Pubdate: Wed, 06 Apr 2011
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Author: Brett Bailey


Time for me to weigh in with my opinion on medical marijuana, referred
to as MMJ in the remainder of this piece. A Montanan's hypocrisy knows
no bounds. Every edition of every newspaper in the state is filled
with stories of alcohol-related problems that we are all faced with.
In 2009 there were 2,138 alcohol-related crashes in the state of
Montana, 198 of which resulted in the death of at least one person.

I could go on ad nauseum, but I will suffice to say that alcohol abuse
has a far larger impact on society than cannabis could ever have. Yet
I don't hear anyone crying out for the abolition of alcohol.

I keep hearing how MMJ will bring in organized crime. Let's take a
look at this little theory for a moment. Prior to MMJ, the majority of
the cannabis consumed in the state of Montana was grown in Mexico,
smuggled into the U.S. by Mexican drug cartels. Personally, I would
rather contribute to Montana's economy, over Mexico's.

MMJ was never meant to become an industry. If anyone hadn't noticed,
we are in a pretty rough time economically. As I drive down Main
Street, Belgrade, I notice about half of the storefronts are empty.
This always makes me wonder where my family would be financially if
not for MMJ. My two closest neighbors both worked in the construction
trades as did I. My one neighbor hasn't left for work since the first
week of December. My other neighbor was laid off about a month ago.

As for myself, MMJ has been a blessing for my family, and I also know
thousands of others whose lives have been positively impacted either
by their use of this medicine or by the fact that they have a job to
go to.

Brett Bailey

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