From Q2 News: As Montana’s top law enforcement official, how do you plan on enforcing the state’s medical marijuana law while balancing federal law which says marijuana is illegal?
“I support the people’s right to pass law by initiative, and I will enforce Montana’s medical marijuana law to ensure that the patients who need this therapy have access without fear of prosecution.
One of the issues Montana has faced in regard to our medical cannabis law is a lack of clarity on how the federal government will enforce their laws. As attorney general I’ll work with other attorneys general in the country to get clarification from the federal government on their enforcement strategy. This will allow us to have a clear picture of how we can enforce the law in a way that will protect patients while ensuring that law enforcement have no question about the law and are supported in their enforcement of the law as passed by the people of Montana.”
Bucy, while representing the Police Protective Association in 2011 Legislative hearings, opposed SB326, which expanded the list of the list of diseases treatable by medical marijuana to include diabetes, hepatitis C and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bucy said
“We respectfully disagree with proponents that this is in line with what the voters of Montana agreed to.”
And the latest twist in the Bucy flip-flopping saga is the following email sent from a reader (name and email address removed).
Yet, in the Lone Tree Lookout, Bucy said the following in response to the question “What’s your perspective on citizen created ballot initiatives?”
To be honest, I love the process. It’s such a grassroots way for people to participate in making policy. It is direct legislation by the people. It is refreshing and you don’t find that everywhere. I really do support it but it allows some reactionary issues to make their way to the ballot. Because some of them haven’t been necessarily well vetted, there are often problems. But, I spent a lot of my time in the Attorney General’s office defending citizen initiatives, and I will continue to do that because I think it’s an important role in Montana, to make sure people continue to have direct access to legislating.
If we are to believe Bucy’s own words, we are rather confused on her stance. She supports the right to pass legislation by initiative yet she opposes I-148, an initiative passed by 62% of Montanans. She opposes SB-423, the ridiculous stealth repeal that Sen. Jeff Essmann sponsored and passed right before the ending bell of the 2011 Legislative Session but she also opposes opposes allowing Hepatitis C patients access to medical marijuana. I recently took some heat from the medical marijuana community for refusing to note Bucy as cannabis-friendly in the montanafesto 2012 Cannabis Voters Guide. I stand by my assessment- she is listed as neutral as the jury is still out of Pam.
Hopefully Pam’s campaign will clarify her position on this important issue. Her opponent, Tim Fox has a significant lead according to the most recent polling data.
10/29/2012: Bucy’s response is as follows:
I strongly support the citizen’s right to initiative, and I support I-148. I oppose efforts to repeal initiatives as passed by the citizens of the state of Montana. I voted against IR-124. While on the road, I mistakenly responded to an email where I mixed up the initiative numbers. This was a typo, not a switch in position. In my work with law enforcement, we strove to implement this law in a way that stayed true to the spirit of the initiative. As you know, there is a fundamental conflict of law with the federal government which has made patients fearful of prosecution. As Attorney General, I will work with the federal government and with other states who have passed this initiative to find a workable solution to ensure patients get the therapy they need.
Please continue to reach out to me if you have further questions about my positions on these important issues.– Pam