Montana Medical Marijuana Patients Make Political Headway



“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

Victory! The recent efforts of Montana constituents has paid off and headway has been made! A united front, the people of Bozeman banded together and raised enough votes, over 36,000 and counting, to get I-182 on the ballot in November. Considering that the state requirement for signatures was approximately 25,000 signatures by June 17th, this overwhelming response to get this initiative on the ballot is not only heart-warming, but indicative of the importance of the issue.

Montanans will now have the chance to take to the polls and democratically show support through our numbers. It’s time to stand up for the right to choose one’s form of medication! Why allow prescription pills, which the medical community loves to prescribe, to continue to harm constituents of all ages and regions when a naturally derived form of medication, medical grade marijuana, has proven itself to be of such incredible healing benefit? In face of our state government succumbing to politics and stereotypes by restricting access to medical marijuana on August 31, effectively asphyxiating the legal industry, thousands of patients across this great state will lose their access to the medicine they need to help them (and will be out of luck until we vote in a new initiative come November). In other words, we need to fight for this right, or we leave the patients of Montana without safe, legal access to their chosen medicine.

We have been fighting for our rights since 2004 when 64% of Montanans voted yes for I-148 which made medical marijuana accessible in Montana. In 2011, when the law was repealed, we have faced an uphill battle for the right to use medical marijuana in Montana. With the help of Montana voters we might finally be on the verge of overcoming this current struggle.

For those of you who have not yet heard of I-182, it is an initiative that will allow for better access to medical marijuana in Montana. There are a few main points that I-182 is seeking to reinstate and implement.

  • Requiring any provider of medical marijuana in Montana have a license, and implement a yearly unplanned inspection of the facilities.
  • Establishing licensing fees, so as to not impact the Montana state budget negatively
  • Not limiting providers to a maximum of only three patients
  • Legally allowing medical marijuana to be tested in a laboratory for harmful molds and other toxins, ensuring a safe medicinal product

  • Making it easier for those with chronic pain to utilize medical marijuana in Montana
  • Providing safe, legal access for Montana veterans and any other patient who suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • The Ballot language officially reads as the follows:

    BALLOT LANGUAGE FOR INITIATIVE NO. 182 (I-182) INITIATIVE NO. 182 A LAW PROPOSED BY INITIATIVE PETITION I-182 renames the Montana Marijuana Act to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and amends the Act. I-182 allows a single treating physician to certify medical marijuana for a patient diagnosed with chronic pain and includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a “debilitating medical condition” for which a physician may certify medical marijuana. Licensing requirements, fees and prohibitions are detailed for medical marijuana dispensaries and testing laboratories. I-182 repeals the limit of three patients for each licensed provider, and allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the State.