Archive for May, 2012


Arguments over MT medical marijuana law underway | KPAX.com | Missoula, Montana.

I have been watching this closely today……woke up with it on my brain. Have been anticipating it for weeks, no, months – as many Montanans have been.

To quote Molloy ““Look at all of the things that people do in which they give of their time, their talents and their money to support issues & causes that they believe in. I reject the notion that people will not agree to serve as providers to provide for the compassionate use,” Montana Assistant Attorney General Jim Molloy said.”

He rejects the notion eh?

Look at our healthcare system already.  Right here in Montana – we have folks of all ages suffering to attain traditional health care. “Health”care where seniors spend money on pills and starve. Didn’t they just put out a study about hunger in Montana children?

WHERE are all those good folks Molloy references in THAT situation?

And he expects folks to possibly suffer Federal Prosecution for their acts of compassion?

That’s what they face. Montana politicians let Montanans down terribly this past session with the passage of SB423.

Well folks – I hereby reject the notion that our elected officials and Attorney General’s office have ANY CLUE what is going on with Montanans.

Steve Bullock – Jim Molloy – may you never have a family member stricken by cancer.

To all of you who live in reality…..VOTE THEM OUT – every one of them.

If ANY of you out there need help – please call me. 720-722-0501

Me and mine know what compassion is…..and we ACT.

The fight is ON.

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Posted: May 27, 2012 in Medical Cannabis

Rep Howard?
See my comments on this post. What a creep – on SO many levels.

VOTE NO!

From Eternity To Here

Rep David Howard (R, Park City), notorious bad speller and apostrophe misuser  has done it again- used Facebook to bash the gays, and highlight his horrible spelling and punctuation:

Sigh.

His Facebook page is like that creationism amusement park in Kentucky– not a fact in sight.

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MUST SEE viewing if you care about MT politics and medical cannabis.

Code of the West

Montana’s 2011 legislative session witnessed a backlash against the Treasure State’s medical marijuana program that still has patients and providers in legal limbo. Film director Rebecca Cohen was onhand with a production crew in tow to capture the action in Helena in the newly-released documentary Code of the West.
“I’m happy to deliver the film back to its home,” Cohen told a crowd of 150 or so at the Emerson Crawford Theatre in Bozeman on May 16. Code of the West chronicles the back-and -forth debate between pro-medical marijuana advocates and interests bent on seeing the repeal of what they interpreted as a loose law that essentially legalized the growing, selling and use of cannabis, to a point they insisted was far beyond that of helping sick Montanans.
A successful move by legislators to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law was vetoed by Governor Brian Schweitzer, but the law that the governor allowed to pass without his signature in the very waning hours of the legislative session, Senate Bill 423, was described by Cohen as “repeal in disguise.”
Parts of the new law were successfully blocked in court by medical marijuana advocates via an injunction issued last year by a district judge. Legal arguments concerning that injunction will commence in the Montana Supreme Court on May 30.
Federal authorities added yet another twist to the action during the session, executing 26 search warrants of Treasure State medical marijuana interests while repeal was being debated in the legislature, an action some people claim was not coincidental.
Code of the West follows one of the men caught up in the Federal raids, Tom Daubert, who worked with one of the state’s largest medical marijuana operations, Montana Cannabis, prior to the execution of the search warrants. Federal agents confiscated the marijuana and various other properties of those served in the warrant action, essentially putting Montana Cannabis and the other raided operations out of business.
Daubert is notable because he helped craft the initial Montana medical marijuana law in 2004 which voters approved by the largest margin of any state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, 62 percent.

The film also follows the activities of vetoed repeal bill sponsor Montana Speaker of the House Mike Milburn, and anti-medical marijuana lobbyist Cherrie Brady, whose stances during the session were unyielding.

“I can’t say I would change anything,” Milburn said during a showing of Code of the West in Helena on May 17. “What we set out to do, we did. I think we got a lot further than we ever thought we would.”

Also featured in the film were medical marijuana user and cancer patient Lori Burnam, who said she has now been forced back into using traditional pharmaceuticals instead of the cannabis that she insisted was managing her pain much more effectively and safely.

“It does seem there are changing social norms,” stated Cohen. “This film is an attempt at raising those questions. The way we talk about marijuana really matters…honest and thoughtful conversation is needed.”

After the film, some of that conversation took place onstage, as Cohen joined with other speakers for a panel discussion moderated by Yellowstone Public Radio’s George Cole (of YPR’s popular RealTime production), including retired Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell, Rep. Brady Wiseman (D-Bozeman), current Bozeman deputy mayor Jeff Krauss, who is also a member of the Montana Board of Regents, and Chris Lindsey of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association.

Photo: l to r: Chris Lindsey of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, retired Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell, Bozeman Deputy Mayor Jeff Krauss (also a member of the Montana Board of Regents), Rep. Brady Wiseman (D-Bozeman), filmmaker Rebecca Cohen, and panel Moderator George Cole of Yellowstone Public Radio’s RealTime show.

Like Tom Daubert, Lindsey is also a former Montana Cannabis employee caught up in the Federal action against the Treasure State’s medical marijuana industry, and said he is facing charges that could potentially add up to mandatory minimum sentences of 90 years behind bars.

“There are some fundamental liberties at stake here,” said Lindsey. “And the war on drugs has been a monumental failure…we need to change what’s going on…I hope Montana is at the forefront of change…I would hate to see Montana be the only state to go backwards.”

“Nobody can say with a straight face that the war on drugs is succeeding,” agreed Cashell. He said he believed that as far as the backlash on medical marijuana in Montana is concerned, “money and greed became the driving factor, though the intent of the law was good.”

Rep. Wiseman asserted that though efforts to regulate and reform the state’s medical marijuana industry, initiated by the industry itself, had begun in the 2009 legislative session, politics did the industry in.

“Republicans…refused to compromise [in the 2009 session],” said Wiseman. “That was the real beginning of the repeal effort, in my opinion.” But repeal did not happen in 2009, nor did regulation, and local communities were left to deal with the issue of how to regulate the medical marijuana business.

“We tried to do local zoning…we dealt in many ways with a regulatory framework,” said Krauss, describing Bozeman’s efforts at regulating the then-booming medical marijuana industry in the months prior to the 2011 legislative session. Krauss testified before the legislature regarding Bozeman’s approach, and some of that testimony is featured in the film.

“The legislature has the right to make or change law. I think it’s important to understand conversation is what will advance where we need to go (regarding medical marijuana in Montana),” said Krauss. Cashell agreed, but stressed that the “hard [political] lines need to come down.”

“Polarization has led to gridlock,” the retired sheriff said. “The venom in Helena these days is crippling us.” Rep. Wiseman, who is not seeking another term in the state house, said he was “not so optimistic” regarding the future of medical marijuana in Montana, and he reminded the crowd of a key factor regarding this and other political issues.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” said Wiseman. “The Obama Administration has betrayed progressives in every manner…I think [the Federal action on medical marijuana] is connected to the healthcare reform bill…my suspicious mind at work.”

All the panel members seemed skeptical of the Federal Government’s actions regarding medical marijuana across the nation in recent months. Krauss said he was “not ready to fire on Fort Sumter yet” regarding Federal action. He also said people should not “be so willing to have the government used to control, when you don’t want to be controlled.”

“It is a question of getting the facts straight,” Cohen stressed. “We need a media that is on guard.”

Medical marijuana patient Sarah Baugh of Helena, who testified during the 2011 session, uses medical cannabis to control her epilepsy. She said she was not impressed with the legislative process surrounding medical marijuana in Montana. Baugh appears in Code of the West addressing legislators at the podium during her testimony.

“We did quite a bit of filming with Rebecca that was not used,” said Baugh. “When we were interviewed by the crew, I told them the number one thing I had learned speaking to legislators on a one-to-one basis was that you have to hold on to your thoughts and feelings for a bit and let them talk about the issue, especially if they are opposed to medical marijuana. You must listen to and address their personal issues or you get nowhere fast. My impression of the session was a sad one. Our laws need to be based on fact, not on religious hysteria or personal opinions. I was horrified by how votes were traded and how often I was lied to directly by my Senators and Representatives. It felt corrupt, undemocratic, and wrong.”

Baugh had a more positive opinion of Code of the West, however.

“I thought that Code of the West did a fantastic job portraying both sides of the issue,” she said. “I felt that Rebecca did her utmost best as a documentary filmmaker to provide factual and concise evidence to back up the film. Medical Marijuana was a last-resort treatment for me to find health and save my life. I don’t want to see these blatant acts of prejudice and discrimination happen legally in Montana anymore. We are better than that; we must be better than that. We should not be judged unfairly for seeking healthier and better lives for ourselves.”

Pat Hill is a freelance writer and photographer from Bozeman, MT


And Cashy is WINNING!

WINNING!

Our Hyde family from Missoula Montana is currently in Salt Lake City, celebrating with an elated family at beloved Uncle Sam‘s Badda Bing.

How do I know this? I was there 3 months ago – when we got results on Cashy’s first scan since his second bout with his PNET brain tumor wrapped around his optic nerve in that precious little boy’s noggin.

I sobbed that day….3 months ago. I was SO relieved….so happy.

This time – I cried when we all saw Cashy being sedated. Poor little man has been through so much – he knew what was going on. He wasn’t too happy to be going to sleep – and held his breath in defiance. He eventually relented, and his little body went limp.

To see that happen to a three year old (soon to be FOUR!) is heart wrenching – but a fact of life for the Hyde’s. A fact of life for many families around the world, unfortunately. Every day around the world thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer. When you really go looking and examine the numbers, it is chilling.

Today – we got heartwarming news – Cashy’s 2nd MRI came back with negative results. To quote Kalli Hyde’s Facebook post “SO ive tried posting this now 3 times……The verdict is in…..Cashy is still cancer free, and there is no evidence of reoccuring tumor!!! Still waiting on thoracic spine report, but cervical and lumbar spine is all clear as well! Thank you God, and thank you everyone for the prayers and support, we would’nt be where we are today without you all cheering Cashy on! Cashy your a rockstar, your my little three foot tall hero!! :)” Kalli also updated their blog – be sure to read up HERE

Cashy is such a hero and inspiration to so many. People hear about and read the news of Cashy’s success and burst out in tears of happiness. It happens in every state, every time – all across the nation, and around the world.

Cashy is a Warrior – and he is beating the scourge……that scourge is cancer.

Support the Cash Hyde Foundation TODAY! Join the Cashy Militia!

http://mtconnect.me/2012/03/19/you-want-to-save-the-children-start-here-start-now/

Help save childrens lives!

To learn about what happened to Montana’s Medical Cannabis law – please be sure to catch this documentary made entirely through the session – detailing the saga of medical cannabis in Montana. Be sure to see Code of the West

Also – I ran across this today – and felt it was important enough to share here. The author is a seated Judge in Brooklyn New York, and a Pancreatic Cancer survivor of 3 years.

He is also a medical cannabis user.

A Judge’s Plea for Pot

By GUSTIN L. REICHBACH
Published: May 16, 2012

New York Times Opinion Pages

 THREE and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.
Kristian Hammerstad

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, mycancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

Gustin L. Reichbach is a justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.