Yet another GOP hypocrite lurking in legislature

Zealous advocates of our clients? REALLY?

There seems to be a prevailing theme in the Republicans seeking a full repeal of Montana’s medical marijuana law which was approved by voters in 2004.  Many of the vocal repeal proponents have  made sizable, often exorbitant profits from fledgling cannabis entrepreneurs.  Representative James Knox and Mormon Steve Zabawa,  are high-ranking members of the MONTaliban, an oppressive prohibition  organization  exploiting religious interests in efforts to affect public policy are two of Montana’s most prominent members.  Zabawa attempted to take advantage of an naive and unsuspecting cannabis provider, demanding a percentage of profits in addition to monthly lease payments on property. Knox offered to virtually give away web services to his friend, a marijuana caregiver.  In my experience, $600 for creating a website using a wordpress template is a high price, certainly not a discount, “virtually giving it away”.

Meet Senator Art Wittich, owner of  Wittich Law Firm, which boasts the description “zealous advocates on behalf of our clients”. You may recall him unsuccessfully representing game farm owners against I-143, a citizens initiative banning “pet hunting”.  Wittich is one of the Tea party’s finest, scoring  a perfect rating on the prestigious”Tea Party Questionaire” .  The Tea party doesn’t put a very high value on character, it would appear.  After all, one of the Tea party’s darlings, Representative James Knox has been embroiled in scandal since taking office, as employees and business contacts accuse him of pervasive shady business practices.  Senator Wittich, however; may surpass even Rep Knox’s unethical behavior.  In Thursday’s Senate floor session, a client of Wittich Law firm, A Kinder Caregiver was shocked and hurt hearing Wittich’s testimony favoring repeal.  For more than two years, the medical cannabis business spent a considerable amount of money with Wittich’s law firm, which assisted in providing guidance to ensure compliance with the  I-148, the often vague statute governing Montana’s medical cannabis laws.  A Kinder Caregiver was willing to invest substantial financial resources to retain adequate counsel  in efforts to adhere to state laws so one can only imagine what the business endured, watching their state senator and owner of the firm providing their legal services testify in support of legislation that would not only destroy, but abolish entirely their  industry.  A vote to destroy an important industry in Wittich’s home district indicates several potential character flaws considering the basic expectation that an attorney typically protects the client’s best interests, but to voluntarily provide factually questionable yet persuasive testimony is almost unconscionable.  Wittich could have bridged the vast gap between the patient-driven industry and the pervasive ignorance exemplified by the right-wing in Montana’s legislature.  Even more disturbing was the Senator’s decision to incorporate his own status as a cancer survivor into his arguments in favor of eliminating safe access to cannabis for approximately 30,000 Montana citizens.

A Kinder Caregiver, with discreet locations in three Montana cities, acted responsibly in retaining legal counsel to ensure compliance with the initiative.  After working together for more than two years, they discovered in grand fashion, that the entity providing legal protection had more loyalty to Republican party leadership than to his constituents and clients.  While voting for repeal would have likely damaged the business’s relationship with the firm, Wittich’s testimony and exploitation of his personal health history ensured it.  The firm was fired immediately after the Senate hearing, which approved the revocation of Montana patients’ rights to safely access cannabis, in direct conflict with the desires of Montana’s citizens, as 62% approved the compassionate initiative .

7 thoughts on “Yet another GOP hypocrite lurking in legislature

  1. I would be surprised if A Kinder Caregiver doesn’t sue the law firm. At the very least, they should be making a complaint against this individual with the Montana Bar Association in an effort to get him disbarred.

    • Since he wasn’t the attorney directly handling the case (a partner in the firm was) I wonder if there would be grounds? I’m no legal scholar, but it certainly seems unethical. He should refund the money they’ve spent with the firm over the last 2+ years.

  2. I hope they do sue. That was pretty shitty – I watched it happen and knew he was fired the minute he changed his “litigation”.

    Cancer survivor – he of ANY should know the terrible afflictions to come with it.

    There’s some SHITTY politics being played up on the hill – with THOUSANDS of folks lives at stake.

    I hope people see it for what it all is – and rally to fix it.

    I am

  3. Perhaps a deal was made that in order for the House to suspend rules and accept SB423, the Senate had to pass HB 161. Just sayin’.

  4. Seems they have to appease Milburn – at the cost of patients across the state.
    I am sure it is Cherrie – Susan – and Laura Lee they are appeasing in full reality – after seeing some of Knox’s comments and the Safe Comm website.

    Pretty bad when legislative wives can take these gals ALL OVER our Capitol to places NONE of us can get to advocate for our cause.

    Guess it pays to sleep with the slimeballs……not sure I know of anybody inner-industry who would “take one for the team”. Medical Cannabis folks I know have too many morals to do that.

    If we only knew ALL that goes on behind closed doors.

    • Hiedi, was that a *HINT* directed at me? I didn’t take one for the team when I had the chance, but the teams have changed so you never know. Pretty sure the offer is still open though. Ha ha.

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