Do The Research Before Tweaking Marijuana Law

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  Do The Research Before Tweaking Marijuana Law

Posted by CN Staff on December 23, 2010 at 09:00:45 PT
By Doug Chyatte  
Source: Great Falls Tribune 

Montana -- While it remains clear problems exist with the application of Montana's medical cannabis law, these issues do not indicate our model of compassionate access is itself a failure.The use of cannabis, be it for recreational or medicinal reasons, has been relocated to the back alleys and shadows of our society for more than 80 years. This past prohibition creates an array of issues — most tragic being the association of our ill with society's criminal element.
Unfortunately, when any economy evolves from a complete prohibition to an open market model, there will be an awkward phase of assimilation.Individuals considered "drug dealers" prior to the implementation of I-148 will, and do, seek the shelter of Montana's compassionate access law. Thankfully the mechanisms to deal with these potential abuses are already in place.Capitalism and free market economics, long cherished American traditions, "weed" out those who attempt to exploit Montana's ill, while criminal activity is easily addressed through our existing law enforcement infrastructure.We hear concerns voiced about the number of people with medical cannabis cards in Montana, yet the reality remains only a small fraction of our population is licensed to possess and consume cannabis. We hear about the 18-year-old with the bad back and are told that the "circus-like atmosphere" generated by the fading phenomenon of traveling clinics is reason enough to scrap the Montana Medical Marijuana Act.However, when we extricate ourselves from the emotive hysteria that surrounds the ingestion of these flowers, most agree that those who employ deceit to obtain a marijuana recommendation — or physicians that violate accepted standards of medical care — are issues that should be addressed in the same manner as a patient fraudulently obtaining prescription narcotics, or a medical doctor wantonly prescribing such medications purely for profit.We hear of a proliferation of marijuana into Montana's high schools and the imminent risk this poses to our youth.However, it's important to remember we are discussing the medical applications of cannabis, not recreational use among teenagers.Teenagers do experiment. Some abuse prescription medication; some drink alcohol. And it may be a shock, but teenagers were actually smoking pot before Montana had a medical marijuana program.It now becomes the responsibility of our educators to explain the potential liabilities of recreational use and law enforcement's obligation to work with medical cannabis providers to prevent diversion and misapplication.Our society would never consider telling a woman dying of stage four carcinoma and in incredible pain that she could not have her conventional analgesic medication because it may wind up in the hands of a teen. We don't do that in Montana because we are compassionate, rational people.So why do we experience this hysteria and controversy? The answer is simple: Throughout our lives, we have been taught that cannabis has no benefit whatsoever.Yet today, through compassionate access, many Montanans have found this sentiment patently untrue. Beyond a wealth of anecdotal evidence, a quick Internet search of marijuana's effect on tumor reduction alone generates several credible, international studies. The evidence is here and, unlike Cherrie Brady or other staunch prohibitionist detractors, you don't have to take my word alone.As we approach this legislative session, medical cannabis will continue to be a "hot topic" in Montana.As such, I encourage all citizens to educate themselves regarding the historic realities surrounding cannabis prohibition, and the quantifiable benefits of this plant's many applications.Look into the facts yourself. It was the American Medical Association that strenuously opposed the prohibition of cannabis in the first place, finding no credible evidence that said the plant poses any danger to humanity.At the commencement of this legislative session, which starts Jan. 3, we find our great state in the unique position to be a national leader — to live up to our pioneering reputation by building a working medical marijuana model for ourselves, our neighbors and our nation.Montanans are savvy people. We can do the research; we can read the facts. And through hard work and compromise we will find solutions that suit all of our citizens.Doug Chyatte is president of Montanans for Responsible Legislation and chapter director of Bitterroot Montana Marijuana Growers Association.Source: Great Falls Tribune (MT)Author: Doug Chyatte Published: December 23, 2010Copyright: 2010 Great Falls TribuneContact: tribcity sofast.netWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on December 25, 2010 at 11:05:56 PT
More details on the "Missoula Mutiny" are giving pot defendants a passIn cases involving small amounts of marijuana, some people aren't willing to uphold the law in court.December 24, 2010|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles TimesReporting from Seattle — It seemed a straightforward case: A man with a string of convictions and a reputation as a drug dealer was going on trial in Montana for distributing a small amount of marijuana found in his home — if only the court could find jurors willing to send someone to jail for selling a few marijuana buds.The problem began during jury selection last week in Missoula, when a potential juror said she would have a "real problem" convicting someone for selling such a small amount. But she would follow the law if she had to, she said.A woman behind her was adamant. "I can't do it," she said, prompting Judge Robert L. Deschamps III to excuse her. Another juror raised a hand, the judge recalled, "and said, 'I was convicted of marijuana possession a few years ago, and it ruined my life.' " Excused."Then one of the people in the jury box said, 'Tell me, how much marijuana are we talking about? … If it was a pound or a truckload or something like that, OK, but I'm not going to convict someone of a sale with two or three buds,' " the judge said. "And at that point, four or five additional jurors spontaneously raised their hands and said, 'Me too.' "By that time, Deschamps knew he had a jury problem. (snipped)(ROFL!)I LOVE the coverage this story is getting! Happy Holidays, everyone! 
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on December 24, 2010 at 05:47:02 PT
Michele confirmed!
Thus continues the age old struggle between light and dark. Those who benefit from truth and light and those who die by it!This is a contest between those who love and recognize freedom and those who wish to self aggrandize at any cost, at anyone's expense.Trolls like Michele are a dime a dozen. People willing to tear off a little piece of history for themselves at any price. It is like some who vie for their fifteen minutes of historical fame and will do anything to assuage the pain of their deep inner bruises.Elephantitis of the ego is a very large burden to carry and can often be damaging to the social environment before these megalomaniacs either burn out, are taken out, or fade away. I have ask myself, did Caligula know he was a monster? According to him is was a shinning god. A diety in human form. He thought he deserved and for the most part recieved love.On the other hand there was Tiberius. He was ugly, evil, vindictive and he knew it but rather reveled in it.Michele has some physical attributes she may feel she needed to overcome? She is like 5 feet tall and 150-160 pounds. Unfortunately she has a severely pocked mark face and hair borrowed from a Banshee. Her voice and delivery is very unpleasant. She is extremely unpopular in the DEA with other agents and very divisive.I guess you could say she is perfect for the job? A broken, very imperfect person to head an evil and socially devisive agency. Seems a perfect match?I agree with Kapt, everyone knows no one wants the job at this point? Even all the other DEA Chief were climbers who were used and discarded or boxed in, in this position. She has been selected to close it down as that is the only path left to the DEA's future. We are in the midst of a social revolution and it is growing and it is changing this county for the better and little game players like the "little bulldog" will need to find a new game to play.
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