Marijuana is a gateway drug. A gateway to spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to find, prosecute, and imprison Montanans. A gateway to losing tens of millions in revenue to neighboring states (and all of Canada). Moreover, we’re probably not preventing anyone from consuming the drug. A thriving black market ensures easy assess and that billions in revenue goes into the wrong pockets.
In other words, we are spending a lot of money to do nothing.
Not smart from a budgetary perspective.
And not smart from a human perspective. We are saddling people with criminal records — hampering their ability to contribute to society and to our economy. We are imprisoning Native Americans at 250% higher rates. All for using a plant widely used by our presidents, entertainers, writers, industry titans, neighbors, and friends.
Prohibition is not freedom. And not smart from the perspective of people who love freedom. Few of us would say we want government to tell us what to read or eat or whom to pick as our closest friend –even if we read trash, eat Twinkies, and have lame friends. America was founded on an inherent skepticism of concentrated power. Free people do not want government protecting us from ourselves. We reserve the power of government to protect us from the harm others inflict on us. Morally, when we replace our own values with authoritative law, we erode the significance of both.
I am running to represent the Whitefish area in the Montana state house –House District 5. I will support the full legalization of cannabis — to reduce your tax burdens and because I trust in freedom.
See medical privacy and gun rights additions below.
Montanans overwhelmingly recognize the medical value of cannabis. We trust each to know our own health concerns and to seek treatment. The legal framework for Montana’s medical cannabis regulations have been consistently behind. For example, PDST was just recently added to the allowable medical conditions necessary to apply for a state issued cannabis card. Many studies have shown cannabis to be beneficial to those going through suicidal periods and those trying to kick opiate addictions. Neither of which are allowed conditions for state issued cards. In Montana 267 people killed themselves and 42 people overdosed in the last available year for reporting. It is unconscionable to maintain this authoritative lock down on legal cannabis when we have such high rates of avoidable deaths.
Because of a Ninth Circuit Court Ruling, some Montanans are worried that applying for a state issued cannabis card could endanger their Second Amendment rights. There’s even a rumor that the Flathead Sheriff’s Department has added a question about state cannabis cards to the county concealed carry permit. (The form does not include this question; I checked.) But Montanans are worried that their gun rights may be impinged if they seek a medical cannabis card. This is untenable. It draws a bright red line under the contradiction inherent in the criminalization of cannabis and a free people.