Some of you may have noticed our logo recently changed to the Montana Cannabis Information Association, removing the term “industry” from out name. There are several reason we made this change.
First and foremost, it is because the only marijuana “industry” in our state is the ever-successful and thriving black market. The handful of individual medical marijuana providers working for patients in our state are simply not an industry by any stretch of the term. There are still some mom-and-pop small businesses thanks to our lawsuit, but these fall far short of what most people would ever consider an industry like the pharmaceutical industry or other large-scale manufacturing enterprises.
Secondly, the word “industry” is often used by our political foes to mischaracterize who we are and what we work toward. We seek positive change in state cannabis law and most of our supporters are medical marijuana patients, those who provide a needed service to them, and those who want to see a change in our state’s prohibition of cannabis by all responsible adults. We have no large lobby or big donors who push an agenda specifically in support of business.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, members of our board believe it is time to expand our mission to include an end to cannabis prohibition for all responsible adults. Medical marijuana is an important area and we are not going to ignore the needs of the community. However, prohibition wastes taxpayer dollars and brings nothing but destruction to lives and families across the state. States like Washington and Colorado have led the way, and we will be learning from their experience and incorporating those lessons in an effort to bring positive change in our own state.
In many respects, the challenges we face with respect to medical marijuana stem from the policy of prohibition. When prohibition is addressed, the problems we face regulating medical marijuana become easy to solve. Justice and balance must be achieved for everyone, not just those with serious medical conditions. It is time we addressed the root of the problem and take prohibition head on.