In 2004, 64% of Montana voters approved I-148, creating a medical marijuana program. But in 2011 the Montana Legislature, through SB 423, overturned the will of the voters. The bill repealed the citizens’ initiative, and replaced it with a new law that fails to meet patients’ needs. SB 423 has been held up in the courts since 2011, but a recent Montana Supreme Court decision allows it to go into effect on August 31.
When the new law took effect on August 31, more than 12,000 Montana patients will lose access to the medicine they need. Medical marijuana providers will be limited to only three patients each, making it impossible for providers to continue to grow and dispense marijuana to patients. And even if all of the current providers were to stay active, the vast majority of patients would still lose their providers due to the three patient limit. Montanans with debilitating illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease will no longer have safe, legal access to medical marijuana.
That’s why Montana Citizens For I-182 has launched a new medical marijuana initiative for Montana. I-182 establishes a responsible and accountable medical marijuana program, giving access to those who legitimately need the drug.
Montanans want a responsible, accountable law allowing access to medical marijuana for those battling cancer or with other debilitating illnesses. Our friends and loved ones suffering from such ailments deserve the choice of safe, legal relief that marijuana provides. After all, patients and doctors are not criminals. The new medical marijuana initiative addresses concerns over the previous law and ensures accountability to all Montanans by:
• Requiring providers obtain licenses and receive unannounced yearly inspections.
• Creating licensing fees to administer the program, ensuring no negative impact to the Montana state budget.
• Removing the restrictions limiting providers to only three patients.
• Allowing for product testing in a certified lab to ensure safety, consistency and accurate dosages.
• Removing obstacles for patients diagnosed with chronic pain.
• Providing access to veterans and other patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).