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Graphic: Patients For Reform Not Repeal
​Backers of medical marijuana in Montana say they are still making progress in their efforts to overturn the strict medical marijuana law recently passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.
The group “Patients for Reform Not Repeal” said it has collected more than 30,000 signatures in their effort to second Senate Bill 423 back to the voters, reports Marnee Banks at KRTV. According to the group, SB 423 effectively shut down safe access to medical marijuana for Montana patients.
The group needs just more than 24,000 valid signatures, or 5 percent of the qualified voters in 34 House districts, to get the law on the ballot. They have until September 30 to gather the signatures.

“It is an impressive goal,” said organizer Rose Habib. “It hasn’t been done in over 15 years in the state of Montana but we have an enthusiastic and very motivated volunteer corps base. Their lives depend on it and they plan on succeeding.”
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Photo: Montanafesto
This guy’s an ass-wig: Montana state Sen. Jeff Essmann claims there is “clear evidence” of a “negative impact” from allowing patients safe access to medical marijuana. Now he wants to be Governor.
​Montana state senator and gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Essmann (R-Billings), no fan of medical marijuana, sponsored SB 423 during the 2011 legislative session.
Essmann claimed his bill—which, according to medical marijuana advocates, effectively repeals the 2000 voter initiative—“fulfills the original intent of the voters.”
“My reaction is, the original initiative is the unworkable mess which has created the presence of storefronts, which promoted access, brought advertising of the product to the general airwaves and print in the state,” Essmann whined.
Essmann claimed there is “clear evidence” of a supposed “negative impact” from the original medical marijuana law approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of voters in 2000. He claimed SB 423 would fix, that, saying it would work for the state but won’t work for the people who chose to take part in the “commercial business of selling medical marijuana.”
“If there were any such evidence, none of it was presented to the Legislature,” replied attorney Chris Lindsey in the comments to KRTV‘s coverage. “We got the typical fear mongering, and non-experts were testifying as if they were experts.
“Opposition to SB 423 poured into the Legislature at a rate of 4 to 1, and they were completely disregarded,” Lindsey said. “We got one anecdote after the next.”
“We even heard that high school girls were prostituting themselves for medical marijuana, when in fact, incidents of marijuana use among teenagers have DECLINED during the many years the original medical marijuana law was in place,” Lindsey said. “It’s amazing that opponents continue to invoke arguments put forth in the movie Reefer Madness as if they have any merit at all.
“The truth is the enemy to those people,” Lindsey said. “Science is suspect. The fact is that people with actual experience in this arena know how hollow all these statements are. But fear mongering works, and despite what voters want, politicians are generally unwilling (so far) to make the will of the people a reality.”
“Essmann is nothing but a tool for the pharmaceutical industry and others who are threatened by this incredibly versatile and SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE which we can grow ourselves!” added commenter Justin Michels of Missoula.
“He had four sessions to deal with regulating the medical marijuana industry,” writes blogger “cannapropaganda” on Montanafesto. “He waited until the very last minute of the very last day of the very last session, when he force dumped his hot mess, SB 423, on the laps of Montana’s elderly and ill.”
Montanans, don’t forget what the execrable Essmann has done to the patients of your state when it comes time to select your governor next year.
In the meantime, if you’d like to like this moron, I mean Sen. Essmann, know what you think of SB 423, his attempt to remove safe access for medical marijuana patients, you can do so here:
Montana State Senator Jeff Essmann
Telephone: (406) 534-3345
Mailing address: PO Box 80945, Billings, MT 59108