- First of all, it’s illegal to have pot…even though 200 miles away in Washington State it’s not.
- Next, tons of medical marijuana patients in Montana have lost their cards or their providers since the end of February.
- Finally, the efforts to legalize marijuana and the efforts to give medical marijuana patients their rights back are running into each other, head-on, and it ain’t pretty.
The big problem is the state of the medical marijuana community in Montana.
To me personally, I don’t really see that many problems…unless you count lots of “questionable patients” getting pot.
For me, I don’t care – if you want pot you should be able to get it.
For people like Jeff Essman in the 2011 legislature, however, those “questionable patients” – people that might be getting pot because they want it, not because they need it – are the reason that medical marijuana in Montana is seen as a criminal enterprise, not a viable medical enterprise.
To be honest, I don’t think people like Jeff Essman or the Tea Party Republicans he’s chummy with will ever be favorable to medical marijuana, even if it was in that Marinol pill form that doesn’t require smoking.
To those Tea Party types, the most important thing is that you live under their world view, follow their way of thought, and do as they say.
There is no liberty with them, and the only freedom they know is the freedom to tell you what to do.
So in the 2017 legislature or maybe the 2019 legislature, whatever medical marijuana law that is currently put on the books through the initiative process will be challenged, just as it was challenged in 2011.
(Please remember that legalization's constitutional initiative cannot be challenged, which is why it requires twice the number of signatures).
After all, if the medical dispensiaries are doing such a bad job and the ‘criminal enterprise’ is flourishing, then perhaps they should just be closed down and we should do away with medical marijuana in Montana.
To think that anyone in government is going to do something to stop this is silly.
We've seen the silence from Bullock, the Montana Democrats, and local Democrats.
Democrats have not had a single house of the legislature since 1991 and they haven't controlled both houses since 1985. There will be no marijuana legislation making it out of committee - we already heard that from ranking Democrats in the legislature.
I don't see the legalization effort succeeding because there are 56 counties that need signatures and several of them have zero right now. We still have 2 months but there's no money and volunteer support only takes you so far.
I don’t like saying that, but it’s how I feel.
Monday, April 18 – probably right before 5 PM – is when Tim Fox will get done with the medical initiative.
M&R (the company the Montana Medical Cannabis Industry Association hired to get the 25,000 or so signatures needed) might be able to get that on the ballot, and if they do, it'll pass.
So then, maybe in January, we'll be right back to the medical dispensiaries that are doing such a 'bad job' and that 'allow the same criminal element' to be in charge.
So we'll just see more challenges from people like Essman in the legislature to do away with it.
When the Montana Supreme Court gets that law of his again (or someone like him), they'll have to rule on its validity again.
At that point the process will have to repeat: we'll have to draft a petition again, get Tim Fox to sign off on it again, M&R will have to be hired again, signatures will need to be gathered…you guessed it – again.
That's why MTCIA and M&R and all the money they have isn't going to do anything, besides take us right back to where we are now.
It’s as if we're in some distorted time loop that keeps taking us back to step 1, like in the films Groundhog Day or The Edge of Tomorrow
Don’t think MTCIA or M&R’s attitude will change (we should just lay the blame at MTCIA as they control M&R).
MTCIA chooses not to support legalization, even though this is the most viable route to maintaining their profits at current levels, and increasing them over time.
It's because they dig in their heels the Montana marijuana movement remains divided.
Remember, medical was never interested in full legalization anyways. To them, that's a threat. That takes away from their business, their profits. Legalization is the enemy.
How's medical doing in Washington, Colorado, Oregon even? I bet they lost money, huh? Tons of "patients" will just stop getting their card, they'll go to the places with low prices.
Here in Montana ounces are $200 for medical. 200 miles away in Spokane they're $125.
That scares medical.
Don’t believe what I’m saying? We saw it all quite clearly in Washington State a few years ago and there's a great documentary on it.
Medical will do everything it can to dissuade supporters from the legalization efforts. It's happening in Montana.
Do you think they want to see legalization here? Of course not - don't expect one iota of support from medical for legalization, and as it gets closer to June 17, expect a lot of attacks and negativity as they grow desperate.
Or is it we, the legalization folks, that are growing desperate? After all, we have no money, few volunteers, and several counties with no signatures.
Despite that, we’re light years ahead of medical…simply because they’re waiting on the state and we’re not.
The saddest part, however, is that MTCIA and M&R want us to believe that something will change.
Democrats can't take the legislature. The GOP isn't pro-marijuana in any form so they'll challenge whatever MTCIA and M&R "accomplish."
The Montana Supreme Court will rule again. Mainly, MTCIA is trying to buy itself another 5 years, and I think they know that.
The whole thing is just a big joke at this point, it's just that most people don't realize it yet.