It was on April 28, five years ago, that SB 423 passed both chambers during the 2011 legislative session. It was legislation drawn up hastily in the final hours of the session, crafted with the goal of dismantling access to medical marijuana in Montana and getting, as many said at the time, “as close to repeal as possible.”
The very next day, April 29, the MTCIA brought together a group of people to find a way to protect access in a crisis situation. It was an environment of fear, and good reason for it, following the raids. High profile people and providers had been charged with federal crimes. Legislators were afraid. One of the biggest federal police actions this state has ever seen occurred and no elected official stood up publicly to condemn it, or praise it (except then state Senator Dave Wazenried who condemned it). There was an eerie silence from our state’s elected, high-level representatives.
There are so many unanswered questions from those times.
But within days of the passage of SB 423, the MTCIA had secured a top shelf attorney and critical provisions of the law were enjoined thus protecting access in MT. Throughout changes in the Board make-up and periods of greater and lesser activity, and greater and lesser tumult, the commitment to access has been sustained. Enormous thanks to all of those who have made this possible for five years.
We are now on the threshold of passing a new medical marijuana law for Montana, one that’s accountable and responsible and puts us on the path of real regulations for Montana’s medical marijuana program. For five years, the MTCIA has successfully kept the door open for Montana’s patients through legal channels. But that road came to an end with the Montana Supreme Court’s decision of February 25.
To protect access, we must pass a new law. Please support I-182 and the MTCIA in our ongoing work and commitment to access in Montana.
You can support the work of the MTCIA by becoming a member by clicking here.
Make no mistake, we need your help. We are history in the making, in Montana and nationally. Please join us today.