Montana NORML News
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These have been the most intense weeks of drug policy reform in my 13 year career as a volunteer for Montana NORML. There’s a lot going on, and a lot to cover, so scan the major headings below and read what’s of interest.
The MTCIA‘s historic lawsuit (I’m the secretary & treasurer) will be heard in Helena on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Our side is feeling good about our arguments and I’m optimistic we’ll get some sort of a favorable outcome. My fellow MTCIA board member Kate penned this overview of what’s happening and what you can do (and not do).
What’s next? The lawsuit could result in one of the following outcomes by the end of the month:
- The judge could rule against us, and SB 423 becomes law on July 1st. If MTCIA has the funds available (donate today, please), we’d appeal.
- The judge rules totally in our favor, and SB 423 is struck down in its entirety. The state (we presume) would appeal such a decision.
- The judge could strike portions of SB 423 as unconstitutional, but allow the rest to become law on July 1st. Depending on the details, either or both sides could appeal.
- The judge could conclude that irreparable harm would occur if the law goes into effect, and also that the constitutional issues are important but complicated, and so order a delay of implementation of SB 423 for weeks or months.
We don’t know what will happen, but my personal opinion is that #4 is most likely. We’ll see. Cross your fingers.
The Montana Attorney General’s office contacted Montana NORML today to let us know that they’d made some adjustments to the proposed petition language. This is an important step in the process, and we’re hopeful we could have the petition approved in its final format before the end of the month. We’ll see — they are allowed by law to take their time until July 5th.
In the meantime, a network of hundreds of volunteers statewide has been developing the systems required to gather the maximum number of valid signatures in all the right places, as quickly as possible. It’s a thing of beauty, watching a large group organize around a shared goal, pouring in their passions, talents, and free time.
If you’d like to get involved, go here: http://www.mtcia.org/referendum/
Currently, we particularly need volunteers and leaders in the Missoula area. So, get to it, and spread the word.
Email our Volunteer Coordinator Rose at email@example.com with any questions.
Events & How YOU Can Help
June 17-18: Ryan Creek Meadows east of Missoula, Love Your Mother Earth Festival, MTCIA reps are there, look for Ed and Kate at the big RV, and stop by to donate and hear the latest.
Friday, June 17th: The 40th Anniversary of the War on Drugs. Today, tell Senator Jon Tester what you think about the federal government’s war on Montanans who use cannabis: http://tester.senate.gov/Contact/index.cfm
Saturday, June 18th: Butte, Silverbow Cannabis Coalition Fundraiser for MTCIA, 12PM-8PM at the Eagles Lodge.
Monday, June 20th: Helena, the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee of the Montana Legislature will meet and discuss medical marijuana beginning around 10:45AM in room 137 of the State Capitol. You can watch or listen live. (If you attend, please let me know how it goes.)
Tuesday, June 21st: Helena, the Law and Justice Committee of the Montana Legislature will meet and discuss medical marijuana beginning around 2:45PM in room 152 of the State Capitol. (If you attend, please let me know how it goes.)
Tuesday, June 21st: Missoula, Forward Montana will host “Weed Whacked! The Future of Medical Marijuana in Montana” at 143 W. Broadway starting at 5PM. I’ll be there.
Wednesday, June 22nd: Statewide, MTCIA public conference call about the lawsuit, petition, and more. Submit questions in advance to <firstname.lastname@example.org> and join the e-list to get call-in details: http://www.mtcia.org/e-list/
Thursday, June 23rd: Missoula, MTCIA Mixer and Fundraiser at the Doubletree starting at 6PM.
Saturday, June 25th: Billings, MTCIA event, details TBA.
Thursday, June 30th: Statewide, caregivers drop off truckloads of dirt and trim and stalks at local law enforcement. Or, they hold victory parties. MTCIA holds a statewide public conference call. Details TBA.
Saturday, July 9th: Flathead Battle of the Bands, an MTCIA fundraiser. Thanks, Flathead organizers!
There’s a lot more in the works, stay tuned. Forward this to a few friends, will you?
Montana Marijuana News
- SB 423: Let the Law be on Trial, Not Us
- Montana NORML survey: Caregivers, how are you preparing for SB 423?
- Diane Sands: Treat medical marijuana like wolves?
- Crime up because of medical pot, state official says
- Caregivers converting to consultants under SB 423
- Repealing the “Black Market” Bill: A Preliminary Guide to Process and Procedure
- Video: Montel talks MS, medical marijuana
- Garden Supply Sales Down Following Marijuana Reform
- Cannabis Policy: Keeping It Vague
- Billings City Council delays action on medical marijuana sales ban
Finally, I’m looking for an assistant volunteer in Missoula to help with some administrative tasks like answering email and voicemail, preparing care packages, going to the post office, and so forth. If you’re passionate about the cause, computer-competent, and in Missoula, hit reply and let me know.