Montana’s Reefer Sadness


Montana’s 62nd Legislative session provided an emotional rollercoaster for Montana’s medical cannabis patients as well as those employed in the industry formed around patients’ needs.  After enduring months of being publicly labeled a “scourge”, “cartel”, and a “joke” by newly elected tea people-endorsed Republicans,  those involved with medical cannabis in Montana finally received the answer they’d been waiting for.  Unfortunately for them,  this answer was not the answer to their prayers.  Governor Schweitzer briefly explains his cannabis conundrum here.   While also critical of the legislature, Schweitzer explains somewhat effectively his reasoning for allowing SB 423 to become law.  The legislation, sponsored by Sen Jeff Essmann of Billings, was amended countless times and has been criticized heavily from all sides of the aisle.  The prohibitionists didn’t believe it was strict enough and the patients and growers knew it was a highly regressive and repressive action, they called it the “black market” bill.

I’ve been highly pessimistic about the direction of our legislature since shortly after elections last November. After listening to campaign promises from candidates in which they vowed to create jobs and reassured us that social reforms were not a priority, it was disappointing to realize that their actions did not remotely resemble their vows.  It was clear from the moment they were elected that they’d stop at nothing less than a full-out destruction of Montana’s medical cannabis industry.  They refused to acknowledge science, refused to educate themselves about the substance, and just did whatever they damn well pleased.  The self-righteous legislators utilized faux tears, bully tactics, inflammatory rhetoric and blatant lies in their diabolical quest to condemn a safe and effective treatment option because it didn’t quite fit into their misguided “moral” agenda.

Governor Schweitzer was the last hope for patients and growers and now that we are all aware the Governor has no plans to veto the legislation, even that hope is gone.  Various rumors are circulating about the governor’s decision. One of them alleges Schweitzer is bowing to federal pressure.  Such pressure didn’t seem to influence his decisions on how to handle wolves, Real ID, or other federal muscle-flexing  occasions.  Some believe he plans to run for Rehberg’s empty house seat in 2012 and that his decision was made solely to protect his political future.  Although I suspect Schweitzer’s decision was primarily to benefit himself, I must also admit thathe did try.  Negotiating with the spineless yet puritanical leadership in our current legislature is pointless. In addition to that, if he had vetoed SB 423, every marijuana-involved crime occurring between now and the 2013 legislative session would be blamed on Schweitzer.  Unfair, yes; but this is politics, folks.

I’m not defending the actions of Governor Schweitzer, but he isn’t the villain here either. The GOP waged a war on medical marijuana.  They were more politically astute than their opposition, better organized,  far more vicious- and LOUD.  After all, the tea people were supporting the repeal agenda… In fact, as we are lamenting the inevitable suffering of our patients, loved ones and ourselves, the tea people are gloating.

According to sources, the Montana GOP is also having quite a celebration tonight as they commemorate their mission accomplished.  Making so many Montanans suffer and forcibly causing the unemployment of thousands must really be gratifying work.  To those serving in Montana’s 62nd legislative session, may you reapeth what you sow.

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15 thoughts on “Montana’s Reefer Sadness

  1. If our ‘dear’ Sen Brenden is planning to continue his political career. I vow to do everything I possibly can to ensure every one of his constituents knows how heartless he is and how much he lies. I will knock on every door myself in NE Montana if I have to!

    I’m so angry and upset, I have ridden this emotional roller coaster to the end. YET IT’S NOT THE END FOR ME…. OH NO…. IT’S JUST THE BEGINNING! If anyone has information to share with me I would really appreciate it.

    To all who are as dissapointed as I am, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. Isn’t it nice to see folks rejoice in the suffering of others? The RePUKElicans (of which I will NEVER lay claim to again) celebrate – and I hear stories of dastardly sick patients who will be dead before the next election – and survivors who are under so much stress they puke and do not sleep.

    EACH and EVERY one of the rat bastards……EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has rejoiced in the pain and suffering of others – SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!

    Makes me disgusted to be a Montanan if I have to be represented by ANY of them EVER again!

    My tears tonight are for the suffering of others – because I KNOW who suffers out there. They chose to IGNORE. Not just ignore – but persecute, make fun of, and treat as second class citizens.

    Well……I WILL NOT STOP until this is FIXED! TOO MANY peoples lives depend on cannabis – for health, financial, and their LIVES! I have witnessed the miracles! Autistic children are FLOURISHING and being re-evaluated for their levels of autism……Not in THIS back-assward state right now – BUT – it IS happening and we have the PROOF and if I can help ONE MORE family get better – THAT MATTERS!

    With upwards of 29k in the registry…..signatures should be easy to attain. Stay tuned folks….we ain’t dead yet.

    Not by a LONG shot……the Safe Commie Mommies are NOTHING to the ARMY we will build!!!!!!!!

    Stand Tall! Walk PROUD!

    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!!!!!

  3. To throw his hands in the air and his compassion for the ill out the window is NOT what I expected from our Governor. It is time to fire up the “CHICKENSH!T” branding iron.

  4. Indeed it is a sad day for those of us who value freedom and compassion. Montanafesto, I agree with you about the governor. He was stuck between a rock and a hard spot. I thought that his suggested amendments were very good, given what he had to work with.

    I’m no expert, but it seems to me that our top priority is to challenge the CSA Schedule 1 status of cannabis. The federal raids proved that no matter what law is in place, Big Brother will always be there to sneak in an attack unless we get this drug either re or unscheduled. There are at least 2 presidential hopefuls that I know of (Ron Paul and Gary Johnson) who publicly state that they thing marijuana should be legal. It’s time to give money to and promote the election of people like this. It doesn’t hurt that they are talking a lot of sense on other important issues too.

    I don’t have a medical card, but I plan to ask my doctor if she’ll give me a prescription. One way to combat the ignorance is to insist that our doctors allow us to use cannabis when appropriate. I’ve read that about 90% of doctors and nurses believe that cannabis has medical value. Let’s get our doctors to make its prescribed use more mainstream. Especially since the doctors that have thus far been sympathetic will now be under the “proctoscope” of the law with regards to how many people they prescribe to.

    Lastly, Montanafesto, I would like to bring up something you mentioned recently. I am a 54 year old professional who has many friends who use cannabis covertly and don’t talk about it. It’s time for us to stand up and admit that we use and approve of this drug, and quit being afraid that admitting this will cause us to be looked down upon or scrutinized. As I evaluate the people I work with and my friends and acquaintances, it seems to me that at least 50% of them use cannabis at least occasionally. Another large percentage don’t use, but don’t have a problem with others using. It’s time for us to come out of the closet if we are to gain the acceptance we need to end the prohibition on this drug.

    Yes, yesterday was a sad day, but today is a new day. Today we start planning to take our freedom back. Time to unite!

  5. I don’t use Marijuana as I am highly illergic to it but I have stood up publicaly for years against it’s being illegal. This “War on Drug” is assinine and has to end. Worse, it is a money pit with no bottom and continues to get deeper and deeper each year. I have yet to see a single credible study on Marijuana that indicates it has even a tenth the ill effects of nicotine or alcohol and until I do, I simply refuse to believe that it is the scourge that these religious and self centered wingnuts believe it is.

    • Moorcat, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I think there is a huge group of people who think like you do. I, too, am for for total legalization, but I think that MMJ laws are getting us closer to that. The War on Drugs has a 15 billion dollar budget this year. 75% of the people arrested as a result of this war are arrested for possession. It’s insanity. Imagine the many ways that 15 billion dollars could work for Americans instead of infringing on their constitutional rights and building more jails and prisons for them to spend their lives in, sucking off of the system.

      The Republicans need to get consistant with their message. Either support freedom, or back the tea party bible thumpers. I personally have been disgusted with the religious Right for years. They really showed their true colors this year under the guise of being for jobs and lower taxes. I’m hoping the GOP will throw them out on their ear.

  6. My question for Gov Scheister is this- If the bill on Thursday was bat crap crazy, communistic and marxist-why on Friday,when it was the same bill, is it ok to let it go thru to pass. Who is bat crap crazy now. Scheister is not between a rock and a hard spot-he is a criminal politician who just sold you and all Montanans down the river either for eminent domain or big pharma. Don’t let him off the hook. Remember this- if a politician wants low gas prices we’ll have low gas prices, if they want a war. we’ll have a war and if they want to take away your freedom they will take away your freedom. This only proves that if you are voting Republican or democrat you are voting for the wrong person. Vote for the guy who truly believes in freedom-vote for a libertarian-constitutionaliist.

    • I have to disagree with your assessment of Schweitzer. He was in a hard position and while I disagree with his decision, it wasn’t criminal or a sellout to big pharma. He has been repeatedly threatened with further federal interferance for the lack of common sense rules and regulations on Medical Marijuana. As he indicated, he doesn’t agree with this bill but he felt that if he vetoed it, the lack of any legislated regulations on Medical Marijuana would just result in new raids. He still maintains the bill is unconstitutional (and it is…) but he has thrown it in the venue of the courts. I think what he is hoping for is a court injunction against the bill taking effect. What this does is two fold… it prevents the actual law being enforced (which means it defaults back to the current situation) and it prevents the Feds from running further raids because Montana failed to act. It also forces the legislature into revisiting the situation next year.

      Personally, I feel it was a cop out – he should have just vetoed the bad law and dealt with the Federal backlash. It could have also caused a special session for the legislators to deal with the veto (and hopefully come up with a better set of regulations for MM). At this point, though, my opinion is moot. It is in the hands of the court system.

  7. he either sold out to the DCCC or Big Pharma, simple as that. Quit making excuses for him. He has shown himself to be a steer rather than the Herd Bull. Veto the bill or Sign it-you can’t have it both ways. I will not be able to get a card now. I am a disabled veteran w/titanium struts holding my head on my body, been on morphine and oxycodone 15+ years, this was my only chance to get off that shit-unless I move to Oregon. My family has been in Montana, well, on the Rocky Mountain Front really, for something over 12,000 +/- years, and I have to move to use an herb we have used most of that time……..

  8. The Feds have really been messing with legislatures in many states regarding MMJ. Any state with a “progressive” law has been a target. The big growers and dispensaries are easy targets for the cowardly feds. Right there on Main Street and they can find them in the phone book. They pressured WA state so much that they backed down on what was to be a commercially accepted MMJ “business model”. Similar things have happened in CO. That’s why I think we have to accomplish getting it off the CSA Schedule 1 list, so we can get to Feds out of the picture. The will squash any attempt at a workable law. The Feds are only going after big time growers who are successful. It’s their way to control the prohibition.

    Ironically, if the governor were to veto SB423, I think that between the federal raids and the decision Judge Larson in Missoula made prohibiting transfer of MMJ from one caregiver to another, the storefronts and dispensaries would have disappeared on their own, and more people would have started growing for themselves. I really think the storefronts are what got everyone all riled up. The prohibitionists didn’t want public acceptance, and when the businesses were making piles of money, it really pissed them off. So, they came up with the “closet marijuana law”. All you 30K people, grow your own. (Wow. I wonder how much power usage will spike this year?) But just keep it under cover, because we don’t want to see it. Keep it in the closet, both figuratively and literally. It’s too offensive.

    I really feel sorry for people who will not be able to legally get good product. I sure hope all of them can get hooked up with a good black market dealer.

  9. If we can gather enough Montanans and signatures, we can rally as a mass of people, to the courts about how unconstitutional the bill is and shoot for getting it thrown out. Then they would have to start from scratch.

  10. Pingback: Montana's Reefer Sadness | montanafesto | The War You Dont See

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