in the details of that industry, personally, as long as the people are free and safe from tyrants and there is cannabis that even the poorest of the poor can afford and be comforted by it's use.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on April 24, 2011 at 19:52:04 PT

I'm not interested in the Industry either. I want the laws changed so people can be free of this terrible prohibition against a mild and helpful plant.I dream of the day when it can be grown by anyone who would like to grow it so they can share it with those who can't grow it themselves. 
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on April 24, 2011 at 18:49:46 PT

Personally, I'm really not 
that interested in the "Industry". I know you are... and a lot of other people are, too. I understand.This fight, for me, was always about getting the powers to be to stop mistreating... arresting, killing, imprisoning, seizing, fining, threatening and generally bullying people over the cannabis plant. Especially the raids and the killing and imprisonment need to end. It's so obviously wrong.I'd like to see the laws governing legalization and regulation be sensible and fair... and I know there are likely to be a lot of laws in a lot of places that do not please me.But if the killing, and imprisonment, and general injustice ends I won't be as upset about it all as I am and have been for a very long time.
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Comment #25 posted by josephlacerenza on April 24, 2011 at 11:33:09 PT

Let me get that out of the way, right here and NOW!!! I was talking of a way to keep producers/farmers/growers safe from the illicit market.If speaking of people smuggling cannabis across wyoming, idaho, S or N dakota to OFF LOAD cannabis here as ruining what we are trying to build is "BAD", then what are we to do here in Montana to regulate our industry?!!!I understand your, museman's, burn at the powers that be, but come on!!!Creating a registry for the plants is no different then creating one for patients... If the argument is whether people should be on a registry to consume pot, you are preaching to the choir, they should not!!! But if you are afraid of regulation, we are going to get no further in this industry. By taking cannabis out of schedule 1 and placing it anywhere other than schedule 5 will not do. THAT WILL HAND IT TO PHARMA!!! I, in no way hand it to PHARMA by providing patients and caregivers the assurance they are not being subject to the ILLICIT raids by being in COMPLETE COMPLIANCE with the law of their state.... Prove they are not selling cannabis not produced in Montana, and that they are not SELLING IT TO OUR KIDS!!! And, if you are found to be selling to individuals not included in the mmj program, then YOU are RUINING it for us ALL!!You had to know we where moving on the regulation portion of this fight... How to do it, what it will take, the like... Yes, I can see a taxation system similar to the alcohol model. A certain % THC, a certain tax bracket... THC not being the only medicinal cannabinoid. 
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on April 24, 2011 at 10:46:22 PT

josephlacerenza comment 18
Aaarrggh. Just aaarrgg.I know it's hard, because of your business, to see the aaarrgggh element in that statement... but it's there. Believe me... it's there.It's a plant. People should be free to grow it. The commercial market and the medical aspects may need such oversight. Regular "law enforcement", is not technically involved in meat production. Aaargh. I can raise my own beef, pork, and poultry and prepare and consume it as I wish with out law enforcement looking over my shoulder with their hands on their guns or cuffs, or even waving a ticket book in my face and my friends and neighbors can partake of it if they wish, if I offer it to them.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on April 24, 2011 at 09:16:50 PT

As usual very well said.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on April 24, 2011 at 09:14:35 PT

It could ultimately change who can be a part of it all and hand it over to a few. The only way to get the prices affordable is to have a fully open market. Then the market will flood and prices will fall and poor people will be able to afford to buy cannabis to help them.
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Comment #21 posted by museman on April 24, 2011 at 09:13:28 PT

"Why is this unfair, or a bad idea?"#1. It validates a corrupt and erroneous system that states a need to differentiate between an 'illicit' or 'sanctioned' product which is essentially the same. Giving more control to control freaks is always a bad idea.#2. It invalidates the personal liberty that has been stripped away by cannabis prohibition, and continues to justify the interference and abominable false jurisprudence of law enforcement, by giving them one more loophole to undermine freedom.Allowing power groups to have information on the genetic level -that pertains to peoples rights and liberties, is a fundamental invasion of privacy.Some people believe that regulating the potency of cannabis is something that is necessary. If this were a society of responsible, intelligent, awake people, such a thing makes sense to ensure the quality of pot. But this is not what such tools and devices will be used for in this post 1984/Brave-New-World/New-World-Order/911 reality -they will be used to control and manipulate.I do not want some arbitrary standard of 'acceptable levels of THC' being shoved down my throat on the pretense of 'helping' me. I've been 'helped' into court, jail, fines and persecution enough already.Thats part of my take on that question...LEGALIZE FREEDOM

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Comment #20 posted by josephlacerenza on April 24, 2011 at 08:25:32 PT

FoM, can you elaborate?
Why would it be unfair or bad to track the production of MMJ? It helps to protect the local grower/producer from the illicit market flooding the local economy with "CHEAP", illicit, cannabis from large out of state grow operations.Tracking production is part of legitimizing the business of MMJ. I would want a way to track who provided cannabis that was unsafe, i.e. mold, pesticides laced. Genetic tracking would allow this to happen. The idea is NO different than in the poultry industry and the tracking of salmonella in foods.These pathogens are tracked through genetic methods... Now, the process could be applied to tracking cannabis goods...Why is this unfair, or a bad idea?
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 24, 2011 at 07:33:23 PT

That sure doesn't sound like a good or fair idea but that's just my opinion. 
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Comment #18 posted by josephlacerenza on April 24, 2011 at 05:57:10 PT

Genetic Tracking
Genetic tracking would allow law enforcement to determine if the cannabis was produced in Montana or if it was "imported". The plants DNA would be entered into a data base. The finished product, bud, hashish, kief could then be traced, genetically, back to a specific producer. Even if two producers were cultivating from the same clonal stock, a genetic "tag" could be given to each producer, and their product could then be tracked from clone to flower!If product enters the system that there is no known "tag" for, we can assume it is from an illicit source. We can even track if a producer is getting rid of excess on the black market. We could take a genetic sample of some confiscated marijuana and check it against our data base. If it matches any known types, then we can narrow it down to which provider is supplying the medicine, and tell them what is happening, or prosecute them!!As we add other MMJ states to the data base, we can then provide a clearer picture of where the illicit material is coming from!
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 23, 2011 at 18:28:02 PT

I've been away all day and just got home. Why does he want to track it? 
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on April 23, 2011 at 12:02:56 PT

OT: Obama Should Listen To This
FDR Said it All in 1936 -- Who Will Follow in His Steps Today?
David O. Russell, 04.22.2011.
Director, The Fighter.
FDR said it all in 1936, and I wish someone would be as fearlessly blunt today on behalf of everyone in America facing a truly scandalous financial situation which is only being allowed to repeat itself again and again.
Read Post | Comments (574) welcome their hatred F D Roosevelt

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Comment #15 posted by josephlacerenza on April 23, 2011 at 09:46:30 PT

Minutes 31:30-31:45
He talks of the genetic screening to help with tracking cannabis!!!

Wanzenried, Genetic Screening Cannabis
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on April 23, 2011 at 08:45:20 PT

That sounds really good.
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Comment #13 posted by josephlacerenza on April 23, 2011 at 08:14:01 PT

I was able to finally...
Find Sen. David Wanzenried at the Garden City Cannabis Expo. This is where he puts his hat into the ring for Governor in 2012!!
Senator David Wanzenried Speaks at the Garden City Cannabis Expo
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Comment #12 posted by josephlacerenza on April 21, 2011 at 08:43:50 PT

Lab Potency Analysis Inconsistencies in Colorado
The industry has been having this problem in California as well.Weed Science: Experts Urge Independent Auditing and Oversight of Medical-Cannabis-Testing Labs is Montana Biotech's answer to inflated numbers!The UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime) uses TLC as a qualitative test for differentiating cannabis/marijuana/hemp varieties. Montana Biotech offers the Grow Buddy as an answer to these lab inconsistencies! The Grow Buddy is an at home cannabinoid analysis kit! You do not have to just TRUST the lab, KNOW for yourself what is in your plant!Montana Biotech is a plant biotechnology laboratory located in The Big Sky state! We specialize in cannabis research, from the genes that create the enzymes, to cannabinoid quantification! We have been in business since 2009, and are here to help! Most of our services can be used in ANY state!!
Medical pot's potency difficult to pin down for Colorado dispensaries 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on April 20, 2011 at 19:01:11 PT

josephlacerenza comment 7
:0)So cool!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 18:42:14 PT

There was so much that was covered. We have moved along with bumps in the road but we still are moving on. It's up to us to bring the change we want and from the bottom up the way it should be.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on April 20, 2011 at 18:38:14 PT

But... *sigh*.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 18:14:51 PT

Like I said before dreams do sometimes come true. No matter how much they huff and puff and try to blow our house down it ain't gonna happen! Happy 4/20! 
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2011 at 17:53:34 PT

Worst Bill Aside!
It is 4/20! And, I have poof I met Ed Rosenthal!!!
Ya HOO!!!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 15:14:33 PT

I watched it. It covered a lot of different questions that were important. Nothing about marijuana but I didn't think there would be this time.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 20, 2011 at 14:56:03 PT

Anyone watch the Facebook Town Hall?
I'd love to watch it but it just keeps loading, and loading, and loading.:0(I just get a word every now and then.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on April 20, 2011 at 14:23:12 PT

Some cannabis articles from Salon
"When a county gets addicted to pot" - Mendocino, Calif., has been taken over by the illegal marijuana industry. Can it kick the habit? What I wonder is, can it kick the prohibition habit? This is an an excerpt from Trish Reagan's new book, which must be a spinoff of her TV special. and racial inequality - 
A "Cannabis Day" look at how marijuana arrests discriminate against young black people
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 20, 2011 at 14:21:38 PT

Happy and safe 4/20!
It's just about 4:20 PM here, too.Love you guys!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 13:20:35 PT

Happy 4/20 Everyone!
Have a safe and wonderful day.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 12:40:34 PT

Facebook Townhall To Begin Soon
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