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Medical marijuana now a billion dollar business in Montana

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Now the medical marijuana comments we’ve received are in the thousands. Here’s one from James Dale: “Say good bye to your House seat. I can guarantee you have lost your next election. You should have looked at the truth, not your GOP lies. It was a very big mistake to vote the way you did. Have fun with your last session in office. The cannabis voters will remove all of you. May God have mercy on your soul.”

There is so much more to the story. I do not know if the repeal bill will pass the senate. My guess is that the governor will veto it if it does. But there are other strategies.

We have a bill to put the entire thing back to the voters. There is another bill to limit the patients that a caregiver can have to one. We have caregivers now with 400 patients.

Another bill will require two physicians to say there is a need. We passed a bill that employers can require a drug-free work place and that includes marijuana.

And the “cannabis lobby” is the most upset about removing any money from the caregiver to the patient. The caregiver or the patient can grow but marijuana cannot be sold.

It is now a billion dollar business in Montana. Someone once told me to always follow the money. If medical marijuana is about caring, not money, each caregiver should have only one patient, a family member or very close friend.

A fellow legislator just told me that the MM13 gang is active in Broadwater County. They are originally from Guatemala and one of the most deadly drug gangs.

How did this get so bad? Last session, 2009, there were 1,500 medical marijuana patients. The House of Representatives was split 50/50 on party lines. The Republicans tried to tighten the rules. Every attempt failed.

Meanwhile a Scobey Democrat actually tried to pass a bill to allow more health care providers not just physicians to provide certification of conditions. A Missoula Democrat tried to expand the number of plants and the conditions eligible. The Republicans defeated those bills.

One of my constituents said we need to listen to the elders of the Blackfeet and the Salish-Kootenai Tribes. They do not allow medical marijuana for enrolled members.

South Dakota just had a ballot initiative and the voters looked at us and voted against medical marijuana. In fact, their newspaper, radio and TV ads said “Do you want to be like Montana?”

Enough on that topic. During a leadership lunch with U.S. Senator Tester, we discussed oil prices, the fear of Egyptian collapse, monument designations, the federal deficit, etc. He stressed the need for an oil pipeline here for the Bakken field.

We are still working on property tax problems. Next week I’ll cover many of those bills.

Regrettably I cannot answer all of the thousands of calls and emails, but I do try to answer the ones from our area. I never forget that I work for you. Leave me a message at (406) 444-4800, my cell is (406) 253-8766, my website is jannataylor.com or email me at jannataylor@montana.com.

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