On April 30, the Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to determine if Judge Reynolds was right in granting the temporary injunction that blocked certain portions of SB 423. The hearing will be held in Bozeman at the MSU Strand Union Building. The Montana Supreme Court holds an annual ‘Law Day’ on the MSU campus to provide the public with an opportunity to see the high court in action. They typically choose a high profile case for this event. Some of you may be aware that one of the Supreme Court Justices is also the wife of U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter. We received word earlier this week that Judge Patricia Cotter has recused herself from this hearing.
The Montana Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the injunction that day, but when they do it will set the tone of the lawsuit as it moves forward in District Court. If the Supreme Court rules to uphold the injunction, it gives more credence to the claims that SB 423 is unconstitutional. The District Court will have no choice but to recognize that the injunction was granted for valid reasons. If the Supreme Court rules against the injunction, all of the portions of the law previously blocked by Judge Reynolds will go into effect. These portions include the prohibition on providers receiving compensation for services and the 3-patient maximum for providers. The medical marijuana industry in Montana will once again come to a screeching halt. We maintain hope that this will not be the case. Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, we will still have to wait for our day in District Court (sometime late in the year) to see how it all plays out.
Even though we have this unique opportunity to attend such a monumental hearing for our industry, our legal counsel has asked us to remind folks that this IS NOT the time for demonstrations, protests, or any other political statements. We can’t tell anyone not to go, but if you do please remember your actions may reflect back on the entire industry. Even if unintentional, this can still do a lot of harm. We also respectfully ask for the C-110 signature gatherers to refrain from collecting signatures at this event. Ultimately, we are all on the same team, but this hearing is not an appropriate time to push for legalization while the MTCIA is simultaneously fighting for reasonable regulation.
Fundraising continues to be as active as ever as the legal bill continues to grow. All donations go directly toward the lawsuit. Please use our convenient PayPal link on the top right of this page to make a contribution. Anything, no matter how small, will help to preserve the medical marijuana industry in Montana. This lawsuit will not only set a precedent in our home state, it will also send a message nationwide. It’s history in the making.