Montana’s medical marijuana law was designed to drastically reduce the number of medical marijuana providers in the state. In 2010, there was 1 caregiver for every 6 patients. Today, that ratio is 1 to 47, and over 45% of the remaining patients have no provider at all according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Because caregivers often assist patients with news and information, today there are few ways for cardholders to learn about the program or current legal requirements under state law.
“The program has been decimated,” says Ed Docter, President of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA), the organization that spearheaded a challenge to the state’s current law. “I really have no idea how patients can figure out this confusing law. There are lots of ways people can get in trouble without realizing it. This seminar is one of the only ways for patients to even know what to do,” he said. Tom Daubert, founder of Patients and Families United and author of the state’s voter initiative which put medical marijuana on the books agrees. “Our state law really leaves patients out in the cold. It is a huge help to have a place where patients can learn about the law and ask questions,” he said.
The seminar is hosted by Chris Lindsey, medical marijuana attorney based in Missoula and board member of the MTCIA. Lindsey has represented dozens of medical marijuana patients around the state in both criminal cases and in lawsuits against the state and local governments. He regularly testified at legislative sessions in 2009 and 2011 and served on the Child and Family Services Interim Committee in 2010 seeking improvements to the state’s law. In addition to legal requirements, Lindsey will also discuss the voter initiatives and signature drives related to medical marijuana and marijuana legalization in the state over the past year.
Tickets for the 3-hour seminar are $40 in advance or $50 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the MTCIA’s efforts around the state. Seminars are scheduled as follows:
|Great Falls||May 5||Great Falls Best Western|
|Billings||May 6||Big Horn Resort|
|Missoula||May 12||Staybridge Hotel|
|Kalispell||May 13||Red Lion Inn|
Bozeman Holiday Inn
For more information, a website for the event is at http:/www.cardholderseminars.com/. The views expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of the MTCIA.