Saturday, August 7, 2010

Montana may issue medical marijuana registration to out-of-staters! Christ rejoices!

From the Helena Independent Record, the Billings Gazette, and the Missoulian:

A person doesn’t have to live in Montana to receive a medical marijuana card from the state, health officials said Friday.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services discovered what it calls a loophole in state law after reviewing plans to require medical marijuana applicants to have a Montana driver’s license or state-issued identification, said department spokesman Chuck Council.

“The law is mute on the subject of legal residency and there is no recourse for the Department of Public Health and Human Services but to keep the situation as it stands,” Council said. “On Monday, we will be moving forward, status quo, on the processing of out-of-state applications.”

Health officials decided to tighten the residency requirements after discovering several people whose permanent residences were outside Montana, such as college students and snowbirds, had applied for medical marijuana cards. It is unclear just how many such applications were received

The founder of the Montana Caregivers Network, an advocacy group that has helped sign up thousands of medical marijuana patients, said Friday that the health department’s announcement is good news.

“This was a clear violation,” Jason Christ said of the plan to require driver’s licenses.

He has said that any qualifying patient should be able to get a medical marijuana card from Montana, and that he is skeptical the Legislature will act to restrict that access to Montana residents.

“A lot of people have anticipated that the Legislature’s going to do a lot of things. They never have,” Christ said. “Intentions are great, but you can’t take intentions to the bank.”

Is there a dispensary for Alzada in the future?

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