Pubdate: Sun, 20 Jun 2010
Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 2010 The Billings Gazette
Author: Jim Shockley


I was one of two people who wrote the opposition to the  2004
initiative to legalize marijuana for medical  purposes. I believed
that the the initiative was  illegal under federal law, and would be
abused in any  event. I was in error in regard to the federal law, the
  courts did not strike down state medical marijuana  laws. Further,
President Obama says that he does not  want U.S. attorneys to enforce
federal drugs laws that  conflict with state medical marijuana laws.
My fears  about abuse of the statute were more accurate; a law  sold
to the public as a measure to relieve the  suffering of a 75-year-old
cancer victim was being used  to allow a 16-year-old to have a
headache treated with  cannabis.

The initiative had support from well-meaning people of  both parties,
but provided no regulation of the growth  of the plant, its
distribution, and particularly  relevant, its dosage.

It is clear that the majority of people in Montana want  people with
real medical problems to have legal access  to marijuana, but the
initiative should be scrapped and  the Legislature required to provide
a workable statute  that the public supports and with which law
enforcement  can live. Right now hard working prosecutors and
policeman are simply frustrated. Anyone can obtain a  medical
marijuana card and anyone can grow the plant.

Jim Shockley

Senate District 45

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