Pubdate: Fri, 27 May 2011
Source: Montana Standard (Butte, MT)
Copyright: 2011 Montana Standard
Author: Brandon Conroy


After reading the syndicated editorial by state majority leader Jeff
Essman, R-Billings, I, as a Montana voter, was quite taken aback.

I have many problems with his interpretation of the events that have
taken place since Gov. Brian Schweitzer allowed SB 423 to become law,
and about the law itself.

However, the main point I would like to address is: why is Sen. Essman
attacking sick people? "The cardholders will be forced to grow their
own, which they are alleged to be incapable of..." a direct quote from
Senator Essman. "We may soon see similar claims for other controlled
substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and improperly used
prescription drugs. After all, the argument will go, whose job is it
to decide what is medicine and for whom?"

Essman, to put it bluntly, that's your doctor's job. It is not the job
of government to decide the limit on doctor/patient relationships, nor
to prohibit your doctor from treating you effectively, even if you
don't agree with it morally.

As for the senator's claim that Montana's law will be similar to other
states, there is one major difference. Montana will not have a
non-profit system; we will have a non-compensation system.

I did not ever think I would hear a Republican leader defending a
moneyless system. Even left-leaning states like Oregon and Washington
understand that the amount of time and effort put into producing
quality medicine is staggering. In no other industry, including
healthcare, does government ask its citizens to make this sacrifice.

A provider, under the new law, must purchase expensive equipment, in
many cases rent another dwelling, renovate that dwelling to support
the massive power consumption required, as well as the ducting and
equipment, spend up to six months of daily work keeping the product
healthy, harvest the product, and repeat the process.

Apparently, that is something that terminally ill people are capable
of, or their loved ones should do for free.

Brandon Conroy

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.