Montana Legislature

Apr 5, 2011 11:02 AM by Dan Boyce

Bill to repeal medical marijuana headed to governor; Medical marijuana community reacts

A bill to repeal Montana's medical marijuana law has passed through both the House and the Senate and is now heading to the governor.

The action has left members of the state's medical marijuana with questions about what it could mean for them.

Executive Director of the Montana Medical Growers Association Jim Gingery says he is surprised the Legislature would vote to repeal a voter passed initiative.

"Particularly, one that was supposed to be increasing jobs and helping the economy instead of taking jobs away and hurting patients," Gingery said.

"Sixty four percent of the Montanans voted for medical marijuana, now 6, 8, 12, 20 people are trying to take that away from us," said Jackson, a caregiver and the owner of Green RX said. Jackson did not want to give us his last name.

Jackson said he will move out of the state if Gov. Brian Schweitzer does not veto the repeal. He is scared of being considered a criminal overnight.

Another Republican-sponsored medical marijuana bill is still before the legislature. Senate Bill 423 would act as more of a reform bill for medical marijuana.

But both Gingery and Jackson say this bill is little different than full repeal.

Senate Bill 423's primary sponsor, Billings Sen. Jeff Essman, did not return a call for comment on Monday.

Click here to view House Bill 161, the repeal bill.

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