Pubdate: Fri, 27 May 2011 Source: Montana Standard (Butte, MT) Copyright: 2011 Montana Standard Contact: http://www.mtstandard.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/609 Author: Brandon Conroy ESSMAN'S MEDICAL MARJIUANA STANCE SURPRISES READER After reading the syndicated editorial by state majority leader Jeff Essman, R-Billings, I, as a Montana voter, was quite taken aback. I have many problems with his interpretation of the events that have taken place since Gov. Brian Schweitzer allowed SB 423 to become law, and about the law itself. However, the main point I would like to address is: why is Sen. Essman attacking sick people? "The cardholders will be forced to grow their own, which they are alleged to be incapable of..." a direct quote from Senator Essman. "We may soon see similar claims for other controlled substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and improperly used prescription drugs. After all, the argument will go, whose job is it to decide what is medicine and for whom?" Essman, to put it bluntly, that's your doctor's job. It is not the job of government to decide the limit on doctor/patient relationships, nor to prohibit your doctor from treating you effectively, even if you don't agree with it morally. As for the senator's claim that Montana's law will be similar to other states, there is one major difference. Montana will not have a non-profit system; we will have a non-compensation system. I did not ever think I would hear a Republican leader defending a moneyless system. Even left-leaning states like Oregon and Washington understand that the amount of time and effort put into producing quality medicine is staggering. In no other industry, including healthcare, does government ask its citizens to make this sacrifice. A provider, under the new law, must purchase expensive equipment, in many cases rent another dwelling, renovate that dwelling to support the massive power consumption required, as well as the ducting and equipment, spend up to six months of daily work keeping the product healthy, harvest the product, and repeat the process. Apparently, that is something that terminally ill people are capable of, or their loved ones should do for free. Brandon Conroy Dillon - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.