Does Rep. Zinke Stand with Zabawa Against Medical Marijuana Access in Montana?

Why is the MTCIA concerned that Steve Zabawa sits on Representative Ryan Zinke’s health care policy advisory committee?

Back in 2011, Steve Zabawa wanted in on the medical marijuana program in Montana. He wanted 10% of a provider’s income on top of the rent for a Zabawa-owned commercial property.  

Today, Steve Zabawa is a one-man band making the political talk circuit in Montana speaking against I-182 which creates an accountable and responsible state medical marijuana program. Mind you, he knows Montanans support medical marijuana. Thus, he claims to support medical marijuana. But then he throws the works at blocking patient access, shelling out six figures from his own pocket to do so, and knowingly telling an absurd amount of lies. Steve Zabawa aims at and invests in wiping out and preventing medical marijuana access in Montana.  

Meanwhile, his stock broker wife hands out information on GW Pharmaceuticals after his speaking engagements.

Steve “reefer madness” Zabawa is listed as being on Montana’s U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke’s health care advisory committee.

If the premier and solo zealot against the will of Montanans to have access to medical marijuana is advising Representative Zinke on medical marijuana policy, Montanans have the right to know.

So, we asked. We sent a letter. We’ve made calls. We’ve heard a rumor that Zabawa got the bounce but we can’t get it confirmed. Make Google my Homepage Having exhausted the channels that are supposed to be there so that citizens can get the information they need and deserve, we are posting the letter here below.

Our letter to Rep. Ryan Zinke:

September 15, 2016

Dear Representative Zinke,

We are sure you are aware of I-182, a citizens’ initiative currently on the ballot in Montana. This initiative creates a responsible, accountable medical marijuana program which includes inspections, licenses, and lab testing for medical marijuana products.

The opposition to this effort is largely singular, a car dealer from Billings, Steve Zabawa, who sits on your health care advisory committee. In an October 2, 2015 press release you refer to this committee as “more than 25 health care professionals and advocates from across the state.”

We know that Mr. Zabawa is not a health care professional, and that the primary, most high-profile, and perhaps only health care issue Zabawa works on is to work against access to medical marijuana. Naturally, we are concerned that his seat on your health care advisory committee serves the primary purpose of furthering his crusade against the public’s will and medical marijuana, a crusade he funds personally, having three times attempted and failed to overturn the law through citizens’ initiative. We are in the position of needing to ask you if Mr. Zabawa reflects your position on the issue, given it is the only health care issue he seems to publicly pursue.

The Zabawa agenda works against the will of the majority of Montana citizens. The first medical marijuana initiative in Montana passed with 62% of the vote in 2004. That program was dismantled by 2011 legislation which after a lengthy court battle went into effect August 31, 2016.

I-182, when passed, will re-establish access for Montanans with debilitating conditions and create an accountable, responsible medical marijuana program. I-182 reached the required signature count to qualify for the ballot with some to spare in 58 days.

In contrast, Zabawa’s third initiative, I-178, to eliminate medical marijuana in Montana failed to collect the required number of signatures after eight months of signature gathering. His position simply does not represent the people who have elected you to serve Montana in D.C. and his efforts are detrimental veterans and other Montanans with debilitating illnesses.

If indeed Mr. Zabawa is your advisor on medical marijuana, we don’t think you’re being accurately advised as to the wishes of the people of Montana, the science of the human cannabinoid system, and the medical applications of this therapeutic plant.

So, please let us know your position on this important and timely issue and role of Mr. Zabawa on your committee. We would appreciate a response by October 5th given the importance of this issue to the voters of Montana.

We look forward to hearing from you.


If anyone has answers, we would appreciate hearing them.




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