Montana Senate Nixes Medical Marijuana Repeal Amidst DEA Raids

A move to repeal Montana's voter-approved 2004 medical marijuana law died in a state Senate committee Monday on a tie vote. The measure had passed the House, but members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said what was needed was regulation, not repeal.

Neither Montana's reactionaries nor the DEA can make medical marijuana go away. (Image courtesy Coaster420)
After the vote, committee Chair Terry Murphy (D-Cardwell) appointed a three-member subcommittee to work on a bill to tighten regulations over marijuana. But another legislative committee has already crafted regulatory legislation that is working its way through the legislature.

Even as senators were debating the measure, the DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies assisted by local law enforcement conducted raids against at least 10 medical marijuana dispensaries or grow operations across the state.

One business hit was the Montana Cannabis greenhouse near Helena, where the company grows more than 1,600 plants to supply its four dispensaries across the state. DEA and FBI wearing respirators conducted the raid while sheriff's deputies and Helena Police stood guard. The company's four dispensaries were all hit, too.

"They came in guns drawn, got us down on the ground, and in cuffs as fast as they could," Montana Cannabis employee Brett Thompson told the Associated Press. No arrests were made, except for one person wanted on an outstanding warrant.

A search warrant for a raid in Bozeman listed 13 items to be seized in an investigation of "drug trafficking," including cash, plants, products, computers, and data storage devices. But the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant, which would provide some basis for alleging criminal offenses had taken place, has not been released.

The Obama Justice Department in October 2009 sent a policy memo to all US Attorneys directing them to not use their resources against medical marijuana patients and providers complying with state law in states where it is legal. But in Montana, as well as other medical marijuana states including Michigan, Nevada, and Washington, dispensaries have opened without being explicitly protected by state law. The Montana law allows caregivers to provide marijuana to patients and receive compensation, but does mention dispensaries. The fix is in the legislature, as was the case in Colorado.

Helena, MT
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

gestapo tactics are almost comical

Seriously, who do these people think they are?  I am personally a card holder here in Montana and can tell you that people all over the place are furious.  When I told my mother about them raiding a greenhouse on the edge of their town (Helena) with guns drawn and masks on, she was speechless.  This is how our tax dollars are being spent, and somehow they think this type of behavior will not go unpunished?  

This illustrates exactly why the federal government needs to be held accountable for following their own laws instead of wasting taxpayer funds persecuting local businesses supplying safe, organic and sustainably produced MEDICINE to people who are trying their best to follow a clearly broken law.  Cannabis has scientifically-proven medical benefits, therefore prohibition is over.  

Now our President needs to man up and get behind industrial hemp while the gettin' is good.  Or, does he want to find himself attempting to defend the DEA's deplorable actions this time next year when hemp farmers start testing the waters in the growing number of states where it is now legal?  

For more information about better alternatives to our senseless and futile war on some drugs, visit Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's website at www.LEAP.cc.   Please support their ongoing and monumental efforts any way you can, especially by telling your local, state and federal representatives that it is time to listen to the collective wisdom of these former drug warriors, turned educators.  They have concrete proof that there is a much better way to win this 80-year-old war.

Obama's Hypocrite New Hampshire stump speech about medpot

It's always funny to watch Obama's campaign pledge in NH on Youtube,with him saying that if he was elected president he would stop all medpot raids because it's a waste of money.

Repeal and terrorize

The entire country is under fascist takeover!

OUTRAGE

Are there actual citizens who believe this kind of legislation & enforcement is justified and/or needed right now? What a complete waste of time and money by the federal government.

Not only that but it's QUITE obvious that there is a demand by the very people who elected these politicans for the goods they're legislating against.

Aren't you cowards supposed to be working for US?

I just don't understand how there can be such a wide disconnect between public opinion and legislative/law enforcement actions.

Shameful.

confusion

Wonder why those cops needed to wear respirators? Do they believe that marijuana plants emit toxic fumes? Maybe it was just for shock value.

Got Democracy?

When will we wake up to the fact that we are only a little different than countries like Libya, Egypt, Iran and other countries ruled by despots. The only differences are the particular groups targeted by those in power. The leader only needs 50% +1 votes to do whatever they want. Remember, Democracy is just another name for two wolves and a sheep deciding 'what's for dinner'. Wish we had kept the Constitutional Republic we once had.

The power of social media

If social media can bring down Mubarak, then it can bring down thugs acting as legislators.\

We have had enough. If you are reading this, I ask you to go to www.nccpn.org and join our cause. We are fighting to get NC to make medical marijuana legal; but it doesn't stop there.

I am a decorated Vietnam Helicopter pilot featured in the Bill Moyers Journal Documentary "The Good Soldier" that won an Emmy award last September (www.thegoodsoldier.com). What was not said while the award was being presented by Dan Rather in Lincoln Center was that 3 of the featured veterans on stage are subject to arrest for use of cannabis to treat their war wounds.

I will not stand for this. If you want to be involved..friend me on fb. We have the numbers and the power..

I have asked for a meeting with the president. If all of us call the white house and ask for Heather Higginbottom, she has my request to meet with the president. the white house comment line is

202.456.1111

Stay tuned for the organizing effort. We are looking at a donation to help defray expenses and once that has been made, the effort will spread.

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