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Campaign Aims To Make Medical Marijuana Illegal Again In Montana

safe montana i 176 medical marijuana

(image via KPAX.com)

One of my best friends lives in Montana, and has for several years now. He was born and raised in Oregon, but after getting out of the military and reconnecting with his grandparents, he decided to move to Missoula. He was a frequent cannabis consumer and had been for quite sometime prior to moving to Montana. His mom grew hands down some of the best cannabis I’ve ever consumed, and that was way before cannabis was as mainstream as it is now. So when he moved to Montana and I asked him for his opinion on the cannabis scene there, I knew I’d get an educated opinion.

When he first moved there (2007 I believe), he said that the cannabis wasn’t that good, was hard to find, and cost a ton, at least compared to back home in Oregon. He would often text me asking what I was smoking on and wanted to know every little detail about the strain, how much it cost, etc. in an attempt to live vicariously through me. That all changed a couple of years later when the medical marijuana scene in Montana seemed to go through a dramatic change.

More doctors were signing up more patients, more growers were linking up with those patients, and a zesty medical marijuana scene began to grow in Montana. It seemed like almost overnight my buddy was now contacting me to share pictures and info about Montana cannabis that was comparable in price and quality to what was in Oregon. But that didn’t last long. It had seemed that to at least some Montana residents, medical marijuana had spread to far too fast, and backlash started. I remember around the time that this blog first started in 2010, someone threw a fire bomb into a dispensary in Billings with a note saying something to the effect of ‘not in my town.’

That was followed by many arrests and a legal showdown that dramatically changed the medical marijuana landscape in Montana. Last month Montana’s Supreme Court issued a ruling which upheld a lot of provisions that were aimed at shrinking Montana’s medical marijuana program. One of the provisions limited the number of patients a provider can help – 2 patients per provider, unless the provider is a patient themselves, at which point the person can provide for 3 patients. So if there’s only one good grower in the area, which I’m sure is common in a largely rural state like Montana, you better make the short list or you are out of luck. That’s the new reality for medical marijuana patients in Montana.

And the worst part is that it could get worse. If a campaign in Montana has its way, medical marijuana will be completely illegal in Montana once again. Per The Missoulian:

Safe Montana’s ballot initiative, I-176, would repeal the medical marijuana program and align the drug with illegal status under federal law.

The campaign has staff across the state and has spent more than $18,000 since January on its efforts. Zabawa himself has put $35,000 into the campaign. On Tuesday, he said that they have about half of the 24,000 required signatures to get his issue on the November ballot.

A competing ballot initiative, I-178, aims to legalize recreational marijuana. The leader of that campaign, Anthony Varriano of Glendive, said Tuesday that he estimates they have between 8,000 and 10,000 signatures.

There are still roughly 13,000 medical marijuana patients in Montana. And while I expect that number to reduce because a lot of patients won’t be able to find a grower and will likely just end up going back to the black market, the remaining patients should still be able to seek out legal safe access to medical marijuana in some limited form if they are able. There are no doubt dying people in Montana that desperately need medical marijuana to alleviate their suffering and/or help them survive. To take away their medicine is heartless and shameful, which is exactly how I feel about the Montana I-176 campaign.


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Johnny Green


  1. I am waiting for the first discrimination law suit to be filed. If it’s legal elsewhere then it’s discrimination to withhold it from others.

  2. The PEOPLE should know that the War on Drugs is a HOAX!
    If any of you are old enough to remember Oliver North’s “SHADOW GOVERNMENT” you’d understand this. Just as the DHS working WITH the Senolia Drug Cartel’s, El Chapo’s “Man Cave” with Fast & Furious weapons and not to exclude the SENTRI program of the DHS. i.e. Fatherland Security.

    The US supported Drug Wars in Mexico and Central America using Arms for drugs to finance their illegal wars.

    Under the SENTRI program “Members” with Iris scans, 10 point finger ID and full backgrounds checks who only have to present a card/ID in a (Bragged about 10 second stop) at borders and customs and then on their way into the USA.

    Google: San Diego Sentri Drug Bust’s. Whereas you’ll see those (MULES) imported millions in netted bust’s (those who got caught) into America and into the Streets and Reservations across this country. Those drugs for their intended purpose drives the population into poverty as well as fuels the Police State as well as the Court’s, Fines, Privatized Prisons.

    The Police State benefits by getting funding for all those new prowler cars (who oddly are never around when crimes are actually committed but show up with all those nice high resolution LED light bars to pose for the Media appear as if they actually did something. This would include but not limited to throwing flash bang grenades into the cribs of sleeping infants as well as tracking your purchase of grow-lites so that Militarized Police can bust down your doors and in Civil Forfeiture confiscate all your belongings. Thus to further build that Police State.

    This is no different then the UN story (NYT) in June 2001 before the Afghan invasion. Whereas the Taliban’s success in eradicating 2/3rd of the WORLDS Opium in 1 season. I have over 50 photos of the US Military (As Usual) Fertilizing, Security and Packaging that same Opium.

    Of course this is where you were lead to believe that “Men in Caves” from thousands of miles away who trained on monkey bars using 2001 WiFi technology were able to bring down NORAD’s defense system and fly planes into a couple of buildings.

    See also: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/21/government-agents-directly-involved-us-terror-plots-report
    and http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?_r=1

    Yet like the current LEAD in Water across the USA remember Corporate America will GLADLY sell you a bottle for $1.19 ea. Just as those who suffer from pain that Corporate America will also gladly sell you (Their Synthetic Drugs) at a CO$T!

    Perhaps this is also why 300,000 lied to Veterans have died due to no medical or mental health services as well as the remains of 274 Marines were DUMPED in a Virginia LANDFILL and 22 a day additionally more commit suicide each day. (1 Active Duty)..

    I also see where the US Supported and Funded ISIS/L have no problem getting drugs to carry out their carnage. You might think of that $700,000,000 dollars to arm and train rebels, whereas this winter New York and D.C. (District of Criminals) couldn’t afford a damn snow plow or to train drivers for trucks that cost $140,000 ea.

    So IF this is post is not edited or deleted (Within the framework of my 1st Amendment rights of free speech?) I am only pointing to information that is freely available to anyone who researches this subject.

    Disclaimer: Big Pharma makes Billions a year off each drug they sell/prescribe. Not the Side Effect’s that come with those drugs. Like the filler Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that is found in most drugs today. That same filler is used in engine block degreasers, floor wax strippers and is labeled as POISON and to call the nearest poison control center.

    The FDA Approved drugs today cause thousands of deaths each year.
    See: UN report on Afghan’s GROWING Opium market. Key word > MARKET.

  3. Kristi McManus on

    Montana is a purple state. Until a few years ago both its US senators were Dems as was the governor and the majority of the state legislature. Today they still have a Dem governor and one US senator. In 2008, Obama failed to carry the state by only 2.5%. Montana is not nearly as conservative as its neighbors Idaho and Wyoming.

  4. saynotohypocrisy on

    If they can get the money, they should run some of them in DC too, trying to shame the degenerates in Congress and the White House who are still warring with science over medical marijuana, not to mention warring with the overwhelming will of Americans.

  5. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Alaska is ALSO a red state,
    yet BOTH medical and personal use are LEGAL there.

  6. Closet Warrior on

    While they’re at it, why not bring back wife beatings and lynchings too! Soooo fucked up!!!

  7. PeedNUrGenePool on

    MPP needs to run ads in Montana showing how many babies they will kill from Dravet’s epilepsy.
    And how many Soldiers they will cause to commit suicide, that could be saved from PTSD.
    They need to ask how much Cancer Patients and MS victims have to suffer.

    All to support a war on a drug that kills no one.

  8. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    If your own state’s U.S. senators are open-minded enough,
    (or even if they’re not),
    please consider the following and contact them in support of SB 2237:

    On 04-November-2015,
    Senator Bernie Sanders introduced Senate Bill 2237,
    the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015”,
    to remove cannabis from the federal CSA,
    (federal DE-scheduling of cannabis, to let each state decide for themselves).

    But SB 2237 has yet to receive senate support or co-sponsors…

    Contact your own state’s senators and
    ask them to support / co-sponsor SB 2237:


    ^^^ Above link is to NORML’s Take Action page for SB 2237 ^^^

  9. This was a headline that I had to read twice to believe. The most pathetic thing Iv ever heard of.

  10. saynotohypocrisy on

    Anyone against medicinal cannabis is either woefully ignorant or a flat out sadist. And any adult of normal intelligence who isn’t living in some kind of cave isn’t that ignorant about MMJ

  11. I do have a bit of possibly good news. This is the 3rd time that Steve Zabawa has started a petition to get a ballot initiative to re-criminalize cannabis in Montana. If he manages to get the signatures and get certified it’ll be the first to go to the voters. Considering the fact that Montana is one of the few States where it would be reasonably possible for a dedicated group of volunteers to obtain the 24,474 signatures (in 2016) to get a citizen generated referendum on the ballot I’m not sure that he really wants to actually see it decided by the voters. After all he is a used car salesman. He may just be a smart used car salesman who knows that the sycophants of prohibition are easily fooled and wants to steer them into his showroom.

    California is also likely to have a re-criminalization initiative on the 2016 ballot if the enemies of freedom can manage to scrape together the required 365,880 signatures. I’ve got to admit that I’d like to see cannabis law reform go mano a mano with the stupidity of absolute prohibition. Yes, California required 67,389 less signatures in 2016 than in 1996. With polls showing 60% support for regulated re-legalization it’s unlikely that the sycophants of prohibition would prevail.

    (Florida required 683,149 signatures to get that States medicinal cannabis patient protection law on the ballot in both 2014 and 2016. California’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act required 433,269. Ohio’s 2015 debacle required 305,591.)

  12. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Dear Johnny Green,
    you and / or your comment software is annoyingly paranoid
    about even LEGIT, short, non-spam posts…

  13. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    “Safe Montana’s ballot initiative, I-176,
    would repeal the medical
    marijuana program and
    align the drug with illegal status under federal

    This is why cannabis needs to be federally-descheduled!
    Contact your own state’s senators and ask them to support
    SB 2237, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015.

  14. Such sickening desperation from this campaign.

    They are really so scared of the death of marijuana prohibition that they would resort to this; they are so desperate to deny the truth and the reality about cannabis which will pretty much spread across the country and the world, eventually.

    They are truly lost if they go along with this campaign; It’s as if they hate reality in general.

  15. saynotohypocrisy on

    The perverse hatred for recreational cannabis has warped people’s minds so badly that they are willing to take medicine out of the mouths of children and everyone else just to express how much they hate cannabis. Degenerate sadist fucker scum.
    They should at least have the decency to change their stinking pledge of allegiance to “liberty and justice for us and people we like, the hell with the rest of you’.

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