Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jan 2008
Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Copyright: 2008 Helena Independent Record
Author: Dan Bernath


The idea that the Montana Department of Corrections should have any
say in the medical treatment of parolees and those on probation defies
compassion and the rule of law ("Corrections proposes medicinal
marijuana ban for state parolees," Jan. 4).

Plus, it's unnecessary. Doctors and patients are the ones who must
carefully weigh the potential harms and benefits of medical marijuana
- -- or any treatment, for that matter - given a patient's particular

For the Department of Corrections to think they could arbitrarily ban
a certain medical treatment for an entire subpopulation amounts to an
end run around the law. It also represents a dangerous, unprecedented
overreaching of authority: We are not aware of any other state with a
medical marijuana law that has allowed such a blanket ban on treatment.

When Montanans voted to make medical marijuana legally available for
patients with a doctor's recommendation, they didn't intend to make
distinctions between those who deserve it and those who somehow don't
- - it's for seriously ill people who need it.

Dan Bernath, Assistant Director of Communications for the Marijuana 
Policy Project
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