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Montana Medical Marijuana: The Latest News

Montana Medical Marijuana: The Latest News

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/06/2011 in Medical Marijuana News

October has already provided us with exciting developments in Montana medical marijuana. On the first business day of this month, two major political moves have been made, both of which could yield profound results.

First, an initiative to return to the original, less restrictive 2004 medical law has been approved for the 2012 ballot. In a painstaking but clearly worthwhile effort, petitioners acquired the 26,000 signatures required by law.

Voters will decide for themselves whether to return to the old system, or continue in the current direction of regressing slowly back towards prohibition. The answer is obvious to most Montanans, so chances are high that the polls will reflect a progressive return. This is exciting news for Montana residents who have been increasingly unable to find legitimate sources for their legal medical marijuana. Recent attempts have been made to restrict sales and tighten Montana’s marijuana regulations even further, which should add fuel to the fire come election day.

The next item on Monday’s agenda was to address the most recent infringement on the Second Amendment made by the federal government. On Sept. 21, the Justice Department issued a memo notifying gun dealers they are prohibited from providing medical marijuana patients with weapons.

Seen by most as shortsighted and half-baked, the order hasn’t done much good besides infuriate the cannabis supporter population. The memo is so vague and all-encompassing that even an “inference of current use” can prevent a gun from being sold. Wearing a pro-legalization t-shirt? No Second Amendment guaranteed rights for you.

Montana has been the first state to address the elephant in the room. Specifically, State Attorney General and potential 2012 Governor of Montana Steve Bullock addressed the issue in an impassioned letter. Bullock wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder criticizing the rash decision to send out the directive, challenging the “unilateral proclamation” on grounds that it broke the Second and Fifth Amendment rights.

Bullock opened the letter pointing out one of the many areas affected caused by the ruling: recreational hunting. “In less than a month, the rifle hunting season opens in Montana. Last year there were approximately 200,000 hunters in Montana and more than 580,000 hunting licenses were sold by [the state].”

Immediately, it is obvious there will be insurmountable problems imposed on municipalities in medical marijuana states. Millions of dollars worth of revenue lie in the hunting industry in states like Oregon, Montana, Maine, etc. To prevent a huge portion of that money to be collected whatsoever is absurd and just shy of malicious.

“Currently 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. More than 90 million people live in these jurisdictions, comprising 29.2% of the total population of the United States.” Certainly thousands of the tens of thousands of medical marijuana patients own guns or ammunition of some type.

Most states have cards that do not expire for an entire year, meaning they cannot legally own a gun until that time. To suddenly make possession of any gun while in possession of a medical license “without any advance notice or discussion with the elected officials who represent more than one-fourth of this nation’s population, and one-third of its states” is frankly shortsighted and unacceptable.

Bullock wasn’t shy to address the consistent, imposing nature of the federal government on state marijuana rights. He acknowledges that there are “abuses of, and problems relating to, medical marijuana laws” in the budding field of legal marijuana. But states like Montana are unable to enact their necessary solutions, as they “face issues that are, candidly, created or exacerbated by federal actions.”

Bullock offers to flesh out a solution, stating “I am willing and prepared to work constructively with your staff on exploring a reasonable solution to the problems created by the […] letter.” He believes that they can cooperatively develop a plan that is actually sustainable and reasonable to implement.

Bullock concludes, “in the meantime, I respectfully request that the Department of Justice not pursue any criminal prosecutions against law abiding citizens in Montana who exercise their constitutional rights to possess guns and enjoy hunting, or the licensees who are implicitly threatened by ATF’s letter.

By: SomaticConception via

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