Senator Essman

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me yesterday. We covered quite a bit of ground in 15 minutes.

As we spoke about – I promised to send an article regarding advertising and Federal ruling re: medical marijuana.

I also found more information regarding the constitutionality of the infringement upon patients rights in medical cannabis states by attempting to repeal medical cannabis laws and reduce safe access to patients:

I sincerely hope you will take the time to read them.

Also – Senator – I have to bring one more story to light for you here – as it was the birthstone for my education in medical cannabis – and where I am grounded. It is a wonderful tale told by a Grand storyteller to the California Judges Association in 1995 at their annual conference.

If you take the time to read ANY story on any link I have presented here – this one would be the most important link to click:

Please pay close attention to this section – as I feel we have repeated history…..

“The first group of states to have marijuana laws in that part of the century were Rocky Mountain and southwestern states. By that, I mean Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana. You didn’t have to go anywhere but to the legislative records to find out what had motivated those marijuana laws. The only thing you need to know to understand the early marijuana laws in the southwest and Rocky Mountain areas of this country is to know, that in the period just after 1914, into all of those areas was a substantial migration of Mexicans. They had come across the border in search of better economic conditions, they worked heavily as rural laborers, beet field workers, cotton pickers, things of that sort. And with them, they had brought marijuana.

Basically, none of the white people in these states knew anything about marijuana, and I make a distinction between white people and Mexicans to reflect a distinction that any
legislator in one of these states at the time would have made. And all you had to do to find out what motivated the marijuana laws in the Rocky mountain and southwestern
states was to go to the legislative records themselves. Probably the best single statement was the statement of a proponent of Texas first marijuana law. He said on the floor of the
Texas Senate, and I quote, “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (referring to marijuana) is what makes them crazy.” Or, as the proponent of Montana’s first marijuana law said,
(and imagine this on the floor of the state legislature) and I quote, “Give one of these Mexican beet field workers a couple of puffs on a marijuana cigarette and he thinks he is in the bullring at Barcelona.”

Well, there it was, you didn’t have to look another foot as you went from state to state right on the floor of the state legislature. And so what was the genesis for the early state
marijuana laws in the Rocky Mountain and southwestern areas of this country? It wasn’t hostility to the drug, it was hostility to the newly arrived Mexican community that used it.”

During and post 62nd Legislative Session – I have to state here and now – especially after Representative Howard’s “scourge” statement: History has repeated itself – it’s just the “community” has changed.

The views are STILL the same…..

Here’s a refresher of Rep. Howard’s statement:

Feel free to visit my channel ANYTIME….I have over 500 videos from session.

My Senate example of Democratic Party standing up for my personal rights and freedom to treat myself:

Re: Howard and his “credentials” and medical cannabis being such a killer drug……answer me this please:

What about Irvin Rosenfeld? He has been smoking it for almost 40 years! That 58 year old man looks younger than BOTH you and I – and is probably healthier! Cannabis is all Irvin has used to manage his pain for over 18 years. AND – you and I have been paying for Cannabis at a FEDERAL level for 33 years now….the IND program has been in place THAT long.

And regarding this past session and that particular video – I have another question I did not get to ask you on the phone. I will have you know Senator – I have been conservative ALL of my voting career. I began voting in Helena Montana when I turned 18 – my birthday usually falls on election day. My party and my values have been VERY IMPORTANT to me residing in Montana for 34 of my 44 years.

I was QUITE appalled to witness this session a complete reversal of party values on BOTH the House and Senate Floors……

I’ll just SHOW you:

Ellie Hill – VEHEMENTLY defending patients rights and freedoms. Personal liberties – and an INITIATIVE:

Mind you – she is a FRESHMAN! The Freshman Democrats KICKED the conservative parties butts this session – and defended our Constitution in a manner to be respected and honored. I was as horrified this session watching my OWN PARTY shat upon the Constitution as I was watching Jason Christ shat upon Montana’s Initiative, and abuse and extort it.

WHY did the Democrats – FRESHMAN no less – wipe the floor with my beloved party? WHY did this past session have a 15% approval rating? WHY did the Governor break LANDMARK records in vetoes this year? Are you folks SERIOUSLY proud of the work done with a 15% approval rating?!

If you had a staff member who made a 15% approval rating on a performance appraisal given by your company – would they still be employed?

I would really appreciate answers to these questions…….

I don’t imagine you got to watch a lot of testimony over Session – so I would like you to meet Daniel Decker. It was quite a challenge for him to make it that day to testify and wait so long in the halls. I hope you take the time to listen to him:

I heard about your meeting Wednesday, and I was sorry I missed it. Heard it was a humdinger.

I will be chasing down a copy of the video made there – and hosting it on my YouTube channel if they want me to – or I will help them host it – and go viral……heard it was a 3.5 stars out of 4 on the viewing “must see” scale.

I also owe you one more thank you Jeff…..bless your little heart.

Thanks for the TIP re: my magazine.

Over the next few weeks – Montana Connect will be metamorphosing…….

I won’t have to “walk around a corner” to conduct my business as you want the caregivers to do.

Montana Connect is now a Political publication – and I owe it all to you…..GREAT tip!

I can sell it STRAIGHT too – no bullshit games.

Figures……..a politician would suggest I walk funny……..and bend the law.

What in the hell does THAT say?

My first FEATURE story is in outline form – but I figured I should share it with you – as it features you….in a way.

It’s titled: “The Scarlet Letter”

and it’s image will be this


Grown in your honor in your own District…….enjoy!

It’s a political LEGACY!

Nice talkin to you Jeff….

Hiedi Handford
Montana Connect Magazine
Bringing Integrity & Credibility to Montana’s Politics from here on out… least in MY magazine!

I edited and added this 2 hours later – when I saw it on Facebook. Whoever did it – if you want credit – speak up!

AWESOME! The “A” fits so……WELL!

Appropriate "A" placement!

  1. mtmtc says:

    I can only imagine what it would have been like HAD you been at that meeting – There were several great qreat questions calling Essman out on the floor – but I only saw him side step them and try to fill us with political sp…eak bullshit. My impression of Essman is, He refuses to stand up and speak with anyone “man to man” and be “real” – He only knows how to speak politician. He is desensitiized to the suffering of those less fortunate than himself; he is a follower – not a leader and is a justifier of his own actions – he repeatedly referred to “federal law” and the Federal Threat letter to our state for his justification of sponsoring; supporting; and voting for SB423- he was afraid for his own ass and saved it – he reiterated a few times that he was given a job to do and he did it. This isn’t about human lives or suffering to him – it’s a job; it’s his way of making a living; it’s how he supports his family. He’s crossed several lines; including personal boundaries we all have – morals; ethics; and straight up conscience towards human life and rights. He stated a handful of times, at this meeting on Wednesday, that he would not ‘apologize’ for his position; stance or decision on SB423 or other specified matters people questioned him on. Two different men at this meeting told him he was “fired”. Someone brought up re-call and he welcomed the effort.

    People like Essman have no heart; they have no awareness (by choice) of anything around them but themselves. They justify everything; never apologize for anything; don’t know what humble means; don’t feel the pain they cause others; and are content living this way.

    Essman was asked if he was ignorant or stupid at this meeting on Wednesday. If I remember right, he addressed not being ignorant first. Just sayin.

  2. My phone call with him entailed much of the same when we spoke on Wednesday. I have yet to get the return e-mail he promised me with his information proving the advertising ban is constitutional – AND legal.

    Many of his canned responses to me were
    “We have 20×30 foot billboards out there!”
    “My wife has to drive by a store named “The High Life” every day – that’s not medical.”

    He also seemed VERY concerned that medical cannabis could cost a patient $1,000 a month if they had severe issues they were dealing with. Seems he feels it is better that money go to a pharmacist for chemicals rather than a caregiver for safe medicine.

    He has NO respect for the medical value from my assessment.

    I also asked him DIRECTLY if the word “Professional” could EVER be equated with Cannabis – and what that would take…..

    He had no response.

    When I told him the following statement – he actually chuckled.

    I said “Senator – I have grown up in Montana – lived here 34 years now. I find it offensive that I would be more readily accepted in my OWN home state if I published a PORNO magazine, rather than a cannabis publication!”

    He found it funny that a publication exploiting women would be “better” than Cannabis……..

    Then he went on to tell me – if I read the bill – I could find a way to publish my magazine. Implying I find a way to “bend the rules”……

    I’m just going to stop for now – as it makes me so mad I shake.

    Dishonest – rule bending – side talking weasels……

  3. From the Missoulian:
    Letters To The Editor
    Medical marijuana: Doctor’s job to decide treatment

    Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 9:45 am | (7) Comments

    After reading the (May 26) opinion by Montana Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann, I, as a Montana voter was quite taken aback.

    I have many problems with his interpretation of the events that have taken place since Gov. Brian Schweitzer allowed Senate Bill 423 to become law, and about the law itself. However, the main point I would like to address is: why is Essmann attacking sick people?

    From Essmann: “(W)e may soon see similar claims for other controlled substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and improperly used prescription drugs. After all … whose job is it to decide what is medicine and for whom?”

    Essmann, to put it bluntly, that’s your doctor’s job. It is not the job of government to decide the limit on doctor/patient relationships, nor to prohibit your doctor from treating you effectively, even if you don’t agree with it morally. As for the senator’s claim that Montana’s law will be similar to other states, there is one major difference: Montana will not have a nonprofit system; we will have a non-compensation system.

    I did not ever think I would hear a Republican leader defending a moneyless system. Even left-leaning states like Oregon and Washington understand that the amount of time and effort put into producing quality medicine is staggering. In no other industry, including health care, does government ask its residents to make this sacrifice.

    A provider, under the new law, must purchase expensive equipment, in many cases rent another dwelling, renovate that dwelling to support the massive power consumption required, as well as the ducting and equipment, spend up to six months of daily work keeping the product healthy, harvest the product, and repeat the process. Apparently, that is something that terminally ill people are capable of, or their loved ones should do for free.

    Brandon Conroy, Dillon

  4. State Senator Addresses Medical Marijuana Advocates

    By Kyle Midura

    Story Published: Jun 1, 2011 at 11:26 PM MDT

    Story Updated: Jun 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM MDT

    BILLINGS – New requirements for patients to obtain medical marijuana cards took effect Wednesday.

    Billings Republican State Senator Jeff Essman sponsored the medical marijuana reform bill responsible for the change. Five weeks after the legislative session closed, he found himself defending that bill in front of a group composed mostly of patients and caregivers.

    Essman was a guest at a weekly speaker-series hosted by Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which typically only attracts a handful of people. Wednesday night, dozens of medical marijuana advocates turned out.

    “I think I know why a lot of you are here, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions,” Essman said in his opening remarks.

    Some in attendance couldn’t hold their questions until the end and were shown the door. Others apologized for their less-civil counterparts, and thanked the Senate majority leader for his time even if they didn’t like his answers.

    Essman’s Senate Bill 423 repeals much of Montana’s medical marijuana law and places more restrictions on patients, caregivers, and doctors.

    Essman acknowledges the legislation isn’t perfect, but says it can be tweaked, and reform couldn’t wait. He says his constituents gave him a mandate for major reform of the voter-passed initiative.

    “What I heard from the voters of my district, was frankly they were not very happy with what had developed in the state of Montana in respect to Marijuana,” he said.

    Cannabis advocates say the new restrictions effectively legislate out their medicine. “At any given time, any one of you that follows the law will be breaking the law,” said one man in attendance as he addressed Essman and the crowd.

    Patients say they’re incapable of producing cannabis products in non-smoked forms, and new restrictions mean they can’t grow enough cannabis for their needs. Many argued that requirements forcing caregivers to work without compensation would never be imposed upon other industries such as pharmaceutical companies.

    Medical marijuana advocates filed an injunction seeking to block the reform bill in May.

    Repeal advocates aren’t satisfied either. The Billings City Council is due to consider an emergency ban on caregivers. If that measure passes, it would take effect before similar conditions do in the state law.

    Essman says he believes there will be several competing voter initiatives dealing with medical marijuana on the 2012 ballot.

    Click into link to view video……

  5. Don’t buy Essmann’s fiction on medical marijuana

    Guest column by KATE CHOLEWA | Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 8:00 am | (3) Comments

    In a guest column in the Missoulian by Sen. Jeff Essmann on May 27, Essmann asserted that it was “marijuana millionaires” behind the challenge to the new medical marijuana law that dismantles marijuana businesses and requires cannabis patients to secure marijuana through a person who will provide it for free.

    But Essmann is backed by millions of dollars provided by the interests of pharmaceutical companies and private prisons. He’s been made big promises if he succeeds in destroying access to medical marijuana in Montana. How do I know this? I made it up, just like he made up that the support for this lawsuit comes from marijuana millionaires.

    The largest single donation in the fundraising effort to fight the unconstitutional Senate Bill 423 – which blocks patient access, makes referring doctors suspects, and destroys families’ businesses – has been $5,000. The smallest was $4.20. The average donation is $315. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association has also received jars of $40 and $60 worth of single dollar bills collected by patients.

    The people donating to this cause are fighting for their lives, their health, the democratic process, and their livelihoods – the kinds of things that motivate people.

    In the past three months, in five separate warrants, federal agents were authorized to seize in excess of $5 million from five different Montana medical marijuana businesses. But the true amount seized has been less than $72,000 total. There’s a difference between what the warrant says can be seized and what money is there to actually take.

    Though federal warrants indicate a maximum dollar amount that can be seized, receipts are provided to the businesses for the actual dollar amounts taken. But the feds always feed the press the authorized number, not the true number.

    One of the never-mentioned but biggest losses, though, is to the genetics. Some of those strains ripped out of their pots took years of breeding and testing to develop. No receipts are provided for that loss.

    And no arrests have yet been made.

    The MTCIA is challenging the new law and trying to get an injunction against it going into effect on June 30. The new law requires investigations of physicians making more than 25 referrals, and requires two separate doctors to sign off on chronic pain referrals. It provides no legal way to secure seeds and plants, and it requires that marijuana be provided for free.

    In his opinion piece, Essmann states that attorney Jim Goetz was secured by the MTCIA “to prevent them from losing their very profitable business.”

    But that’s not how it was working. The medical cannabis marketplace wasn’t making a lot of people in the cannabis business rich. It was making Montana communities richer because more money was circulating in local economies.

    Kate Cholewa is a Montana Cannabis Industry Association board member and spokeswoman.

  6. Regulating marijuana makes more sense

    Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 12:00 am | (8) Comments

    News of the horrendous problems being created by drug cartels in Mexico impels me to make the following categorical statement, which I will be willing to debate with anyone: Were the United States to change its drug policy by legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, our prison population would cease growing and Mexico’s problems with drug cartels would vanish overnight.
    Our present policy is our No. 1 psychosis. It fosters widespread illegal behavior and clogs our prison system with nonviolent criminals. It took this country only 14 years to realize the futility of alcohol prohibition, while drug prohibition has continued since Nixon declared the war on drugs in 1972.
    It is past time for us to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana!
    Edwin L. Stickney, M.D.

    • Be sure and read the comments in the above post from Dr. Stickney…..follow the link.

      This one was mine:
      Thank you for introducing we Montana Medical Marijuana patients to our new Caregivers…..

      Do you happen to have contact information? Or will Senator Essman give us information?

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