On my bus ride home in Missoula tonight, three local government employees were talking about the medical marijuana controversy. They were saying that all these young people with supposed chronic pain and hemorrhoids were abusing the law, but cancer patients should have access.
I listened for a while, and as they wrapped up the conversation, one said cheerfully, “Hey, I think it’s just about cocktail-thirty,” which earned appreciative guffaws from several 40-somethings nearby. I smiled too.
As we approached my neighborhood though, I turned to the group and asked, “Wait, we say it’s cocktail-thirty with a grin, but a guy’s gotta have cancer in order to have legal access to marijuana??”
The hypocrisy of prohibition re-illuminated in my mind, this casual exchange cemented my resolve to publish this: Medical Marijuana is a Flawed Policy
Marijuana prohibition continues to crumble. A Missoula jury pool made national news this week, by telling the judge they had no interest in convicting anyone for personal amounts of marijuana. The story was covered by the Wall Street Journal, Change.org, the New York Times, the American Bar Association, USA Today, FIJA, Death & Taxes, Toke of the Town, and many more.
This is huge. But it should not be any particular surprise for Missoula, Montana. This is the city and county that passed, via citizens’ initiative in 2006, a recommendation that adult marijuana crimes be the lowest possible priority for law enforcement. And, while pot possession is not exactly a high priority for them, still, someone gets busted for marijuana in this community almost every day. Here’s the latest reports, and the grievance form in case you get busted (PDF).
Ending marijuana prohibition will probably not happen in Montana in 2011 (though we’ll be trying! Click the yellow button here to donate to the cause).
The best we can likely hope for is some sort of medical marijuana regulation. Whatever emerges from the spring legislature will piss a lot of people off, I guarantee it. Here’s a short list of marijuana proposals — so far!
So, while a serious rewrite of our medical marijuana law sounds scary, we do have influence over the details. If we work together.
Here’s how you can help:
- Patients with debilitating conditions: email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to tell your story to legislators in Helena this winter.
- Growers: do you have email addresses and phone calls of all your patients yet? You can expect email from us about time-sensitive advocacy actions over the next few months. Get ready!
- Growers: Start raising money from your patients – and your profits. Write a check if you love what you do. Today.
- Everyone: Find your district at http://montanadrugpolicy.org and register to receive legislative alerts!
- Everyone: To help raise funds to fund education and lobbying efforts during the upcoming legislature, send your check to:
Citizens for Responsible Crime Policy
PO Box 7146
Missoula MT 59807
For the weekly news roundup, check out the Montana NORML Facebook page.
And, please forward this message to your friends. Spread the word.
Don’t do nothing.