Pubdate: Mon, 02 May 2011
Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Billings Gazette
Author: Jeffrey Hill


Sen. Jeff Essmann and his "Reefer Madness"-watching Tea Party cohorts
succeeded this week in overturning the will of the 63 percent of
Montana voters who approved a referendum that allowed for the use of
marijuana for those suffering from debilitating medical conditions.

The so called "caravans" that criss-crossed the state dealing out
doctors' signatures in return for a cash fee gave cards to some who
should not have them. Should the acts of some take away the rights of
the many who have benefited greatly from the availability of this
herbal remedy? Reform of a meaningful nature is certainly in order.
All of the legitimate caregivers that I have spoken to welcome this.
But enacting what amounts to an outright repeal is a clear case of

My wife is a card holder. For her, this program has made a major
impact on her quality of life. Before, she was taking large quantities
of dangerous, extremely addictive painkillers that her doctors had
prescribed to get through the day. These left her in a depressed haze
most of the time. She has not had to refill this prescription since
the first visit to her caregiver nearly a year ago. She has been given
back her life.

We beseech the governor to please take a very bold, politically
dangerous step and outright veto this ill-conceived bill. The
Legislature can do a better job of reform than this. Make them create
a system that works for those in need, not one that turns them into
potential criminals for finding ways to obtain the medicine that has
changed their lives.

Jeffrey Hill

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.