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In a case that has implications for Colorado and other medical marijuana states, Montana legislator Diane Sands has come under investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, but she doesn't know why. She suspects the investigation is related to her advocacy of liberalized marijuana laws.
Medical marijuana, in virtually every state where it is legal, operates under a set of rules not applied to such drugs as Oxycontin and Percocet. You can get fired from your job if you test positive for marijuana regardless of your medical status. You may not be allowed to use or possess marijuana if you are on probation. You'll pay taxes on your legal purchase of this legal medicine. In other words, most states seem to take a wink-wink approach to marijuana as medicine, implying that while it is legal it really isn't medicine and won't be treated as such.
In Montana, where the state legislature all but repealed the state's medical marijuana laws this spring, the court battle has begun--as has the battle for public opinion. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association filed suit to block implementation of the law. Now, the state has responded with court filings of its own.
In Montana, medical marijuana advocates say the passage of legislation which would all but outlaw medical marijuana in the state is merely the beginning of the battle.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer last week vetoed legislation that would have overturned the state's medical marijuana law. He said he thought the law needed some work but that he could not let the Legislature toss out a law approved by 62 percent of Montana voters.
As Missoula's chief of police was testifying at the Montana Legislature in favor of overturning the state's medical marijuana laws, the city council was approving a resolution opposing the Legislature's move to flush medical pot.
When federal agents led a raid on medical marijuana businesses in Montana last week, questions were raised as to whether these businesses were raided because they were suspected of selling out of the proverbial back door to people without medical marijuana permits--or whether they were raided simply for being medical marijuana businesses.