The recent Supreme Court opinion is very unfortunate. It has caused a lot of anguish and debate. For some of us it is very personal, and for all of us it is very emotional. Our resolve is going to be tested.
As you know, the on-going legal battle is a reaction to sloppy and unacceptable work by the 2011 legislature to prohibit Montanans access to the medicine they need. Now because of the actions of the Legislature many of the Montana’s sick and dying residents, those in severe pain, including our veterans, are at risk of not receiving the right medicine they need at a critical time in their lives.
Twelve years ago the voters spoke by an overwhelming margin by approving I-148, the “Medical Marijuana Act,” in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote. With this vote Montanans sought to create safe access to medical marijuana for those with debilitating illnesses. We were one of the first states to provide such access.
Over the last twelve years so much as changed. Our understanding of the value of marijuana to aid those who have the need for this critical medicine, especially our veterans, has grown substantially. Everyday this is confirmed through new research and study.
Over the coming days and months we will work with patients, providers, community leaders, elected leaders, and the citizens of Montana to protect access to this important medicine. Along the way there will be many twists and turns as we move forward. We will leave no stone unturned to make sure safe, reliable access for Montanans is achieved.
We urge you to communicate to your family and friends, to your neighbors and your community that we are in this fight together for the long-term and that we are committed to working hard to achieve our common goal.
Just as so many other states provide this access we all must work together to make sure Montanans have this same access to the medicine they need.
We want to be clear, this statement is not to dismiss efforts by others to address the use of Marijuana in Montana. We understand that people have differing opinions on what course to take, and we respect those differences. The strategy we are pursuing is, simply, a sincere attempt to address the current state of affairs as we see it.
In the coming days and weeks we will provide other updates and insights. Clearly the future will test our resolve, we must be smart, caring, and persistent as we move forward.