It has been too long since we have had good news to report. Our funding drive in Bozeman and Butte-Silver Bow Counties has netted a total of $31,000 toward our legal fund. This is a victory for MTCIA and the medical marijuana providers and patients that we serve. Since the 2011 attempt by our legislature to shut down the industry, we have demonstrated our perseverance and determination by collecting over $380,000 in donations which were paid to our legal team. We are an industry that has withstood the most draconian federal raids in the history of our country and the narrow-minded attempt by an over-reacting legislature to kill the industry. Through all of the adversity that has beset our industry, we have stood firm in our resolve toward serving our patients.
On the federal level, there has been movement towards allowing the banking systems to begin handling our accounts so that we are not forced to do business on a “cash only” basis. There is a bipartisan effort taking place in congress at this very moment that would reschedule marijuana and provide more legal protections for marijuana providers who are in compliance with the laws of their states. These are all very encouraging events that add to the momentum of our industry.
There is still much work to be done. We must stay focused on keeping our industry from being shut down by the actions of the 2011 legislature. We still have a hearing scheduled in May. That hearing will determine whether we will keep the court-ordered injunctions in place that allow us to continue serving our patients. I have read the briefs, depositions and motions filed by our legal team and have a high level of confidence that we will have a positive outcome. There are still risks to our industry by actions of a negative Supreme Court.
From time to time we must take pause to consider the gains we have made as an industry. We have been allowed, by the court, to remain in business for nearly three years since SB423 went into effect. Reliable polls have consistently shown that more than 78% of Americans favor medical marijuana and 55% favor legalization for recreational use. Our momentum is picking up speed and this is cause for celebration. I will leave you with that thought and wish you all a happy Valentine weekend.
Yours in Solidarity,