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Mt Judge Issues Order Against Medical Marijuana Overhaul

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MT judge issues order against medical marijuana overhaul


By Scot Kersgaard



On Friday, shortly after legislation essentially banningmedical marijuana in Montana took effect, a judge said ‘not so fast’ and signedan order temporarily stopping some parts of the law from being enacted.



Medical marijuana proponents have vowed a fight in a statewhere well over 60 percent of voters approved legalizing medical marijuana.They were able to raise $50,000 in just a few days, using the money to hire oneof Montana’s top constitutional lawyers.




The judge’s ruling only suspends the new law’s ban onadvertising medical marijuana products, most of which are set to become illegalin July.



Marijuana proponents say the new restrictions, passedrecently by the legislature, would effectively ban medical marijuana in thestate, in spite of voters’ wishes.



From the Billings Gazette:




The new state law repeals Montana’s 2004 voter-passedmedical marijuana law, imposes restrictions aimed at making it much harder forpeople to qualify to legally use the drug, and limits the drug’s availabilityby banning large growing operations. Instead, it sets up a system where aprovider can grow medical pot for up to three people, but at no charge.



Medical marijuana proponents in Montana say one of thebiggest problems with the new rules is that restricts caregivers to providingmarijuana to only three patients, and prohibits them from charging the patientsfor the marijuana. Patients can also grow their own, but for many that is impractical.



People who were using the law as cover for recreational usewill likely go back to buying on the street, but many who do have medicalconditions which are alleviated through the use of medical marijuana will beout of luck.



From the Gazette:




A critical problem with the 2011 changes is that theyeffectively eliminate producers, the brief said, leaving medical cannabis to“somehow spring up by immaculate conception and be timely available to thosepatients in need,” the plaintiffs’ brief said.



It cited plaintiff Charlie Hamp, 79, whose wife, Shirley“Butch” Hamp, suffered from cancer of the esophagus and had an esophagectomy, aserious surgery, that resulted in her weight dropping from 105 pounds to 88pounds. Doctors suggested she try medical marijuana, and she laces her coffeewith a marijuana tincture every morning.



“Under the amendments, her caregiver will be out ofbusiness,” the brief said. “Of necessity, under the law, her ‘provider’ willnow become her husband. … He is reluctant, but there is no alternative. ButCharlie has not a clue about how to obtain seedlings, beginning the growprocess, cultivating the plants, how long this will take or ultimately how tomanufacture the necessary tincture for his debilitated wife.”



The brief added, “At their age and in their condition, thelast thing they need is for a ‘Big Brother’ government to come into their livesand dictate what they can and cannot do about their personal health and wellbeing,” the brief said.




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