Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2016
Source: Montana Standard (Butte, MT)
Copyright: 2016 Montana Standard
Author: Jeff Krauss
Note: Jeff Krauss is a Bozeman city commissioner who served three 
terms as mayor, a CPA, a cancer survivor and treasurer for Montana 
Citizens for I-182.


Someday you or someone you love may need safe, legal access to medical
marijuana. You, or they, may have cancer, epilepsy, IBS, colitis, or
Crohn's disease, Parkinson's, breast cancer, a recent heart attack, or
may be a veteran or emergency worker with PTSD.

In 2004, 64 percent of Montana voters passed a law creating a medical
marijuana program. But access for patients seeking relief will soon
disappear because of political nonsense in the 2011 Legislature. With
these draconian, nonsensical laws, you and your loved ones aren't
going to get what you need for pain, symptom relief, or a cure.

In my town, there is a courageous 33-year old mom of two who is
fighting a battle with cancer. You might have seen her, bald, on TV or
in a newspaper photo, asking you to sign the petition to get
Initiative 182 on the ballot and vote for the measure come November.
Medical marijuana makes her daily struggle with chemotherapy possible,
and allows her some quality of life. I-182 will ensure patients like
her have access to the medicine they need, while putting new
sideboards and accountability in place.

Veterans' access

The issue of veterans' access to medical marijuana has garnered strong
bipartisan support at the federal level with both Montana Sens. Steve
Daines (Republican) and Jon Tester (Democrat) endorsing legislation
that is pending before Congress to allow access to medical marijuana
for veterans in the 24 states that have adopted medical marijuana
laws. Medical marijuana is being used to treat veterans for PTSD and
is a safer option than opioids for managing pain.

It is important that we provide Montana veterans with safe, legal
access to the medicine they need and I-182 will do just that. This new
marijuana initiative will honor our vets with a safe, responsible
approach. Montana has one of the largest populations of vets per
capita, second only to Alaska. We need to align with Tester and Daines
and change these laws to allow our veterans the choices they deserve.

Recently that 33-year Bozeman mom said, "I know from my personal
experience with others fighting cancer we need safe access to medical
marijuana. My health story is not unusual, but with the potential
absence of medicinal marijuana, I and other cancer patients in Montana
face a choice they shouldn't have to, pain or vomiting. I'm not a bad
person. I'm a sick person; it pains me to think I might be persecuted
for being a sick person."

Her story could be the story of tens of thousands Montanans unless we
act to correct the current situation. I support and will advocate for
I-182 because it addresses concerns over the previous law and ensures
accountability to all Montanans by:

Advertisement (1 of 1): 0:28

Requiring providers obtain licenses and receive unannounced yearly

Allowing for product testing to ensure safety, consistency and
accurate dosages.

Providing access to veterans and other patients diagnosed with
post-traumatic stress disorder.

Removing the three-patient limit for providers.

Creating licensing fees to pay for the administration of the new

The citizens of Bozeman have trusted me with their city; three times
I've been mayor. The citizens of Gallatin County have trusted me with
their money; I was the elected county treasurer as a Republican. Gov.
Brian Schweitzer trusted me with the university system when he
appointed me to the Montana Board of Regents. You can trust me when I
tell you medical cannabis works, and is desperately needed. You can
trust me when I tell you we can establish controls on how and where
it's sold, and how many sellers there are. We can prohibit public use.
We can prohibit off-premises advertising.

Signatures needed

I know, because we did all that in Bozeman when I was mayor. I-182 can
also limit how it is prescribed, who prescribes it, and for what it
can be prescribed.

Time is short. We need your signature. There is urgency to our
campaign. To allow Montanans the opportunity to establish a
responsible, accountable law, we need to qualify for the ballot by
collecting at least 24,175 valid signatures from across the state.
Right now hundreds of volunteers and staff are working hard to meet
the June 17 deadline.

Please sign I-182. Restore the mandate that 64 percent of Montanans
established a decade ago. Let's give people a fighting chance at a
better life.

For more information on I-182 go to (

- -- Jeff Krauss is a Bozeman city commissioner who served three terms
as mayor, a CPA, a cancer survivor and treasurer for Montana Citizens
for I-182.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D