Pubdate: Mon, 30 May 2011 Source: Helena Independent Record (MT) Copyright: 2011 Helena Independent Record Contact: http://helenair.com/app/contact/letters_to_editor/ Website: http://helenair.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1187 MOST SAY KEEP ISSUING CANNABIS CARDS The controversy over the whether medical cannabis should be legal, and/or how legal it should be, continues to simmer. Voters in our unscientific online poll this week were somewhat split on our Question of the Week, which asked, "Should the State of Montana continue to issue medical cannabis cards while the fate of the bill tightening regulation of the industry remains uncertain?" As of late Friday afternoon, 179 votes were cast saying the state should continue to issue cards, while 129 votes had been counted in the opposite column. Here's a sampling of what those who took time to comment on the question said about the issue: - - "There are a handful of Constitutional problems with this new law and it will almost certainly be overturned. There really is no point in punishing sick people trying to satisfy people who won't be anyway. The creation of new regulation should have been left in the hands of DPHHS to begin with. They submitted a proposal that would have worked very well to solve the few problems with the current law and it was rejected by lawmakers determined to repeal medical marijuana. Essman and his sorry crew have nobody but themselves to blame for this fiasco and I have a feeling voters will call them to account for wasting so much money and time in 2012." - - "No. Will Rogers once said, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." If Montana continues to issue medical marijuana cards with ever shrinking supplies of product to buy, market forces will drive the cost beyond that of legal prescription pain medications. Will Rogers may have been wrong." - - "Yes. Why should the people who submitted applications before the new law passed be denied their legal rights? These patients followed all the laws." - - "Of course the state should be processing the applications that came in before the new law took effect. The law was so vague it wasn't clear to patients when its various provisions started. What's more, it states current cards are valid for another year. What else are they supposed to do with the cards that were partially processed under the old law." - - "If the people who are dispensers of this drug are being shut down, then the person who is in charge of issuing cards should be arrested or lose their job." - - "Yes. The new reforms to the medical marijuana laws do not go into effect until July 1. New patient cards should be processed and provided at least until that date comes and goes. If a lawsuit to stop the legislation is in the works, which I believe is under way, then the processing of cards for medical marijuana use should continue while the litigation is being considered." - - "What part of the law do people not understand? Like it or not the Legislature enacted a bill and it became law upon passage and approval. It is not up to the bureaucrats to ignore the statute and continue issuing cards. It is their job to stop issuing cards as the law states. This is another example of what is wrong with medical marijuana in that apparently the users of the federally illegal substance and those who are supposed to enforce the law think they don't have to play by the rules. The arrogance will stop once the silent majority of Montana voters stand up again and repeal this farce." - - "The Montana Legislature has once again determined, in its eternal wisdom, to overturn the will of the people as expressed in our passage of the medical marijuana law. The people are fighting back, with lawsuits and a renewed attempt to place medical marijuana on the ballot. Until this issue is resolved, it would be both cruel and impractical to discontinue the issuance and renewal of medical marijuana cards issued under a democratically instituted law. What the legislators seem not to understand is that marijuana is, as it always has been, readily available on our streets and in our schools. Those who are taking advantage of our compassion for the sick will not suffer, but the new law will cause great harm to legitimate users of medical marijuana. The law is badly written, hastily passed and foolishly misguided. As a health care provider, I am ashamed at the heartlessness displayed by my state's leaders, and hope they will find an ounce of real compassion and! love for their fellow man. And if they do not, we will remember their names the next time we stand at the ballot box." - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.