By Hiedi Handford
I must say – I am simply stunned by what has transpired within Montana over the past 3.5 months. STUNNED.
We – I speak for medical cannabis folks – MANY across our great state whom I have personally met – walked into this session with the spirit of working together to build a law, educate folks, and protect Montanans at every level.
That is most certainly NOT what happened, and myself and hundreds I can speak for, feel completely affronted and betrayed. Yes, betrayed Governor……at every level.
I personally have brought Federal Medical Cannabis Patient Irvin Rosenfled to Montana 3 times in 6 months to educate Montanans. You may have seen his appearance in the Montana PBS video, Clearing the smoke. Montana PBS made one of the BEST documentaries pertaining to medical cannabis I have ever seen.
You may view it here: https://www.montanapbs.org/ClearingTheSmoke/
Did our current legislature even VIEW it?
What about the 2011 Legislators Guide to Medical Cannabis? I personally helped to distribute copies of this document on January 15, 2011.
Here is a link to a copy of it for your review: https://issuu.com/hiedihandford/docs/legislators__cannabis_guide_2011
All there – in black and white. Detailed descriptions and answers to almost ALL questions they may have had! Most certainly an opening for dialogue….and a place to “start”. HOURS were spent on that guide……hours.
Did a single one of them even crack the cover Governor? I’d like to know how many even still HAVE it.
Yes, dear Governor – we walked in blindly with open arms willing to work and got completely neglected and ignored. They delete e-mails from patients in their districts without reading them. They go against their “base” and judge us on moral convictions. Judge Montanans they don’t even know, based on a Reefer Madness mentality.
It really HAS been Reefer Madness in Montana and your description of Bat Crap Crazy is completely accurate.
This was particularly painful to witness, and be “deemed” by someone I personally would consider to be an “import”:
Yes – Representative Howard called us all “A scourge that must be cleansed from our state”. This – and ever so appropriately timed raids……
Oh – and shall we talk about raids Governor? March 14, 2011 – I know EXACTLY where I was when that happened.
I was with Irvin Rosenfeld on his THIRD trip to Montana to educate folks in Billings. That was something so lovely to witness and be so proud of. Not ONE politician stood up for states rights! Not ONE in defense of patients – or to help decrease fear or stress for VERY sick people across our state. Betrayed AGAIN….by a GOP majority legislature no less.
Personal freedoms? SURE! As long as marijuana isn’t involved you can slap a silencer on your rifle to hunt and pack concealed without a permit! Yee-haw! Trot into a bank or a bar with that gun there too while yer at it Pardner……
From that point – yes – folks have quit coming to the Capitol. Many out of fear…many disgust….BOTH.
I was never afraid Governor. I’m so in this up to my eyeballs with my magazine I HAVE to stand up for folks. I couldn’t live with myself if I ran and hid in a corner. After all I have learned and know, I’d as soon shoot myself as not stick up for the patients I know across this state. Hell – across the world Governor……
SOMEBODY has to – their politicians most certainly aren’t……not in Montana anyway. We have been deemed “Scourge” and second class citizens.
But I will tell you this…..I will walk proud EVERY day. I know in my heart I am right Governor. I have researched and learned and WITNESSED the science. Bald faced lies have been told on our great statehouse floor about Cannabis…..again. Seems folks can do nothing but lie about it in government statehouses – been doing it for over 74 years now…..it’s a habit. A BAD habit – that needs to be broken. The unfairness needs to end.
Speaking of unfairness this session……I personally had e-mails deleted without being read – many – and doors slammed in my face – with Irvin in tow. YET – the anti-drug folks were allowed pretty much free access to whatever they wanted. We had folks here from California testifying against Montanans! Save our Drugs from Society was promoted by our own politicians – with no opportunity for counter or debate. NONE. Really didn’t help having Safe Communities Safe Kids having full access to our politicians whenever they pleased either……so much for an even playing field.
That’s just a few examples……not all.
And honestly Governor? My ass is quite chapped that they didn’t even LOOK at the Greybill. They were all SO focused on repeal……good bills went to the wayside, and folks who WERE helping us in the past essentially threw us under the bus as a pawn in the appropriations game, or for personal agendas. SICK PEOPLE! HURT PEOPLE!
Shall I scream about them ignoring Senate Joint Resolution 28 from the 2005 session now? There are still 28 seated legislators who passed that resolution – 14 in the house and 14 in the senate – and not ONE of them mentioned it – or the pain study from mtpain.org. Squires was IMMERSED in it – and participated fully from introduction of SJR-28 to completion of pain study. NOT ONE WORD!!!
What are we? A bunch of fakers? Politicians can now quantify my pain – and MAKE me take pharmaceuticals?!?!
PLEASE stop the insanity Governor……and remember Denita Carman and her son on probation. It’s ALL that works for him – and from what I understand – DOC came up with their own guidelines and a way to manage it just in the past two weeks. Please don’t allow all to be punished for the foolish actions of few. There truly are some good folks on probation who medical cannabis has helped immensely, they do not abuse it, and they should have the right to be free from chemical entrapment. There are folks like Denitas son who find it is the ONLY thing that works for them.
SB423 is simply NOT fixable as I see it Governor – unless you can amend it with the Greybill and protect and educate us all. Personally – if I HAD to choose between edibles and smoking – I couldn’t do it – as I utilize both methods……
See….they haven’t read or learned a thing. I watched the free conference last week – and it made me so sad. They were working SO hard – WHY could they have not worked THAT hard earlier on fixing it?
Please Governor….just veto SB423. Give folks a chance to right wrongs and breathe. DO NOT allow patients to go without meds for MONTHS – and the emminent destruction of quality strains in Montana. I personally have a very high CBD strain that is very good for muscle spasms – and lower in THC. It would be devastating to me to kill it.
We have learned and advanced so much…..the science – the integrity. Credibility!
Please Governor – let common sense prevail……and help protect and educate rather than segregate and destroy.
We are counting on you….
Publisher, Montana Connect