Article By Steve Elliott, writer for Toke of the Town.
The Montana House of Representatives has approved a measure to repeal the state's Medical Marijuana Act with a vote of 63 to 37. The vote serves as an ironic counterpoint to the overwhelming 62 percent to 38 percent majority by which Montanans legalized medical marijuana less than seven years ago, in November 2004.
During last Friday's legislative session, Speaker of the House Mike Milburn (R-Cascade) claimed Montana was "duped" into passing the Act, and most of the House joined him in his attempt to thwart the will of the voters.
Milburn claimed many of the people who have been approved for medical marijuana "aren't the terminally ill," reports Marnee Banks at KRTV.com.
Montana State Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) joined the unseemly chorus, claiming "Montana was conned."
Howard claimed the medical marijuana industry is "taking over," and with the money it is making, it could field a candidate for Governor and Attorney General. I guess he means kind of like the big corporations already do, then, right?
?State Rep. Diane Sands (D-Missoula) stood up for patients. Sands said that repealing the Act isn't the answer to the problems associated with medical marijuana, and that there are better options to address the issue.
Montana has already tried prohibition and it didn't work, Sands said.
The medical marijuana repeal measure must now pass a third reading in the House, and will then be sent over to the Senate.
The measure will be debated by a Senate committee. If it is approved there, it will go before the full Senate for a second reading, and then be submitted for a third reading.
If the bill passes those hurdles, it will go to the desk of Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Sarah Elliott, a spokesman for the Governor, said he does not "take positions" on legislation before it gets to his desk.
Click here to learn how each Montana legislator voted.