Next Friday, the 11th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on HB 161, the callous effort to erase medical marijuana from the law books of Montana. Montana NORML and a statewide coalition of cannabis reform organizations are doing everything we can to get as many people to the hearing as we can. Now is the time to put aside the hectic tasks of your regular daily schedule and SHOW UP.
We are asking professional growers/caregivers to consider Friday the 11th a “holiday”: gather 20 patients and get thee to Helena. If you’re already in Helena, you have no excuse not to be there:
Gateway Gil Kerlikowske even cited the Montana repeal efforts when he alluded to a “backlash” against medical marijuana while visiting with the Seattle Times:
(Seattle Times) Kerlikowske also said there was a public “backlash” against medical marijuana, which is legal in Washington and 14 other states and the District of Columbia. He noted the Montana state House had voted to repeal its law, and dozens of cities and counties in California installed moratoriums on dispensaries.
But as it turns out, the only “backlash” happening is in the minds of law enforcement and legislators who hate medical marijuana. The people of Montana still support it by almost a 2-to-1 margin:
(American Medical Association News) A February survey of 2,212 Montana voters by Public Policy Polling found that 63% still back marijuana for medical purposes. Most voters, however, also support stricter regulations under the law. The survey was funded by Patients & Families United, a Montana support group for patients who use medical marijuana.
People recognize that the medical marijuana law as written may have some loopholes and loose ends, but that it should be amended and fixed rather than repealed outright.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, officials there are sounding the alarms about the terrible results of passing medical marijuana by 63% of the vote in 2008, with more votes than for Barack Obama, and winning the ballot in all 83 counties. The public, however, still seems to support the medical marijuana law by a 3-to-2 ratio:
In Michigan, a January poll of 600 voters by the Marketing Research Group found that 61% of residents would vote again for the medical marijuana law enacted in 2008. The poll was funded by the Michigan Assn. of Compassion Centers, which advocates citizens’ rights under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.