Montana Senate To Vote on MMJ Overhaul
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Montana Senate To Vote on MMJ Overhaul
Posted by CN Staff on March 29, 2011 at 15:48:21 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Billings Gazette
Helena, MT -- Senators were working up against a deadline Tuesday on the latest measure to tighten Montana's medical marijuana laws, potentially setting up a clash with House Republican leaders who favor total repeal of the state's marijuana laws.Lawmakers are rushing to beat a procedural deadline, before extra votes would be required to pass the bill to the House.
Senate Bill 423, carried by Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann of Billings, would dramatically reduce the availability of the drug to Montanans, overturning the 2004 voter-approved law and toughening regulations for doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients. Essmann says his measure could reduce legal marijuana users from more than 28,000 to less than 2,000.Critics have complained that law enforcement cannot adequately police the marijuana industry and the trade of the drug is endangering public safety. Supporters of medical marijuana say chronic pain sufferers need access to the drug.To appeal to skeptics, the measure is being billed as law enforcement friendly. It attempts to do away with pot shops, remove the profitability from the marijuana trade and require police notification before cannabis is transferred from a grower to a patient.So far, the bill's critics in the House have said they are not impressed. Republican House leaders have been staunch advocates of doing away with legal marijuana in the state, sponsoring and supporting a number of measures to repeal the law. Republican House Speaker Mike Milburn of Cascade has said the Senate bill is a long way from being a workable measure that he would support.Both Republican Senate President Jim Peterson of Buffalo and Milburn have said the measure will likely pass to the House where it will be amended and then enter a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate.The overhaul measure is the product of weeks of last-minute work by a Senate subcommittee to patch together the regulation measures from a number of other overhaul measures before the Legislature.Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Published:  March 29, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by josephlacerenza on March 29, 2011 at 21:32:05 PT
I think.....
The more ya all touch this the better the chance I get to meet Ed Rosenthal... Have you ever wanted to meet someone sooooo bad?!! It is kind of like a man crush I hope he will come out to the Minni Winni!!!
Ed, Meet with Montana Biotech, PLEASE!!!! 
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on March 29, 2011 at 21:19:24 PT
The Gov here, PLEASE, will not give this to the R's!!! He apperars to be dragging his feet! I wish for few thing to DIE!!!!, this is one!!! topic, Ed Rosenthal is coming to Montana, I want to meet him... Real bad!!!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 29, 2011 at 18:46:57 PT
Now Governor Scott of Florida is trying to drug test state employees and Welfare folks. He has a drug testing company that he signed over to his wife so he thinks it's ok. Republicans are out to destroy this country with controls controls controls. So much for limited government.
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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on March 29, 2011 at 18:26:52 PT
It's Culture War 2.0
That is ALL it is, "culture war 2.0", they are retrying a failed tactic!!!! They, the R's here in Montana, have FOUGHT tooth and nail to keep the language of REPEAL in the bill. SB 423 still has the word REPEAL, and effectively guts the currently existing law.They, the big vague "others", just want the word in A bill, any bill!!! This lays the ground work for further attack in other states. Montanans are billed as FREE LOVIN, RED stater!!! All the way, RED WHITE, and Fu*K*NG BLUE!!! So, what type of freedom will Montanans get? Will it be the back room, good ol' boys type. Or, will it be the true idea of FREEDOM 62% voted for it in 2004. If it is this broke, this many constituents making THIS FUC*IN* big of a fuss, then yes, put it back to the voters!!! There are currently ~28,000 patients, ~50 are under 18! We have ~990,000 people, ~2 million cows!!! I think it works out to be ~ 3% of the population HAS A MMJ CARD. This does not count caregivers, grow shop owners, hardware store owners, landlords..... the list goes on on who actually directly or indirectly are effected by MMJ in Montana.These politicians have missed something in their calculations. Something BIG...I will make my case to the public then!! No politicians, just Ma and Pa. No infomercials, the good old fashion hand shake, and a look in the eye!!! Keep an eye on Colorado!!! They have it, MMJ as part of their state's constitution!!! That is no easy task! Look at what they have had to do to get the "reforms" they have gotten threw!!!Watch Colorado....
Montana Biotech, Botanical Analysis Specialists in Bozeman
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on March 29, 2011 at 18:01:53 PT
Off Topic Dr. OZ you can watch online, do!!!! He talks of WHY it is medicine, not IF it is MEDICINE!!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 29, 2011 at 18:01:46 PT
I don't know where Montana is going as far as medical marijuana. I know this must be very hard on you.
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Comment #2 posted by josephlacerenza on March 29, 2011 at 17:50:24 PT
I would have to leave Montana. I could still provide for my two patients and run my business, and not use MMJ. I am a pain recipient. Not to mention, my first doctor was Patricial Cole!! She worked with the "traveling clinics". MCN had space for exhibits for FREE. This was a great way to get noticed! I met my competition Montana Botanical Analysis, Noel Palmer, and Cannabanalysis, Rose Habib at one of these MCN clinics.There is a Medical Marijuana Event in Missoula Montana. Ed Rosenthal will be there to bestow his grow knowledge upon the Montana Medical Marijuana community. And again, the labs will be there!
Ed Rosenthal in Missoula Montana at the Garden City Cannabis Expo
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 29, 2011 at 16:27:24 PT
New Bill Would Limit Patients, Storefronts, Ads 
By Cody Bloomsburg The Belgrade News Tuesday, March 29, 2011Helena -- When it comes to medical marijuana, the choice for legislators so far has been between repealing or reforming the law that allows its use.But a new Senate bill, which is scheduled to be heard Friday morning, offers a mix of both to dramatically cut the number of patients and outlaw storefronts and advertising for the drug.Senate Bill 423 relies on the 2004 voter initiative first being repealed. It would then put a much stricter law in its place.The bill is a product of a three-member subcommittee that was formed after the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked last week on bill to repeal the law.The head of that subcommittee, Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, said the group’s new bill seeks to reduce the number of card holders from more than 28,000 to possibly less than 2,000.Most current cardholders are registered for the treatment of chronic pain. Essmann said his bill intends to dramatically cut the number of chronic pain patients through requiring “objective proof” of their condition and recommendations from two physicians.The subcommittee has worked feverishly to crank out the 48-page bill since the repeal bill stalled. Essmann said he plans to blast the repeal measure out of committee so the entire Senate can vote that and his new bill on the same day, most likely Saturday or Monday, if SB 423 clears committee.Essmann said the reason for calling for repeal first is that he can see no other way to rein in the law than starting from a clean slate.While SB 423 contains complex language to coordinate with a repeal, Essmann said there is nothing to prevent the Senate from killing it and only passing repeal. Likewise, there is nothing to stop repeal getting killed and only the reform measure from passing.But if that happened, the bill would do nothing because it is designed to institute a new law, not regulate the existing one.SB 423 would ban all advertisement for medical marijuana, and set up four types of licenses for people or organizations who would provide marijuana to card holders: growers, infused product manufacturers, personal production assistants and couriers. Anyone involved would undergo a criminal background check. Convicted felons would be ineligible for any license or to become a card holder.Organizations could be licensed as growers or infused-product manufacturers, but they must operate on a not-for-profit basis. Infused products would be items such as butters and tinctures containing the active ingredients in marijuana.Growers would be limited to 95 plants, and couriers would deliver their marijuana and the products of manufacturers to card holders.Production assistants would help card holders grow their own if they choose to. The assistants would be limited to serving four card holders.For-profit businesses could become couriers, but couriers would not be allowed to grow or manufacture the drug.The Public Service Commission would be in charge of regulating all growers, production assistants, infused-product manufacturers and couriers, while the Department of Health and Human Services would continue to determine who is eligible for using the drug. The bill would also do away with the term “medical marijuana” and replace it with “therapeutic marijuana.”Here’s how it would work with repeal:The repeal bill, House Bill 161, would stop the issuance of new cards under the 2004 law immediately, then on July 1 all marijuana would be illegal again under state law.If SB 423 is passed, it would force all card holders registered for chronic pain to re-register through the tougher process, which they could do starting on June 1.Businesses would have to apply for licenses with the PSC, which they could also do while the repeal was in effect, but they would have to conform to the 95-plant and five-patient limits. However, even newly licensed providers would not be able to distribute any marijuana until Oct. 1. During that time, the only way card holders could obtain marijuana is if they grew it themselves.Cody Bloomsburg is a journalism student at the University of Montana in Missoula and provided this story as part of the UM School of Journalism's Community News Service project. Copyright: 2011 The Belgrade NewsURL:
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