The Montana Attorney General has issued a response to the memo by the ATF that rescinded 2nd amendment rights for medical cannabis patients. Below is an excerpt from Attorney General Bullock’s letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:
“Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. More than 90 million people live in these jurisdictions, comprising 29.2% of the total population of the United States. In our federal system of dual sovereignty, I respectfully suggest that the federal government should act in a careful manner when its laws and policies involve conflicts with those of the states. I certainly recognize the Supremacy Clause and its importance in maintaining a Union. Its intent and purposes can be fully effectuated, however, through federal policies that accord proper respect and deference to states, and which allow the “laboratories of democracy” to test differing approaches to public policy.
There have been abuses of, and problems relating to, medical marijuana laws in the various states that have enacted them, including Montana. States, including Montana, have acted to address problems and explore workable solutions. In doing so, however, we also face issues that are, candidly, created or exacerbated by federal actions and policies that do not always reflect the kind of careful approach and appropriate accommodation that should be accorded the states.”
The letter ends with:
“In the meantime, I respectfully request that the Department of Justice not pursue any criminal prosecutions against law abiding citizens in Montana who exercise their constitutional rights to possess guns and enjoy hunting, or the licensees who are implicitly threatened by ATF’s letter.”
These are promising words from our Attorney General. We’ve waited for a public statement and appreciate what he has expressed in his first public remarks concerning medical cannabis in Montana. Of course, we know there other issues besides 2nd amendment rights that have been stepped on in Montana. We also know that our own Montana constitution was stepped on by the law passed by the 2011 legislature, SB 423.
Let’s hope a conversation has begun with our elected officials, and also between our elected officials and the federal government. Montanans’ lives have been profoundly, negatively impacted by federal policy. Are these the first steps? Are we finally turning in the direction of solutions?
In other good news: Patients for Reform – Not Repeal has collected over 46,000 signatures to place IR-124 on the November 2012 ballot. This afternoon, the first business day after the deadline for signatures, the Secretary of State notified the petition committee that IR-124 has qualified with more than sufficient signatures.
Let Attorney General Bullock know you appreciate the stance he’s taken in addressing issues of state sovereignty while also addressing the constitutional rights of Montana citizens. [email protected]