Sunday, April 4, 2010

Showdown Set for Havre City Council on Marijuana

A showdown is set to begin for the Havre City Council tomorrow night at their regular meeting.  The Council is scheduled to vote on a 90 day zoning moratorium and begin work on a new zoning ordinance for the City of Havre.  This discussion is coming on the heels of the last several meetings of the City Planning and Development committee where Mayor Tim Solomon tasked the committee with researching and determining what to do about medical marijuana in Havre. 

This issue has been hashed over in the Havre Daily News, at the local coffee shop, in our churches and schools and of course on this blog since the first meeting of the committee.  We at the Corrector have taken some heat for our decision to post the photos of one grow location as well as a post of a witnessed buy taking place.  Both posts generated significant comments about the pros and cons of our decision.  Please note that this was a conscious decision we made and we stand by our right to post them and their validity, right or wrong in the minds of our readers.  What is more to the point though is the comments echo those on the street and that most people are concerned about the welfare of our community.  Citizens of this fair city should know that we are not alone in this.

Indeed many communities including Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Missoula, Kalispell and smaller communities of Three Forks, Livingston, Whitefish, Hamilton and Deer Lodge are wading through the sea of restrictions and rules associated with regulation of medical marijuana as well.  In Havre several loosely organized citizen groups have surfaced on this issue too, the caregivers and their patients and a group of concerned citizens who have been attending virtually every public meeting of the Council to voice its concerns over this seemingly exploding issue.  What to do, what to do? 

The Corrector was able to catch up with a couple members of the Council and the consensus from them was that the moratorium will more than likely pass, but what permanent rules might come of this conversation is not as clear.  It seems as though Councilman Bob Kaul's suggestion that the City of Havre work with Hill County to simply "ban it" has caused a few lines in the sand to be drawn.  As one Councilman put it, there is probably 3-4 votes to ban it, although those are not certain and there are probably as many as 4-5 who would be willing to place significant restrictions in place to protect the health and welfare of Havre.  That means 3-4 members must be unwilling to restrict medical marijuana, right?  The member would not go that far, but did suggest that several members do not seem as concerned about the issue as others saying that we weren't worrying about this 6 months ago and it was here, why should we be concerned now. 

The Corrector believes this is an oversimplification of the issue and as such does require the Council to do something, nothing is not an option.  We look forward to the deliberations but we do ask the Council to withhold emotion and do what is best for all of Havre.  These issues are far too important and will have longstanding consequences for years to come.


  1. Let the hand wringing begin on the "Showdown" about the total meltdown of our community as we know it. Since the Corrector will "reqire" the council to take action I'm sure they will put any leadership decisions off so they can think about it some more. Blog Heaven. Yep, you guys are a kick.

  2. Montana Medical Marijuana Program
    In November 2004, Montana voters by a significant margin (62 percent) passed Initiative 148, allowing certain patients with specific medical conditions to alleviate their symptoms through the limited use of marijuana under medical supervision.

    The new law, effective immediately upon passage, also allows qualified patients and their caregivers to grow and/or possess a restricted number of marijuana plants.

    Montana is the 10th state to pass a medical marijuana law. Under federal law, it is still illegal to grow, sell, purchase, or use marijuana, even for health-related reasons.

    To use or grow marijuana under the Montana law, patients and caregivers must first register with the Quality Assurance Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

    For more information, contact the division’s Licensure Bureau at 406-444-0596 or by writing Licensure Bureau, P.O. Box 202953, Helena MT 59620-2953.

    Effective October 1, 2009, Medical Marijuana fees are as follows:
    New Application Fee $25.00
    Renewal Fee $10.00
    NOTE: (If your current card expires prior to October 1, 2009, the renewal fee will remain $50.00.)

    Letter from Bureau Chief
    Title 50, Chapter 46, Medical Marijuana Act
    Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Marijuana
    Patient/Caregiver Application Form
    Attending Physician’s Statement
    Attending Physician's Renewal Form
    Change Request Form
    !!!IMPORTANT NOTE!!! The Department is unable to process change request forms until the applicant is on the registry and has received a valid Montana Medical Marijuana Registry Card. !!!IMPORTANT NOTE!!!
    Renewal Application Letter
    Renewal Form
    MMP Historical Data
    Page last updated: 03/16/2010

  3. Another little tid-bit to peruse
    40. How are the laws and rules of the Medical Marijuana Act enforced?
    The department only provides services which allow qualifying patients and caregivers to be registered. This includes making sure applications are complete before issuing a registry identification card, denying incomplete or fraudulent applications, and suspending cards if individuals violate the act.

    Local and state law enforcement actions may vary. For more information on this, please contact your local law enforcement jurisdiction.

    The department has no authority to direct the activities of local and state law enforcement agencies.

  4. I would have to call the "showdown" a letdown.

    Dueling pistols or at least swords would have been a "showdown".

  5. I hate to admit it but I agree with Deconstructer. The whole city council is a letdown on this one.

    They can't even draft some type of ordinance. Or are they simply stalling?

  6. I agree it was a letdown. I was told after the meeting that it was due to a legal technicality in one section where it mentioned building permits. Apparently some miscommunication between the proposed language and final draft. I was at the Committee meeting when it was voted on and they never mentioned stopping building permits, so I guess I would have to agree if it said that, we could not move forward. At the Council meeting, Brekke asked Peterson if the language was acceptable and he said not in its current form and then he asked if they could simply amend the language and their lawyer and the clerk didn't think so, so they put it off until the next meeting. Actually I agree with Superman to an extent, this might be a clever stall tactic on the City's part too, hadn't thought about that until now.