Newsbrief: MPP Assists Poor Montana Medical Marijuana Patients 1/21/05

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Montanans voted by a large margin in November to okay a medical marijuana program in the state, and now the Marijuana Policy Project, which bankrolled the Montana campaign, has initiated a program to ensure that no Big Sky resident has to go without his medicine because he cannot afford to pay the required fees. Under the Montana measure, would-be medical marijuana patients are assessed a $200 fee to receive the state-issued ID card that will make them legal participants in the program.

MPP has kicked in an initial $2,000 to get the financial assistance fund started, and it has already found its first worthy recipient, perhaps the state's best known medical marijuana patient, Missoula resident Robin Prosser. "I am grateful to MPP for their help, and I hope no other sick person has to worry about whether they can afford a yearly cost like this," Prosser said. "I'm glad to be able to comply with the law, and I trust that law enforcement will recognize these cards and not arrest the sick."

"Our goal is to make sure that no Montana patient has to risk arrest and jail because they can't afford to register," said Neal Levine, MPP director of state policies. "Hopefully Montanans will be as generous with their donations as they were with their votes, keeping the program fully funded."

Patients will be eligible for assistance if they appear to qualify for a medical marijuana ID card and their income is below 150% of the federal poverty level. Montana patients interested in applying can find complete instructions online here. Persons wishing to contribute to the fund can do so online here.

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Issue #371 -- 1/21/05

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