Pubdate: Mon, 14 Jun 2010
Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Copyright: 2010 Marc Catellier
Author: Marc Catellier


It has been interesting, as well as predictable, to observe over the 
last couple of years, the decline in the degree of difficulty there 
is to obtain a Montana medical marijuana card. It used to be a scenic 
drive down the Bitterroot Valley; now it's a quick trip over the 
Bozeman Pass. Or a road trip over to Billings for the monthly 
recruiting festival.

I applaud Community Health Partners and Park Clinic for their efforts 
to maintain a higher degree of integrity by instituting a review 
panel to assess the legitimacy of the client's request. Wasn't the 
Montana medical marijuana program established as a privilege, not an 
entitlement, to be recommended as a treatment to alleviate certain 
medical conditions?

But it has truly sunk to a new low, if anyone and everyone, even 
those out on bail and awaiting trial for drug charges, theft, even 
child abuse, can take a ride over to Bozeman, pay their $200 in fees 
and get a guaranteed recommendation. If this is what it is coming 
down to, it has lost any semblance as a privilege, as well as any 
sense of legitimacy.

We might as well take the next logical step and legalize marijuana. 
Have the state open a series of dispensaries, as well as a state 
controlled/operated farm system for cultivation. Talk about job 
creation! Let the state take in the revenue from the 
soon-to-be-if-not-already number one cash crop in Montana and just do 
away with the caregiver system.

I would advocate that, from the obscene profits generated, every man, 
woman and child in the state receive a yearly $1,000 cannabis rebate 
check, similar to the Alaskan state oil royalty rebate. I'll bet 
there is enough left over to fund the state's educational system. How 
about an added bonus of seeing the medical marijuana caregiver murder 
rate decline!

Marc Catellier

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