Monday, March 8, 2010


The Department of Public Health and Human Services updated their website today with some additional information regarding medical marijuana. ttp://

Here is the verbiage we voted on in 2004 Montana Medical Marijuana Act INITIATIVE NO. 148

You can now read the TITLE 50 - CHAPTER 46 - MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT as is now in its entirety here after some “tinkering” with administrative rules.

What I find most interesting is the updated Montana Medical Marijuana Program Historical Database as of 3/7/10.

The data base says there are 10,582 legal patients in the State of Montana with 139 of those residing in Hill County. The report further goes on to state that there are 2,635 people they call “care givers” or what we would call “growers” in Montana, 20 of which are registered in Hill County.

The Medical Marijuana Policy Project of Montana, which has a Washington D.C. address, donated $554,505 to the 2004 ballot initiative passage of I-148 or over 99% of all the proponent money raised. The cat is now out of the bag and it appears that the oversight of this cash “industry” is sadly in a state of disarray. It really seems funny that our legislative leaders have missed this potential for yet another over-taxed cash cow that seems to have missed the “sin” tax advocates radar.


  1. The first thing we need to do is quite kidding ourselves that this medicinal marijuana is being used entirely for relieving pain.

    According to the charts on your links the people signing up as patients has nearly doubled in a few months. Also the people that have come out as these growers have been known potheads around Havre long before they were legal. This Initiative loop hole is just an excuse for those hiding in the bushes smoking pot to finally come into the light and be legal.

    I really don’t care about who smokes pot. What I do care about is the seedy element doing drug business in my neighborhood next to my kids. I do not want my kids to think using pot is cool. The whole State needs better regulation and the Havre Council needs to either ban this in city limits or regulate the placement and advertising of these pot growers. When I go to Whitefish I have actually seen advertising for these doctors of pot looking for patients.

    This whole deal reminds me of a bad 60’s movie where Cheech and Chong had a fake clinic to play doctor and dispense their pot and to find pot smoking girlfriends.

  2. Marijuana should have been legalized and regulated 40 years ago. where is the outrage about alcohol abuse and all the downside effects of that drug? How many traffic deaths are attribted excessive pot smoking?

    "potheads"--"seedy elements"--"I really don't care who" but not in my back yard. Typical knee jerk right wing response. Call 'em names,that'll show 'em I am really upset for my kids. What drivel. But at least you right wingers are entertaining. Yep,you guys are a kick.

  3. Bill, are you actually insinuating that only Republicans have a problem with marijuana usage? Forgive me but what are you smoking?

    First, you refer to right wingers? What do you think a right winger is? Are you aware that most libertarians share your views of marijuana and that on a political spectrum chart they are right of center to hard right? So don't lump all right wingers into a group without all the facts.

    Second, with your elementary logic we are to surmise that all left-wingers must therefore agree with your view? Again I know many Democrats and leftwingers who think this whole thing is a crock of you-know-what so spare us the partisan melodrama!

    Finally, you assume that these same groups do not then exhibit outrage about alcohol abuse? Once again your logic escapes me. Who promotes alcoholism or drunk driving? Do we as a society see alcohol and marijuana in the same light, certainly not and perhaps that is where you are going here. But that does not mean we should simply legalize another narcotic which can be abused. Yes marijuana can be abused! I said it so there. Also are you going to be honest with yourself and all the other readers here and actually state that you don't think any of these caregivers are selling this product to non-cardholders? Who's checking them to be certain? No one!!! So give me a break!!!

    Commonsense regulation of marijuana is not going to affect anyone's indidivual ability to obtain their medically necessary, legal marijuana. If you think about it we deal with hundreds of regulations on a daily basis for all kinds of legal products, why should marijuana be treated any differently.

    This is about regulation and zoning, nothing more. All the rest of the "drivel" as you call it is nothing more than conjecture.

  4. Bill, you sound like one of those liberal retired college professors that spout off to everyone that doesn’t agree with them that they must be involved in some vast right wing conspiracy.

    How about getting on board with some suggestions with a solution instead of just constant put downs?

  5. Speaking of pot...I know this off the subject but I've been wondering all winter if the city council and public works director are smoking it. Why would the city not own a plow? I am told when asking neighbors and friends who are all aghast at the condition of the city roads during winter months that the city in its wisdom sold any plows they owned several years back. Please city council and new mayor, please budget for a plow next year. Or better yet, contract with a local to plow them for you. In short, leave the weed and take care of the streets with the tax dollars you are given for them.

  6. Superman said: "The first thing we need to do is quite kidding ourselves that this medicinal marijuana is being used entirely for relieving pain."

    Who is suggesting that? Why would marijuana be different from oxycontin or the like (except of course that their is no physical addiction to marijuana)when it comes to people abusing it?

  7. Why are there not more people standing up and SHOUTING this is now a RIGHT of Montanans.

    The arguments that have been presented against the use of medical marijauna, are moot points as there are other laws to prevent abuse. (Transferring of medication, growing more plants than allowed etc.)

    Once again the persons that are complaining about pro-medical marijuana supporters are name calling and making up hypothetical scenarios just to make their point.
    They seem to have forgotten that the people of Montana have spoken.

    Do they really believe this is something new in Havre?

    This is a two fold opportunity for those invovled in local policy making.

    Law enforcement can use their resources to investigate real crime, and save resources that are now being foolishly wasted incarcerating persons for possesion of marijuana.

    Secondly, this could be a new, lucrative revenue stream for the city.

    One again, should government use their vast resources to increase the rights,liberties, and opportunities over those they govern?

    We the people should never forget that we hire these people to serve us.

  8. DeConstructor I am always amazed at your comments, where do I begin?

    First, it is indeed a right, but that does not mean it should not be further regulated. In fact many States such as California and Oregon, who were at the forefront of medical marijuana laws, have had to make changes to the original statutes to restrict its abuse. California has done so nearly 50 times over the course of the last 10 years to deal with factors that were not visible at the time of passage by the electorate. My point here is that the folks did vote for this and it is law, but that does not mean that reasonable people can't change their minds or desire further restrictions of legal use.

    Secondly you mention that there are laws in place to prevent abuse. Again you are correct; however, no one enforces these restrictions. Ask a grower, DPHHS is not equipped to enforce the numbers of plants. No one checks them. Send in your money and your in business, period.

    Third, we are not naive to the fact that it is happening in Havre, we are shocked at the widespread use and feel (as do many other communities in Montana) that there must be restrictions on the sales of this product.

    Fourth, you mention law enforcement. Once again oversimplication on your part. Visit with a law enforcement officer about this and hear them talk about it. California again has major problems with this as well because a Court of Appeals ruling handed down makes establishing probable cause to search when a cardholder is involved very restricted. So law enforcement doesn't just have the abiliy to drop by a grow operation and check the numbers of plants, cardholder records, etc. These are protected. So once again I ask how do they do their job?

    Finally you say this could be a revenue source for the City of Havre. In what way do you envision this? Havre has no business license fee, nor are they allowed to tax it. What are you talking about?

    Reasonable zoning restrictions are supported by many folks in this community and the City Council ought to hear us on this issue. It may be legalized under State Law, but our City has the right to restrict its sales under zoning and we need to just that.

  9. RR 59501

    The way I am understanding your comments are stating, that, there needs to be MORE regulation, MORE laws telling people what they cannot do, MORE laws infringing on RIGHTS of the citizenry, and MORE law enforcement activity (funding?)

    The way I am reading it, you are calling for MARTIAL LAW on the streets of Havre.

    Forget the rapes, assaults, thefts, breakins, and hit and runs. Someone might be smoking a doobie and enjoying it while listening to some Pink Floyd and looking for Doritos, perhaps while not being ill enough to suit your expectations.

    Call out the SWAT team and use the TASERS.

    Drive down 1st or 5th at 2:00 AM, and you will find there is plenty of law enforcement with too much time on their hands. Yes, you will be pulled over, and the reason they give you for probable cause would make the Mexican cartel blush with embarassment.

    Certainly the city could impose a tax on this.

    If they used some "Reaganomics". they would impose a small tax. That would encourage users to play by the rules, and pay the tax, cooperate, and keep this industry legitimate. (good bye to any violence that may be associated with the black market)

    These growers would protect their industry, and I would guess be very cooperative with law enforcement regarding those persons who are involved with unlawful activities and are detrimental to business, and their industry.

    Competiton could keep prices low, and focus on the production of high quality medication.

    This is really a great opportunity for Havre to embrace.

  10. DeConstructor: Yup that's what I said. Thanks for translating for me! Martial Law? Wow! Now who's the one spouting hyperbole?

    No one is saying that we should restrict the use of the medical marijuana itself, we are talking about restrictions on the sale of it.

    As for the City of Havre taxing it, show me where in the Montana Code Annotated it allows the City of Havre to tax this? I'll give you a hint, it doesn't!

    Maybe you should run for office and then you could solve all our problems! Surely all would be better under your regime where crime doesn't happen because it is legal. That's pretty narrowminded and naive to think that the problem is that easy to solve. Travel to California and see how wonderful things are there!

    Thanks for the entertaining post too.

  11. RR59501

    "crime doesn't happen because it is legal. That's pretty narrowminded"

    Crime CANNOT happen when it is legal!!

    As far as the taxation issue, I am sure there are people involved in local policy making that could breeze through this.

    It should be designated as a fee, or inspection surcharge to each of the producers. I really do not think they would argue much about it, as long as it was charged to every legit producer, and not rediculously out of line.

    As far as telling me to run for office, I think we have all been through this on the board, (particularly when someone has an opinion that is contrary to the norm- such as AA and the 12 step recovery industry are an evil cult that kill people)there is a general consensus that is a cheap comeback.

    HOWEVER- if people share my views I would like some feedback, I am NOT running for office!

    email me-

  12. A friend of mine has a business in Shelby and says every business pays a $312 and a $15 tax or fee to operate there. Every business-no exceptions.

  13. DeConstructor: The City of Havre can charge a business license fee but cannot tax marijuana or a business separately. So whatever fee the City would propose would be for all businesses regardless of size or type.

    Yes Willy Shelby does charge a business license fee. It is $25 and is for all businesses. Not sure what the $312 is for.

  14. DeConstructor said...
    Why are there not more people standing up and SHOUTING this is now a RIGHT of Montanans.

    Maybe it is because no one agrees with you????????????????

  15. RR 59501

    Of course the city can tax this industry.

    There is another thread on here somewhere regarding a bed tax, regarding the lodging industry.

    The easiest way to do this would be to ask the caretakers to pay a VOLUNTARY fee (tax), for inspection of their operations. This fee should be reasonably based on the actual expenses of conducting inspections and covering the actual expenses of expected costs of this opportunity.

    This would guarantee that all operations are legitimate, and focus could be made on the quality of the product (medication). This would just be another regulated, value added commodity product, proudly produced in Montana.

    This is a tremendous opportunity for not only for a business to become legitimate in Havre, but an opportunity for an entire INDUSTRY to become a viable revenue producing employer in the area.

    Too much of this discussion has been focused on name calling and branding the persons who would/do grow this product as "stoners" Perhaps we should be thankful for the experience that they have, and their extensive knowledge on the subject. I think some of them may surprise people with their abilities of they are just given a legit chance.

    Persons prescribed medical marijuana could conveniently do business right here in Havre, supporting the local tax base, and the local producer/employers.

  16. Deconstructor makes some good points...instead of bashing the subject people need to begin coming up with ideas. MM is here to stay so, finding an effective way of zoning should be the priority.