Today a hearing was held on Speaker Mike Milburn’s HB 161, to repeal medical marijuana. Comparing the medical marijuana industry to Hurricane Katrina, Milburn’s arguments were largely based on fear, exaggerations and pure ignorance. I think Montanans expect more from our elected officials- especially those in leadership. Instead of focusing on fiscal reforms, fixing the economy, and job creation, Republican leadership in the 2011 legislative session seems intent to legislate their warped idea of morality upon the entire state of Montana.
While all testimony was allowed for the 28 proponents of Milburn’s bill, after only a handful of the 86 opponents testified, the rest were limited to stating only their name and position on the bill. I wonder if there had been only one person speaking in favor of a bill, if they would be granted an entire hour to speak.
Arguments in favor of repealing the medical marijuana law included statements about Montana now being discussed as a “source country”, similar to Columbia or Afghanistan. Some said our state is over saturated with marijuana while others discussed how the
58 myriad medical marijuana cardholders drug cartel members under 18 have turned our schools into drug infested ghettos. One man mentioned that marijuana caregivers addicts next door had buried a van in the backyard… which reminded him of a murderer marijuana addict who kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed a girl in WY before burying her car. A pastor mentioned praying pot plants would die while he also wondered why such good looking women were interested in horticultural adventures.
Although the opponents of the bill included a VERY diverse group of Montanans- a little person, former police officers, veterans of several wars, and disabled people in wheelchairs, those in favor of repealing the law were responsible for turning the hearing into something resembling a circus. The ignorance displayed by our house speaker and proponents of his selfish and shameful bill have pushed me farther left on the political spectrum than ever before. Lord help me.