Final Medical Pot Bill Shaping Up
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Final Medical Pot Bill Shaping Up
Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2011 at 06:19:44 PT
By Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau 
Source: Billings Gazette
Helena, MT --  A Senate-House conference committee approved nearly 160 amendments on Monday to craft a bill that seeks to drastically limit the number of medical marijuana patients, impose tight restrictions and squeeze the money out of what's been a thriving industry riddled with controversy.The six-member-panel, chaired by Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, worked for hours on Monday and will meet again Tuesday to put the final touches on his Senate Bill 423. It's the last surviving medical marijuana bill that has made it through both houses.
The conference committee's revised bill must be approved by both the Senate and House before it heads to Gov. Brian Schweitzer for his signature or veto.Last week, Schweitzer vetoed a bill by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, that would have repealed the state's medical marijuana law as of July 1.Essmann's revised bill also would repeal the current medical marijuana law that voters passed by initiative in 2004. However, it would replace that law with one that seeks to greatly restrict the number of people authorized to use medical pot and do away with for-profit growers and caregivers.Although some key issues haven't yet been resolved, the bill appears to be creating a new model for medical marijuana in Montana that committee members said more closely represents what they think Montanans chose in adopting the initiative.The bill would end major medical marijuana growing and caregiver' operations, outlaw storefront dispensaries and forbid any advertising for the product.Instead, the bill that's being drafted would allow those authorized to use marijuana for certain defined medical conditions to grow it themselves. Or they could find a provider to grow it for them without any compensation as a form of compassion.However, the committee had not resolved whether it would allow the patient to pay for the cost of the provider to register with the state or compensate him for any expenses.The panel also was still discussing how many people a provider could grow marijuana for, again without compensation. The committee seems to be leaning toward allowing a caregiver to grow medical pot for up to three people, or two others if he's growing it for himself.The committee is working on amendments to prevent a "daisy chain" effect that would greatly expand the number of people forwhom they are growing medical marijuana.The panel has shifted away from letting someone grow medical marijuana for up to three people, provided that two are related to them.Also yet to be resolved is the definition of severe and chronic pain that committee members acknowledged is a key part of the bill.As of last month, nearly 30,000 people had medical marijuana cards in Montana, with the lion's share of them for severe or chronic pain, an area where many legislators think the law has been widely abused. The number skyrocketed after the Obama administration's Justice Department in the fall of 2009 said the federal government wouldn't go after medical marijuana users who follow state law in states that legalized medical marijuana.Essmann has said he wants a law that would cut the number of medical marijuana cardholders to well below than 2,000.A summary of the Washington letter by Montana legislative staff said the U.S. attorneys said that the Justice Department there intends to "vigorously" enforce federal laws against people and organizations that participate in the unlawful manufacturing and distribution of marijuana, even when these activities are allowed under state law. It said the Justice Department may impose civil fines or criminal prosecution related to:-- Manufacturing or distributing marijuana or possessing it with the intent to distribute.-- Leasing, renting, maintaining or using property to manufacture, store or distribute marijuana.-- Financial activity related to the movement of drug proceeds.The legislative committee hopes to get a response on Tuesday from Michael Cotter, U.S. attorney for Montana, whether he concurs with that letter from his Washington counterparts.Besides Essmann, others on the committee are Sens. Chas Vincent, R-Libby, and Cliff Larsen, D-Missoula, and Reps. Cary Smith, R-Missoula; Tom Berry, R-Roundup; and Diane Sands, D-Missoula.Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Author: Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau Published:   April 18, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by ekim on April 22, 2011 at 18:19:24 PT
why is this headline not being heard by unemployed
HOUSE WRONG TO REJECT INDUSTRIAL HEMP BILL Freeport, Ill. -- This week Illinois lawmakers voted, 28-82, to reject House Bill 1383, which would have allowed Illinois farmers to obtain permits to grow and produce industrial hemp. The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Sacia ( R-Pec ), and was also supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau. Not to be confused with cannabis as both come from the same plant, industrial hemp is grown to maximize the fiber content, not the THC level, which means it will not get smokers high. It is grown in tighter rows and harvested much earlier. It is a valuable crop and can be used to produce a number of products. "We are importing close to $30 billion of products that we use every single day; clothing, lotions, hair products, physical products with simple fibers," Rep. Kenneth Dunkin ( D-Chicago ), the bill's sponsor, said. Dunkin said the bill would have allowed the state to take a financial advantage of a growing market. And we agree. 
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Comment #14 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2011 at 12:37:55 PT
Made from oil... Good luck with that... You could recycle pop bottles, plastic bags...The process, recycling, is not perfect you still loose some in the processing.
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on April 20, 2011 at 11:48:43 PT
cotton prices going skyhigh 
story today on npr hear and nowthen see a IL. hemp bill that had both Gop and Dem sponsors was defeted when leo said they can not tell the differernce between hemp and marijuana. 30 Billion worth of imported fiber was sited in the story as a reason for allowing the US farmers to grow.The Cotton In Your Jeans Is Getting PricierDrought in many cotton growing countries has effected the crop and demand for cotton is growing. Could synthetics be in the future?Listen | Comment IL: Editorial: House Wrong to Reject Industrial Hemp Bill
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Comment #12 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2011 at 11:32:44 PT
What will "advertising" count as? These are questions I have NO IDEA about. What if I say, "Montana Biotech is heading to Missoula for the High Times presents: Medical Marijuana Grow Clinic may 1st." And then, I add a link...Is this advertising? And, what services, High Times, what?This is some confusing BS they are putting together. I hope Schweitzer sees that and remembers keeping it simple stupid is probably better than what is being offered in this FrankenBill!!VETO this SB423!! Keep it simple!!
Danny Danko, HIGH TIMES Presents: Medical Marijuana Grow Clinic, Missoula, MT
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Comment #11 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2011 at 11:18:16 PT
I do not know!!!
He, Gov. Schweitzer, has to know that taking all those people from the medical marijuana program will make them criminals over night!It is not workable, SB423... I think others here in Montana see that... But, I do not know... Do you have a crystal ball I can barrow? I'll give it back, I promise.The Labs are what made Montana legitimate... We are doing real science. Maybe that is why they added eliminating labs. I will state it here first, I am a plant biotechnology laboratory. I offer potency analysis. If they want me to stop offering potency analysis I will do that. But, that does not stop me from conducting potency analysis research for "myself". Montana Biotech is NOT a "...lab for quality control..." I offer no "quality controls" other than cannabinoid quantification. Genetic profiling, and the at home test kit is not "quality control".Labs maybe excluded from working with "medical marijuana", they will have to define "medical marijuana", but the definition will probably exclude HEMP, opening the door for HEMP research! HEMP!!! BIOFUELS.... That is where Montana Biotech will move... These politicians suck!! I am truly trying to be innovative, add value to my economy, and create JOBS!!!!That is another thing that drives me CRAZY!!!! JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!! THEY WILL BE KILLING JOBS!!!! GOP, get it!! They want to KILL JOBS?!!!
Montana Biotech, Plant Biotechnology Expert
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 20, 2011 at 08:17:43 PT
What do you and others from Montana think will happen when it's all said and done?
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Comment #9 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2011 at 08:04:41 PT
420 UPDATE: Montana SB423
Montana #420 UPDATE!
Montana #420 UPDATE!
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on April 19, 2011 at 21:57:02 PT
you're right, they may spend time in church but they're not listening to the message of Jesus.
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on April 19, 2011 at 17:43:12 PT
This from Heather Masterson
Friends,It's very likely that tomorrow 4/20, both the House and Senate will be voting on the SB423 "free conference committee" report that was completed by legislators earlier today. This report puts "the finishing touches" on the bill that we refer to as "repeal in disguise" and others have called "the black market bill" because it will essentially, end Montana's medical marijuana industry as we know it. If SB 423 passes, Montana will end up with one of the worst medical marijuana programs in the country. Some of the awful provisions proposed include:* It makes it virtually impossible for patients with chronic pain to become legal.
* Any physician making more than 15 recommendations within a year gets investigated, and will be required to pay for all the investigations. 
* Chronic pain patients need two different physicians to do a complete exam unless they have “proof” of the “etiology” of their pain.
* Probationers are banned from eligibility, no matter how dire their medical need for cannabis. 
* It violates Federal medical privacy rights, as local law enforcement is notified of every patient’s status. 
* Nobody can grow for more than three patients, and people can’t grow cooperatively or efficiently at shared locations. 
* You grow either for infused (non-smokable) products only, or for “bud” – not both. 
* All growing and production must be “free.”
* You can never possess more than four “mature, flowering” plants and up to 12 “seedlings” (no taller than 12 inches, after which they magically become “mature and flowering”), nor more than one ounce of cannabis. 
* Labs for quality control are essentially banned.It's critical that you urge the house and senate members to vote NO on SB 423, which is as easy as clicking this link: the vote, what's next?
If the conference committee report passes both the House and Senate, the bill will then go to the Governor for consideration. If his office formally receives it while the Legislature is still in session, one of his options will be to issue an “amendatory veto,” in which he could propose changes to SB 423 in a “take it or leave it” move. But if the Legislature has shut down by the time the bill gets to the Governor’s office, then his only choices would be to veto or accept the bill (with or without his actual signature).It’s not too early to urge the Governor to Veto SB 423 unless he is willing and able to transform it into regulation that will actually work for legitimate patients: can make a difference. Please, don't delay and contact the legislature and the governor NOW!--
Heather Masterson
Montana NORML - Working to reform marijuana laws in Montana.
I'll have to Leave Montana!!!
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Comment #6 posted by disvet13 on April 19, 2011 at 16:20:13 PT:
complete legalization
once again people...the only way to get rid of the lawyers and politicians lawyering it to death is complete, across the board legalization. then we the people can produce .50 cents a gallon bio-fuel at your local bio-fuel refinery, where local farmers provide themselves with a living, clean the environment, produce cloth, textiles, paper, heal the land, and don't have to be robbed blind by big oil, big chemical, big lumber and big government, for lawyers and politicians. then you can grow your own medical marijuana and big pharmacy, big alcohol, and big tobacco will not be robbing you of your health and a cure for cancer and probably a lot of other diseases. big pharmacy recognized that 100 years ago, they've spent millions spreading propaganda that has blinded the american people into the corner, where they bow to politicians and lawyers. vote for complete legalization, or spend an eternity and millions of we the people's tax dollars, cause one thing lawyers love is lawyering, and spending your tax dollars. complete legalization is the only answer.
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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on April 19, 2011 at 16:00:39 PT:
I know I seem....
SPAMMY sometimes, but please.... This is as important as I can make this!!!! There is something afoot!!! Keep your eyes open... You have never heard me like this before, and here!!! Do your research... We can import hemp... We can import non viable plant material. Products containing There is a clause to keep in mind, " the DEA's discretion...", but the just of what I am trying to convey is that NOT ALL of the cannabinoids are federally regulated. They did try to regulate the access to the other cannabinoids by placing MARIJUANA in schedule 1!But, Hemp is not a schedule 1 narcotic, or Canada, China, Australia could not produce it. The DEA would be RAIDING them!! Oh, but the DEA where SUED for violating NAFTA!!!! Remember!!!! CERTAIN products are not excluded from trade... It is all about$$$$$ Always has been and will continue to be until we WAKE UP (present company excluded!)!!!
Lawsuit vs US gov't
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on April 19, 2011 at 15:39:05 PT
Chronis Pain
There a large number of Montanan's that suffer from chronic pain. These people have worked with their backs their whole lives! Some choose to consume a medicine that is SAFER than aspirin, and MORE EFFECTIVE!Sam Adams is right. I do not know who, but yes. There is something more to this. Remember, Montana has a Hemp license that is EASY to get!!! THC is the ONLY federally regulated cannnabinoid. Cannabis is a schedule 1 and so is THC, but CBD, CBN, CBC etc. ARE NOT!!! HEMP PRODUCTS CAN CONTAIN THESE CANNABINOIDS!! PLEASE, I am telling you the truth as loud as I can!!! This is some BIG STUFF that is going on!!! Anti carcinogenic non-psychoactive cannabinoids are not federally regulated!!! I could grow HEMP in MONTANA, cannabis high in the other cannabinoids, low in THC... YOU DO THE MATH!!! UNDERSTAND!!!
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Comment #3 posted by Garry Minor on April 19, 2011 at 10:22:08 PT
They may very well spend lots of time in church, however, their Jesus is not the Christ, the Anointed One, and, they aren't really Christians either. Their Jesus is nothing but rules taught by men and ignorant. Because of it they allow innocent people to suffer needlessly.... and more!That's the problem!
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on April 19, 2011 at 07:29:18 PT
Big Pharma wrote this bill
I think these politicians' heads are so big and they spend so much time in church they think they're Jesus.They think they can just decree that 20,000 chronic pain sufferers is too many, so now there are only 2,000. it sends an eerie chill down my spine. You can see how the Nazis just decreed that there should now be only 2,000 Jewish people instead of 6 million.This is exact same process, scapegoating. Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite-Aid just spend the last 20 years methodically wiping out the middle-class pharmacy owner. That was a lot of work! You think the families behind these corporations are just going to allow some common folk to open up medicine businesses and stick it right in their face? No sir! 
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on April 19, 2011 at 07:03:59 PT
If you read beteen the lines.
I see the lobbyist in Washington are putting pressure on their various politicians and bureaucrats.This tells me they are feeling the loss in revenue and see the future where they will all but go broke at this rate.It is time to pull out the big guns, make big threats and rattle their swords. In reality they are so broke they can barely find enough in the budget to steal for themselves.The harder you pinch the louder they squeal. They are getting pinched pretty hard these days. In fact I will try to trace the rising and falling of market shares in the various states with mmj. That would be interesting. 
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