Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jan 2008
Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 2008 The Billings Gazette
Author: Richard Flor


I am a member of the board of directors of Patients &  Families United
(, a support group  for medical-marijuana
patients regardless of their  medical condition and for pain patients,
whether they  use medical marijuana or not. As a result, I am very
familiar with the ban on medical marijuana that the  Department of
Corrections proposes for the small number  of patients who happen to
be on probation.

The department's opinion essay on this issue, published  in the Jan.
17 Gazette, is a bold attempt to mislead  the public. I can find
nothing in it that is true at  all. Contrary to what this "opinion"
essay claims, the  department's rule would be a total ban, with no
specified procedure for making exceptions.

Furthermore, in truth, the department already has been  imposing this
rule that it hasn't even adopted. And it  is doing so without regard
to a patient's medical  condition, without regard to the physician's
opinion.  It has told no probationer of his or her right to  appeal
the ban. And it has imposed this ban even when  the treating physician
has protested to the department.  In other words, the department
already has been doing  precisely what Pam Bunke claims it never would

For Bunke to mislead Gazette readers on this is an  insult to patients
who suffer severe medical  conditions. I find it very disturbing that
taxpayers  have now paid for the department, in addition, to write  an
opinion essay that so clearly misrepresents the  facts.


Miles City
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