Montana is the 12th state in a series examining how the legalization of medical marijuana was successfully implemented. This series will be forwarded to each Utah lawmaker after January 1, 2014 by grassroots organization UtahCARE - Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education, as a part of their new campaign “Educate in order to Medicate”.
Each lawmaker is frequently sent an e-mail blast containing information such as this article in an attempt to educate them about the true benefits of cannabis, with this campaign focusing on medicinal cannabis.
Initiative 146, the “Montana Medical Marijuana Act” was approved by 62% of Montana voters and became effective on November 2, 2004.
The state approved conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for HIV/AIDS, or the treatment of these conditions; a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including seizures caused by epilepsy, or severe or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.
A qualifying patient and a qualifying patient's caregiver may each possess six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. "Usable marijuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana and any mixture or preparation of marijuana.
The law was then amended by Senate Bill 423 on April 28, 2011 and became effective July 1, 2011. This bill changed the application process to require a Montana driver's license or state issued ID card. A second physician is required to confirm a chronic pain diagnosis.
According to the Montana Public Health and Human Services website:
"A provider or marijuana-infused products provider may assist a maximum of three registered cardholders..." and "may not accept anything of value, including monetary remuneration, for any services or products provided to a registered cardholder."
It also changed to approved conditions to include cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for HIV/AIDS when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient's health status; Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient's treating physician; intractable nausea or vomiting; Epilepsy or intractable seizure disorder; Multiple Sclerosis; Crohn's Disease; painful peripheral neuropathy; any central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms and admittance into hospice care.
The possession and cultivation law was also amended to 12 seedlings (less than 12"), four mature flowering plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana.
On November 6, 2012, Montana voters approved initiative referendum Number 124 by a vote of 56.5% to 43.5%, upholding Senate Bill 423.
By sharing this information with Utah lawmakers (both current and hopeful), Utah grassroots organizations such as UtahCARE will continue to educate their way towards the legalization of cannabis throughout the state.
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