Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cannabis becoming mainstream

As the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers plan a billboard campaign to raise awareness of South Dakota's draconian cannabis laws a Montana judge has stricken key portions of that state's repressive legislation.

From the Helena Independent Record:
District Judge James Reynolds of Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain provisions in the law. These have never taken effect because of his 2011 decision temporarily enjoining these provisions or the state stipulating it would not enforce them pending the outcome of the case. [Charles S. Johnson]
Eastbound I-90 in South Dakota is still a killing field for non-whites.
Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug – no medical benefits and potential for abuse – and is not federally approved for medical treatment of any disorder or disease. Clinical testing, however, has been limited because of restrictions set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug does have potential benefits as a medication for pain and nausea, and as a source of symptom relief for cancer patients, according to the National Cancer Institute. [Patrick Anderson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
In 2004, in defiance of federal law, Montana voters passed an initiated change to the state's constitution that legalized the cultivation, distribution, and medical use of cannabis. In a previous session, that state's earth hater legislature gutted most of the law and Governor Schweitzer allowed the changes without signing the bill.

Now the legal cannabis industry is all but dead in Montana after raids on dispensaries and arrests of growers. One courageous former caregiver, Montana Cannabis, appealed and lost a lower court decision upholding the federal prohibition of the herb.

AP writer, Matt Volz, brings the story using the malapropism "pot" to describe medicine in his piece published at the Lee-owned Helena Independent Record:
...Chris Williams is stepping up his challenge of the federal operation that changed the face of the industry in the state. The March 2011 raids resulted in the prosecution of dozens of providers, shut down their businesses and caused many others to shut their doors out of fear that they would be next. Several other marijuana providers joined his lawsuit, as did the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which also is suing to overturn the new restrictive state law and is backing a referendum asking voters to repeal the law in November’s election.
This interested party has voiced frustration with Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, because of his public silence on the issue.

New Mexico, on the other hand, has been virtually free from federal crackdowns. Considered the most restrictive medical cannabis law in the US, that state currently issues 21 permits per 100,000, New Mexico's earth hater governor recently signed additional coverage for cannabis patients. The law was hammered out in legislative committee instead of being codified by the passing of a voter-written initiative.

It has been fascinating watching the fascist right haranguing President Obama for what it calls his "regulatory tyranny stifling economic growth" while selectively ignoring the Obama administration erasing a promising industry and effectively chilling civil liberties.

On what grounds would SCOTUS choose to hear an additional appeal of the Montana law if it gets that far, especially in light of the Court ruling on provisions of health insurance reform as a tax?


Greg Strandberg said...

I wish the state would do something with legalization, heavy regulation. Let's start funding schools with something besides local property taxes, and let's get rid of a lot of this local option sales tax talk with this new income source.

larry kurtz said...

Hi, Mr. Strandberg! Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock deserve to have their noses rubbed in the failure of Montana's cannabis experiment: Democrats should be furious at both of them.

No doubt New Mexico will be talking about it in the legislative session.

Thanks for coming by!

Bill Dithmer said...

Montanas main problem was in their rush to emplament a good bill. The bill took effect before they even had the regulations fixed. It was allowed to grow to fast with very little oversite until it was to late. Then like acid reflux the state couldnt get relief rast enough. I'm so dissapointed in the tribes, they could be near the front of an industry, in a leadership posistion instead of sucking the hind tit.

The Blindman

larry kurtz said...

Wyoming's legislature is considering cannabis decriminalization after 72% of poll respondents said ingestion okay with a doctor's Rx.