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Montana leaders must stand up for medical marijuana

Montana leaders must stand up for medical marijuana

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In May, federal agents conducted a raid on Sleeping Giant Caregivers, a medical marijuana business in Helena.

This raid is a textbook example of the horrendous violation of rights by the federal government against the citizens of the state of Montana. Could there by a more classic example of federal verses state’s rights? Sleeping Giant Caregivers broke absolutely no state laws and yet the feds raided, confiscated equipment and put them out of business. Around $2,000 in cash was taken.

The federal raid resulted in denying medical cannabis to 450 legal patients. Isn’t this illegal? If it’s not, it should be.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Some might argue that the U.S. Constitution delegates powers to the feds to arrest MMJ providers because of the schedule 1 status of cannabis in the Controlled Substance Act . However, the CSA’s schedule 1 requirements are: “1) Schedule I.–

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

Clearly, cannabis doesn’t qualify on B and C, and the Merck Medical Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment clearly states that cannabis is not physically addictive, so it doesn’t meet criteria for A either. Therefore, these raids are being done using a classification that is clearly false on all three criteria.

Conclusion: The power to regulate MMJ is not delegated to the federal government because it does not meet their own criteria to be a schedule 1 drug. Therefore, they have no power to regulate it and must reclassify or remove it from the list.

Efforts to reclassify cannabis or remove it from the CSA Schedule entirely have been ongoing since the 1970s. A group of governors, including Washington state’s governor, is currently urging the feds to reclassify cannabis on the CSA Schedule. Unfortunately, the feds haven’t had the time or resources to get it done, or even indicate that they are looking into the matter. Meanwhile, the oppression and abuses against citizens and states with MMJ laws go on.

So when are our elected officials going to stand up for the citizens of Montana’s rights? Gov. Jan Brewer in Arizona, although against MMJ, is suing the feds so she can get an answer as to whether they are going to come in and arrest state workers enforcing their new law and raid the providers that the recently passed MMJ law provides for. At least she stands up for her citizens, even when she disagrees with what they voted for. Remember, 62 percent of Montana citizens voted for I-148. Clearly, the people chose, and would choose again, if given the rights supposedly guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution and if I-148 were allowed to be voted on again.

The only conclusion I can come to is that our politicians are being bought off. Tobacco corporations accounted for the second-largest amount of the $5.7 spent lobbying the Montana legislature this year. Tobacco companies stand to loose a lot with MMJ and/or cannabis legalization, so you know a lot of that money was spent preventing access to MMJ. And, it was spent effectively! A clear majority of MT legislators voted against the law that was supported by 62 percent of the voters, and made sure that it was not put back to a popular vote. The bill calling to put the vote for MMJ back on the ballot in 2012 never made it out of committee.

Isn’t it ironic that tobacco meets all three criteria of the CSA Schedule 1, and yet, tobacco companies are instrumental in preventing the consumption of the non-addictive, medically safe and effective cannabis (visualize outstretched politician’s hands)? Meanwhile, tobacco, which clearly meets all three criteria of a schedule 1 drug (A) highly physically addictive, B) no medical use, C) not safe even when used under the directions of a physician and in fact proven to cause cancer), is legal, sold for a hefty profit, and the profits consequently used to influence the decisions of politicians making laws.

It’s time for our politicians to stand up for the rights of the citizens in the state of Montana. We need their help in getting the legal status of cannabis defined based on current scientific knowledge.

A. Ward,

Corvallis

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