Medical Marijuana

Dec 14, 2012 11:13 AM by Marnee Banks (marnee@kxlh.com)

MT medical marijuana debate continues in court

HELENA - The fight over medical marijuana in Montana continues in the courtroom.

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association still wants the courts to stop portions of the medical marijuana law from being enacted.

Judge James Reynolds has blocked parts of the 2011 law before, specifically the portions prohibiting providers from having more than three patients and from being paid for marijuana.

However the Montana Supreme Court said Reynolds did not apply the proper legal test to stop the law.

Reynolds must now once again decide whether or not medical marijuana providers can be paid and if patient numbers should be limited.

The cannabis industry claims the current law is unworkable and patients are suffering.

When asked what would happen to her medical marijuana provider if the preliminary injunction is not entered or continued, Lori Burnam, a medical marijuana patient, said, "Well, I would imagine that she would go out of business. They are asking her to raise medication for three patients, which she has to choose just three, for nothing! Now what other business in the world functions that way?"

The state is charged with upholding the law, and says that it's not harming patients and that people could grow medical marijuana as a charity.

The law does allow people to be paid to consult patients on how to grow their own.

Stuart Segrest, MT Assistant Attorney General, said, "Now I understand there is not going to be a financial incentive and that means there will be less providers. But I don't think it's true to say there's not going to be any access."

Reynolds told the attorneys he will be making a ruling in the next few weeks.

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