Dear Mr Zabawa or Milburn, Essmann, Howard, Knox, and company

UPDATE: Zabawa’s testimony on SB 423 today can be viewed here. This morning another of our bloggers received a Facebook friend request from “Mercedes Benz- Billings”, an auto dealership in part owned by one of our favorite prohibitionists, Brother Steve Zabawa.  A source within one of Zabawa’s businesses confirmed that the Facebook page indeed belonged to Zabawa so she sent a…. factually scathing message in response to the request.  After I posted her words to Zabawa on our blog’s Facebook page earlier today, she posted a comment clarifying the post.  She said that she’d received a polite response from the dealership, from a “product specialist” who claimed to monitor the page.  Although making it clear he understood his employer’s motivations and respected his right to express his opinions, he assured her that not everyone within the dealership was aligned with Zabawa’s agenda.  Because the friend request apparently did not originate with Steve Zabawa, I pondered whether or not he’d ever see her words.  After much (not really) thought, in the case that Zabawa was indeed shielded from the criticism, I took the liberty of posting it here,  utilizing , in vain, our public forum in hopes that Zabawa would notice, take heed, and engage his opponents in a productive discussion.  While the letter was written to Zabawa, the intended target could have been nearly any Republican currently serving in our state legislature as well.  I challenge any puritanical republican to address the concerns mentioned in the following letter:

Nicole French April 6 at 2:08pm
Dear Mr Zabawa, 

Considering your opposition to personal liberties, obsession with control and devotion to driving the legislative process in the opposite direction voters desire, I am puzzled by your motives in requesting my friendship.

It appears a vast majority of your Facebook friends are politically active Republicans, so initially I assumed you were innocently seeking more local political connections, but I suspect your request isn’t so innocent. Do your liberty-minded Republican friends support your determined effort to not only overturn legislation created and approved by our state’s voters, but force seriously ill Montanans to make the unfathomable choice to either participate in a crime or needlessly suffer from a debilitating condition? You may be surprised.

Whether you are aware or not, I have defended your organization in public forums on countless occasions- primarily on principle as I believe each party involved in a conflict deserves an opportunity to dispel false accusations. Isn’t that odd? Although I do not know you personally and generally am opposed to the sort of licentious behavior of which your establishment is regularly accused, I am a principled and honorable human being, always willing to participate in open and honest discussion- which is where you and I obviously differ.

What I find most astounding about your group’s opposition to the creation of a regulated industry is your continual refusal to participate in any sort of pro-active conflict resolution discussion. Although many consider you and the other group members to be truly moronic, I disagree. Your recurrent fallacious testimony quickly elucidates any possibility of a naive ignorance.

I will overlook your unwillingness to acknowledge science and patient testimonials for a moment to examine political principles. Republicans fight for smaller government, a free market, retaining more of what we make, and especially liberty. Although I’m not a cannabis user, I appreciate the freedom to choose, with my physician, alternative forms of treating illnesses. Our federal government runs Amtrak, the US Postal Service, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid…. the list of insolvent entities goes on and on. The FDA has approved a litany of drugs that kill Americans on a daily basis, but yet so many are comforted by the federal government’s approval or disapproval of substances. It is astounding that any intelligent American would appreciate federal intervention in any manner beyond the power granted by our Constitution.

Liberty is integral to being an American and especially so to many Montanans. Our voters approved the use of this substance and overturning their wishes is truly reprehensible. If this truly “isn’t what Montanans voted for”, those citizens would place reform or repeal on the ballot. To date, no one has successfully done so, so I adhere to the belief that what we have now, however flawed it may be, is closer to voters’ intentions than an outright repeal.

In testimony of marijuana opponents, I hear of frequent abuses of the current statutes, exploitation of patients in pursuit of profits, use in schools, illegal diversion of medical cannabis, the list is endless. What I fail to understand is why those perpetrators are not as a result, arrested. The industry begged regulation and especially for enforcement. Three previous legislative sessions failed to address the concerns and the “frequent abuses” have apparently gone unpunished. Patients who legitimately, effectively, and safely treat their conditions with cannabis are instead the targets of your mission.

Laws aren’t created to provide a substitute for competent parenting and historically prohibition primarily benefits criminals. Actual drug dealers, the predatory sort, not the state-licensed law-abiding providers you are complaining about today, will return to their profitable businesses- without paying taxes, hiring employees, or adhering to any sort of ethical protocol. The dangers to our communities and kids presented by prescription drug and alcohol abuse far surpass those created by allowing legal medical use of cannabis. For this reason, I’m shocked you would continue this obsession while ignoring the most dire dangers facing our state.

We owe our children more than the false “safety” that destroying an industry may provide. We owe them the truth. The truth is, overturning a citizens initiative is an assault on our Constitution and rights. The topic itself, however discomforting you consider it, should not determine that the right of the people to self-govern is void. Montana’s constitution does not define the right to citizens initiative to be inclusive of only what is palatable to the elected.
Montana voters spoke. The governing body has now decided to use the power of position to arrogate. This is a wrongful use of power and is symbolic of the underlining reason the people’s distrust of all things government has become so palpable.

Perhaps your understanding of the long-term repercussions of such action would require a personal stake in it. For your sake, I truly hope that you and your loved ones are never presented with as dire of consequences as you are seeking for Montana’s infirm.

Upon receiving this message, should you decide to address my concerns, I will accept your offer of friendship. You and I won’t necessarily ever agree on this particular issue, but we likely would on virtually all others. I hope, through not only education but by setting a positive example, that someday the vast conflict surrounding this particular substance is reduced substantially.

Nicole French

17 thoughts on “Dear Mr Zabawa or Milburn, Essmann, Howard, Knox, and company

  1. I think this ‘Nicole French’ if that is even her real name is CRAZY! Clearly you are a liberal voting moron. Posts like these really make me angry. Are you left or right of the spectrum? Seems to me that all you can do is beat up on Republicans so I assume that you are a liberal democrat? I don’t know but I’m really curious watching this blog in the last couple of months.

    If you can’t stop beating up on your own people and are clearly a 1 issue person (being medical marijuana) then you are just hurting yourself, your friends and your country.

    • You nailed it, “Scott”! I am CRAZY. Nicole French isn’t my real name, it is the one I use when I’m a super hero. According to you, I’m a “liberal voting moron”, so why on earth are you asking which side of the spectrum I am on, wouldn’t the answer be clearly FAR LEFT? You go on to criticize me “beating up on Republicans” which leads you to believe I’m a “liberal democrat”. Interesting. You are right. I’m a “1 issue person” who is hurting myself, friends and country. Now that we settled that, thanks so much for “exposing” me. Regardless of whether someone is “my people” or not, I refuse to remain silent. I call out hypocrites on both sides of the aisle and you are very well aware of that. I find it strange you would accuse me not once, but three times of being a liberal but contradict yourself in the very next paragraph when you accuse me of beating up on my own people- I haven’t been critical of any liberals for a while. Have you been out drinking tonight? Good try.

    • Hey “Scott”, we know who you really are. Your identity is rather easy to determine, especially considering one of our friends requested a refund from your organization and in your responses, you used the very same phrases as in your messages to us. Oddly enough, it occurred the same day too. You must have had some repressed anger you needed to deal with, but I’m certainly glad you were able to take it out on Nicole. She can handle it far better than the one who you denied a refund. So classy.

    • Thanks for all of the work you have done, Hiedi. The raging case of ADHD prevents me from participating in such monotonous activity, that doesn’t mean it isn’t appreciated though! If you get that Ed Walker portion done, could you let me know?

        • My ADHD is rather severe at times and because medication generally stifles my creativity, I avoid it. So, it is sort of my own fault, but there is no way I could edit 6 hour senate videos into 2 minute snippets by individual testimonials. It is awesome that Hiedi did it, those videos are priceless.

          • We have that in common, though I don’t find my medication stifles my creativity – if anything it tends to make me more creative but because I can focus on one thing at a time, I tend not to take advantage of that creativity. Editing videos, for me, though is painful regardless of my medication. I can only listen to idiots for a short period of time before I want to put my hand through my monitor…

            • Same here, I just didn’t want to add in the anger component. 😉 My medication makes me sort of zombie-like and I really don’t like it enough to remember to take it. I fill only 2 or so prescriptions/year as a result. I’ve tried everything, they all tend to do that for me. If there is an event I must attend, paying attention, I will generally take it though. Medication or not, I’d never be able to edit those videos, especially on this issue. Never before have I seen such rampant lies.

              • I was that way when they were giving me Welbutron but Ritalin has never done that to me. My ONLY issue with Ritalin is that, after a few years, it stops working as well. I tend to go off it for a while and the problem goes away. Aderall and the synthetics have never worked on me but mine is due to an enlarged adrenyl gland (hence the anger). I have spent 50 years learning to control my anger and things like what are going on in both the State Congress and the Federal Congress make it REALLY hard at times.

                • I hear you…. I use adderall. Ritalin started giving me instant headaches- after several years of taking it. I tried taking a holiday from it, but since that time, the headache is part of the medication.

                  Representative James Knox just threatened me with legal action- he accused me of slander. Before I’m willing to post anything as factual, I hear it or see it myself. This is one of those cases. It’s always something. 🙂

    • Thanks for loading those. I’m working my way thru them. Any of the SCSK lies keep making my blood boil.
      I am just amazed people who were voted into office can act this way. So much for democracy in America.

  2. What drove me to do it – and continues my drive – is the lies. So many folks can’t come to the hearings – and the legislative site is not so user friendly.

    I had to bring the hearings to the people – so they could see EXACTLY what was going on – not just the newspapers slants.

    I will do more too. I hope to use them as evidence when we recall the rats…..

    Video doesn’t lie…..but it proves THEY do.

    • I agree, Hiedi. Don’t worry, your time was NOT wasted, I will continue to expose the hypocrisy as it happens. For some reason, I have a terrible time with real player on my computer, I’ve tried to watch for that Ed Walker testimony but it never gets there.

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