MTCIA Asks Patients to Use their Power

December 16, 2011

Medical cannabis patients are often forced to emphasize their vulnerabilities in order to prove their worthiness to access a botanical that offers them relief. Their “worthiness” is measured by legislators’ perceived degree of patient suffering rather than whether or not cannabis is effective for their condition.  This requirement to emphasize a vulnerability, however, belies patients’ strength, courage, and power. Patients were the front lines for challenging the myths and lies on which the marijuana prohibition industries were built.

Currently, in Montana, if you are a patient and you get your cannabis from a legal, registered provider, you are only able to do so because of the temporary injunction secured in the lawsuit, the MTCIA vs. State of Montana. Without this lawsuit and injunction, access to medical marijuana in Montana would be all but over.

The MTCIA would like to ask you, the patients of Montana, for your help.

All those who benefit from the lawsuit are not sharing in its cost. Many providers who make a profit from selling medical cannabis have not stepped up and supported the lawsuit that allows them to exist at all. At this time, the cost of doing business in Montana includes the cost of the lawsuit (no lawsuit = no business). If a medical marijuana provider  is not contributing to the cost of lawsuit, that provider is riding somebody else’s coattail and operating on somebody else’s dime, no different than if they were siphoning off electricity or stealing another’s supplies .

We ask patients, who hold great power as consumers, to ask your provider whether or not s/he is a member of the MTCIA and helping pull the load for all those in Montana who use or provide medical cannabis. You can also check with the MTCIA to find out whether a provider is a member ([email protected]). If your provider is a member, please thank him or her for their support in protecting access for all. If your provider is not a member, please ask that they become one and pull their own weight on behalf of access in Montana.

Some MTCIA members have launched in their businesses a $1 request per transaction to offer patients an easy, painless way to contribute to the movement that makes it possible for them to secure cannabis in a safe environment. The response has been overwhelmingly positive as patients value their access and are eager and willing to help protect it, some giving beyond the $1 when they understand what’s at stake and the necessary work being done.

Thank you to all.

Patients are the market. The market decides what businesses stay and which ones go. This is the way markets should function and it’s what regulations should support – the power of the consumer. Our legislature did not provide regulations. They passed a bill meant to dismantle the system and make Montanans vulnerable to arrest for participating in a program voted in by the citizens of this state. Nor should regulations be about the government picking out the winners by awarding contracts, something done in other states. Regulations should create baseline standards that address safety, quality, and functionality. Those who can meet those baseline standards then get to compete. The market should choose the best – those who provide quality, a safe purchasing environment, and service.  

But right now, we don’t have regulations. We have obstacles and “gotcha” provisions and a  state law enforcement that is either sidelined by the feds or shilling for them – we don’t know which. Without regulations, you are needed as a patient, as a consumer –  as the market – to shape this system with your dollar.

If a provider is unwilling to participate fairly now, how will they participate in the future when laws may be getting made to the detriment of the patient-consumer? If they aren’t standing with you now to protect access, why would they stand with you later when greater profits may be at stake?

Lawmakers have pretended that SB 423, their de facto repeal legislation, is regulation, which it is clearly not. As a result, Montana is left to create our own standards within the parameters of the wreck of a law that we have, and much of the power to do this lies in your hands, the patients. Who deserves your dollars? Those contributing to protecting your access, or those profiting by the work of others?

Who do you want growing your medicine?

We can make profiteering a thing of the past.

The power is yours.