5,598 Medical Marijuana Patients To Lose Legal Protections In Montana
Joe | Oct 25, 2012 | Comments 0
The lifting of a court injunction against Montana SB 423 will result in almost 5,600 medical marijuana patients being thrown off the qualifying list, slightly more than previously thought. Which means even more people in Montana are back to square one when it comes to getting their medicine.
A recent press release from Bob Brigham of ”Patients for Reform, Not Repeal” spells out the details.
Patients are Losing Legal Status and Providers;
Suffering Patients Plead for Voters to Oppose IR-124
HELENA, Oct. 24 – State data show that 5,598 patients will now lose their status as registered, legal medical users of marijuana.
As the state fully implements Senate Bill 423 after a June 2011 injunction was lifted by the state Supreme Court yesterday, the vast majority of currently legal patients are losing their rights.
Bob Brigham, campaign manager for Patients for Reform, Not Repeal, said, “This new action by the state is like a spike in the heart to thousands of suffering patients. Only now is the full, devastating impact of SB 423 becoming apparent. It’s hurting the very kinds of patients Montana voters most want to help.”
“The only good news,” Brigham added, “is that this heartless, unworkable law is on the ballot and voters can do something about it. On IR-124, voting against SB 423 will help patients and force the Legislature to develop better regulation.”
The state Department of Health and Human Services is sending out notices to patients on Monday, terminating their legal status. Most are being terminated because they shared medical marijuana providers, while SB 423 limits the number of patients any legal provider may serve to three.
To regain their rights, these thousands of patients will need to fully reapply to the program, including naming new providers. Many patients are expected to be surprised and unprepared for the change. Finding new providers – people willing to grow marijuana for patients despite a new prohibition on reimbursement – is expected to be difficult, and it will take many months for those who can manage to grow for themselves to begin producing the medical marijuana they need. Meanwhile, under SB 423 it is literally illegal for any of these suffering patients to obtain seeds or plants.
Brigham said, “The truth is, while everyone knows SB 423 is a bad, unworkable law, we haven’t really lived under it yet. Only now is the damage to patients becoming clear. Voters can do something about it by voting against SB 423 on IR-124.”
It’s up to voters in Montana to again make their will known, since legislators in their state have little interests in their feelings. Should sick people have the option of medical marijuana, or should they have to get their cannabis from the black market? How many people care enough about the answer to that question to vote this November?
- are you registered to vote? If not, get to it!