An Urgent Message from the MTCIA

August 15, 2011 News

We need at least 1,000 people to donate $25 to $50, and we need  at least 50 storefronts to donate at least $1000 THIS WEEK.

 Here is how we will use your support :

  • 45%  will go to paying for the lawsuit,
  • 45% will go to the referendum campaign,
  • and 10% will go to the MTCIA to continue their work.

 Is legal access to cannabis worth writing a check for, or raising, just $25 to $50?

The question is not rhetorical. It’s something you must decide. Because if it’s not worth it, you won’t have it. The Goetz law firm must be paid. The referendum campaign will unravel (soon) without it. And, the MTCIA will close its doors.

Montana’s Attorney General has appealed Judge Reynolds’s opinion, the temporary injunction on portions of SB 423. The state says there’s no constitutionally protected right to cannabis. We (Goetz, MTCIA, you) say there is a constitutionally protected right to pursue health, and there’s no reason medical cannabis should be disallowed in that pursuit. 

This appeal by the state kicks the whole argument up to the Montana Supreme Court. 

The MTCIA welcomes the appeal. It may even be cheaper in the long run than the trial to get the permanent injunction (as opposed to the temporary one we have). But dollars are needed to keep going. Currently, the MTCIA owes the Goetz law firm $60,674.72. (Want to see the latest copy of the bill? – we’ll email you a scanned copy.) The appeal means we start accruing additional costs. 

So far, it’s been worth every penny. Storefronts – you wouldn’t even be open now if not for the injunction. It’s why we’re asking you for more.

Meanwhile, the signature collection is under way. Signature collection is ahead of schedule for getting the 5% to place the new law on the 2012 ballot, but behind schedule if we are to get the 15% that not only puts the law on the ballot, but also suspends it from going into effect.

Suspending this law is important, even more important in light of the appeal by the state. In fact, briefings are scheduled for late fall. If the signatures are collected to suspend the law through the referendum, the state’s appeal will be moot.

The timeline is short to achieve these goals.

Wouldn’t it be sweet to show them again that their unjust crusade goes against the will of the people?

M+R Strategic Services, a professional, Montana-based campaign firm has been helping coordinate the referendum effort. There are professionals hired to support the volunteer effort and steer it towards success who have not been paid and need to be, or the effort could collapse.  Soon.  Very Soon. It is, in fact, imminent.

 And, Safe Kids, Safe Communities has started raising money to fight the referendum and continue their harebrain ranting about cannabis destroying civilization. Who knows who will step up to fund them? We know there’s big money behind prohibition.

There was hope (and expectation) that the rest of the country would see what was happening in Montana – the war being waged on voters, patients, doctors, and businesses operating in accordance with state law – and see that it has bigger implications for access nationwide. Though there has been some seed money provided to Patients for Reform, Not Repeal (P4RNR) by an advocate to start the referendum effort, the money has been spent. P4RNR is still reaching out to advocates from other states to seek support. But so far, it’s people talking and the effort needs resources now.

To assure even the 5%, $30,000 is needed to coordinate the volunteer effort. The dollars would go towards P4RNR administrative costs and professional services, such as consultation with referendum experts and legal and accounting.

The $30,000 is a shoestring budget and dependent on the incredible team of volunteers in the field. (M+ R says that in their decades of running initiative and referendum campaigns, they’ve never seen a better volunteer force.)

There are currently just under 30,000 patients. Raising $30,000, if everyone helped, should not be difficult. If everyone helped….

Then, there’s the MTCIA working to serve as an anchor and create a foundation and serve as a clearinghouse and coordinator for these needs and efforts and incurring costs in the process while also working to create an infrastructure that can serve the issue through the election, the next session, and beyond.

We cannot count on a few large donors to fund these necessary efforts. 

Bottomline – the progress we’ve made will unravel without support – NOW.

So, to survive collectively, we need at least 1000 people to donate $25 to $50 THIS WEEK.

For every dollar raised,

  • 45 cents will go to paying for the lawsuit,
  • 45 cents will go to P4RNR for the referendum campaign,
  • and 10 cents will go to the MTCIA.

 So, if you gave a $35 donation,

  • $15 would go to the lawsuit,
  • $15 would go to P4RNR for the referendum,
  • and $5 would go to the MTCIA

 If 1,000 people gave $35, the lawsuit and referendum would get $15,000 each and the MTCIA would get $5,000.

If 1,000 people gave $50, the lawsuit and referendum would get $21,430 each and the MTCIA would get $7,140.

If 1,000 people gave $100, we’d be covering our minimum expenses to be up-to-date with Goetz and have funding to secure the 5% of the referendum.

If you don’t have $25 to give, do you have $5, and can you find four other people to give you $5 for the cause? Can you make for yourself a minimum goal of raising $25 this week to support the comprehensive effort?

If you don’t have $5 to give but can volunteer time, please find at least five people to give the $5 to reach the $25 minimum goal.

 And, if you’re a storefront, we’re asking you for a $1,000.

You would not be open, paying your mortgage, or feeding your family without this work.

Things don’t change in this world because a thing is true and right. Change comes when people make the change happen. The fact that the change we’re looking for is built on the foundation of what is true and what is right gives us strength. But without people stepping up, what is true and what is right withers on the sidelines while lies are used to create unjust policy at the expense of the majority. 

Let’s wow this state again by stepping up.

 Hit the donate link on the right side of screen at the mtcia website.

or

Mail your contribution to

MTCIA

PO Box 9085

Missoula, MT 59807

 Today is August 15. Let’s aim for August 23 to have the donations in. This is urgent.