Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2011
Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Billings Gazette
Author: Emily Corbridge


I understand that when we voted for medical marijuana, we imagined
that it would be prescribed at the hospital and available at a
pharmacy. We may not like the business conduct in this new industry,
but the baseline is that use of marijuana is akin to coffee drinking.

Other prescription drugs are a deadly understudy in this state. More
shocking than the way people conduct their caregiving businesses is
the massive waste of time, money, and lives spent prosecuting
marijuana crimes. The insistence upon treating it as a danger by
keeping it illegal may be the root issue in its appeal to teenagers.
Illegal pot dealing would become obsolete in the face of legitimate,
regulated pot dealing, placing it further out of the reach of youth.

I'm shocked by the amount of energy that people are putting into
watching, reporting and framing the entrepreneurs in this business who
have been labeled as "greedy," "criminal" or "neglectful" to name a
few. Meanwhile no one will bat an eye as Grand Avenue in Billings has
turned into casino row.

Perhaps marijuana shops should exist outside of the medical clause so
people don't perceive a fraudulent facade, but mostly I urge Montanans
to learn the facts about this substance before they get scared and cry
out for repeal. We could make this work.

Emily Corbridge

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