Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 Source: Montana Standard (Butte, MT) Copyright: 2011 Montana Standard Contact: http://www.mtstandard.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/609 Author: Deidre Becker REVISE MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL I would like to apologize for my recent statements that called to question the intelligence and integrity of our elected officials here in Montana. I reacted with the same level of fear and repugnance to the legislation of repealing the medical cannabis law and the subsequent free for all, as if our legislators had stood up and said "Look! We have 30,000 legal minorities in the state of Montana, and we don't want any of them." In retrospect, this is the message they are sending. However, I do appreciate the difficulty of their job. First, they have law enforcement, saying, "hey, I can't tell a legal minority from and illegal one, create better guidelines for me to follow", and then they have the Billings group saying "legal or not, they are all bad" and the minorities themselves (who just might be a majority given the 62% pass vote the law received in the first place) are scared and marginalized. Like any minority, they may not necessarily know their rights, nor how to speak up as citizens. There may be an answer to the dilemma of law enforcement distinguishing between the good guys and the bad guys with marijuana. What if it is only a misdemeanor offense for anyone over 18 to possess or transfer less then one ounce of cannabis, punishable only by a small fine, (if you do not have a registry card) equivalent to running a stop sign on a deserted road? Then it seems their problem is solved. Less than an ounce? No Medical card? Ticket or not. More than an ounce? Not a provider or a grower? Go to jail. Registry for providers and growers, licensing fees, schedule of inspections for safety and compliance, protection from prosecution, protection from forfeiture, these are reasonable laws, which takes the guess out of things for law enforcement, patients, providers and citizens alike Simple,easy, doable. Parents can be responsible for their own children, much like they are with alcohol, or any other thing curious children are likely to get into. If children DO make those decisions, despite their parents, there are already MIP laws in place. Stop making criminals out of our neighbors. Stop discriminating against minorities. Do not allow armed federal troops to raid and terrorize Montana citizens. Revise your thinking. Then, revise the bill. Deidre Becker Lamborn Street Helena - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.