Supporters of voters’ rights, patients, economic justice, and common sense gathered in two communities this weekend at MTCIA fundraisers and mixers. Friday night in Bozeman, diverse voices addressed the group, including Bozeman mayor, Jeff Krauss, who expressed his dismay at the state legislature dismantling their local medical cannabis regulation system. Bozeman figured out how to make medical marijuana work in their community. Too bad the state refused to learn from them.
Jim Gingery of the Montana Medical Growers Association (MMGA) addressed the group, too, and shared information about the referendum process. Trent Handcock, a local libertarian activist, also took the mike and shared with the group what he sees as the relationship between ending cannabis prohibition and the libertarian philosophy.
Different speakers. Different reasons for supporting access to cannabis. Cannabis brings together a diversity of citizens, political philosophies, and priorities. The issue exemplifies another dimension of the pressure in this country on ordinary citizens being denied access to decent, effective health care, reasonable livelihoods, and the right to personal privacy.
A special thanks to Misty Carey of KannaKare of Bozeman and Monica Blanchard of CC of MT for doing local groundwork and preparing beautiful materials. Thanks to Dr. Michael Geci of Montana Botanical Analysis for sponsoring the space. Thanks to everyone who turned out and made the event a success.
The next night, Saturday, in Helena, a smaller group gathered and shared a conversation with Helena Senator Mary Caferro. During the legislative session, Senator Caferro worked to keep storefronts open and sponsored the amendment that would have allowed for them in SB 423. She told the group she’s seen legislators sometimes become further and further out of touch with their constituents as the session goes on. In the end, she said, some aren’t voting their constituents’ will, but their seatmate’s, or party’s. She believes this was one reason some otherwise seemingly reasonable legislators voted for SB 423, an obviously poorly constructed, unworkable law. She also told the group that the belief that it’s politically dangerous for a politician to support medical cannabis is simply wrong and more evidence of being out of touch.
A special thanks to Bob Cypers of Helena Kannakare for doing local groundwork. Thank you also to Jeff Fishers who donated two lovely handmade benches for raffle items, and thanks to Terry Betschart for donating collectibles for silent auction. And a final thanks to the musicians in both communities (including board member Pat Pardis) for coming out to support and entertain the crowd.
Next stop, Kalispell, June 11.