Scourge: 1. A source of widespread dreadful affliction and devastation such as that caused by pestilence or war.
I witnessed most of the medical marijuana testimony in Helena the past few months, testimony given primarily by Montanans who Rep. Dave Howard has termed the “scourge”. While some of the stories are more riveting than others, there are numerous patients whose testimony is etched into my brain permanently. It takes a lot to make me cry, but to make me cry in public requires far more. The stories of several patients accomplished just that. I don’t know that I could sleep at night if I had sought to deny a suffering human being a safe, effective, and sometimes life-saving medication simply to reinforce my poor parenting skills. Meet a few members of Montana’s “Scourge”.
“Sometimes the most compassionate answer you can give is NO, you don’t need this.”–Sen Rowlie Hutton (R- Havre). For a clear contrast and a lesson in conservative compassion, Senator Hutton’s closing arguments on HB 161 are below.
To Sen. Hutton I say, with no compassion whatsoever, that “we don’t need you.” It seems the majority party in Montana’s legislature needs a reminder that they aren’t playing a game- these are real people’s lives being manipulated by their puritanical policies.
Scourge: 2. a tormentor, somebody or something that is perceived as an agent of punishment, destruction, or severe criticism.
This legislative session it seems Montana is ALWAYS in the news. We’ve made “The Colbert Report”, “Anderson Cooper 360”, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, and according to Speaker Milburn, he was interviewed by the Swedish World Federation Against Drugs on a radio show. We have yet to confirm this interview’s existence with anyone other than Speaker Milburn, but he assures us that it exists, and naturally, we believe him. After all, he is the one who informed us that Montana is now known as a “source country, just like Columbia” because of our massive marijuana exports. Although the session isn’t quite over, as leadership needed a vacation, here are a few highlights from Montana’s 62nd Legislative session.
”I’m going to ask that we take a minute here and reflect upon our own hypocrisy.” Rep. Rob Cook R-Conrad. INDEED.
“If Jesus Christ himself were here today he would be an opponent of this bill,” Harris Himes speaking against a bill to abolish the death penalty. Yes, Rev. Himes, if you were in the chair, he may indeed approve.
“It’s poison, a kind of poison, it’s kind of like taking arsenic with Valium in it – it will make you feel good until it kills you. That’s the truth.” Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) speaking about medical marijuana. And we all know marijuana kills…. how many people annually? That’s right Rep. Howard, ZERO.
“It is God himself who said homosexuality is an abomination and he has various punishments for it….. they will surely be put to death”. Rev. Harris Hines in testimony supporting discrimination of gays. Again, that death thing.
“He (Dr. Carlton Turner) told us he’d take almost any of the other drugs- crank, heroin, methamphetamines under clinical conditions- but he wouldn’t take marijuana. Every time they’d done a human test on it, it scared him half to death.”— Rep David Howard admits FEAR motivates him to lie?
I’ll never have my brother back, we need to save others people’s brothers.— Rep James Knox, fighting tears as he pimped his brother for marijuana repeal while inadvertently advocating nanny state government.
“I also voted no on this bill, the body should know that the people who run ponzi schemes, they don’t have any money of their own…. I couldn’t imagine standing in front of my constituents in Park City, where none of them make more than $35,000/yr to say we’re gonna come up with a scheme to get back up to 25,000 of what people have lost investing…….” –Rep. Dave Howard who thinks his constituency is poor.
Two wrongs don’t make a right– Sen. Verdell Jackson referring to victims of rape and incest. While I’m not a fan of abortion, I wonder if Sen. Jackson would feel differently if he had been raped.
”The only way I’d be supportive of that (Dept. of Ag regulating medical marijuana) is if they treated marijuana as a noxious weed.” –Sen. John Brenden (R-Scobey). I grew up in this senate district and I can tell you, nobody up there gives a damn about medical marijuana. Brenden is a bit noxious himself.
“Across the street from the church was a bevy of good-looking young ladies going in and out of this place……they were growing marijuana across the street…. I didn’t know such good-looking women were interested in horticultural prospects”– Rev. Harris Himes. Where do we find these guys? Himes is made for mockery!
“I got a medical marijuana business who moved in next door to me and it’s been craziness ever since. You see ’em them behind their shop, behind the commercial building, they got their arms outstretched, they’re trying to fly. I find people sleeping in my vehicles in front of my business. A month and a half ago they buried a van.”– Austin Kaufman, Billings.
Rep Ken Peterson: If women would make better choices they wouldn’t get cervical and breast cancer. So defund family planning already.
If you act gay in public, Rep Ken Peterson wants your felon ass in jail for a decade. Ten years in prison will teach you how to be straight, right?
Steve Zabawa in SB 423 hearing: “Marijuana is illegal! The state of Montana is gonna get arrested!” Zabawa is no stranger to illegal activity, he does sell cars for a living. He also hires most of his employees from the Alpha House, a halfway house for men returning to society after being imprisoned for major crimes. Several of his current sales and management staff are felons, actually. A couple of them defrauded the federal government by filing false FEMA claims after Hurricane Katrina. After serving time, Zabawa hired them back!
Sen. Ed Walker saying, “I don’t believe it can be reformed. It needs to be repealed. There are times the voters get it wrong, and that is what happened in 2004.” I wonder if we may have also got it wrong in 201o when you were elected, Ed. Just sayin’.
“Sometimes the most compassionate answer you can give is no you don’t need this,” Senator Rowlie Hutton (R-Havre) said. “When you love someone you are willing to do an intervention. I love this state, and it’s time we do an intervention,” concluded Hutton, who wants to take away medicine from the ill. Compassionate indeed.
“The people who use medical marijuana for legitimate uses, they’ve been had. I think they probably feel like the dog who gets in the car and as they’re driving they realize they are going to the vet instead of the park. They got in with the wrong crowd,” testified Sen. Edward Walker (R-Billings). The wrong crowd, Sen. Walker, spends time with you and your buddies at that creepy temple under the rims.
Tough DUI laws “are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years,” said Rep. Hale. But medical cannabis is WAY too dangerous.
“Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts,” Peterson says. He provides an example: “‘Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’” Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.” Again, those mainstream people hang out at the LDS temple in west Billings.