District Judge Stewart Stadler ruled of the Montana Medical Marijuana Act doesn’t allow caregivers to provide marijuana to just any qualifying patients, only the patients for whom they are the registerd caregiver.
The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed against Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan by the Medical Marijuana Growers Association.
The ruling could determine the fate of two men facing felony drug charges after a traffic stop by law enforcement agents revealed several pounds of pot in their possession.
One of the men is a registered caregiver while the other is a card holder, according their attorney. The men were driving the pot from Kalispell to Cascade County for delivery to another caregiver, he said.
An attorney for the Medical Marijuana Growers Association argued on July 6 that medical marijuana providers have a duty to provide for their patients, and that practically requires them to deliver, transport or transfer marijuana to another caregiver.
In making his ruling, Stadler granted Corrigan’s request for summary judgment.
“All of plaintiffs’ arguments are predicated on the assumption that the Act is ambiguous with respect to whom caregivers may and may not supply with marijuana,” Stadler wrote. “No such ambiguity exists; rather, the clear and unambiguous language of the Act permits caregivers ‘to provide marijuana only to qualifying patients who have named the applicant as caregiver.'”
In April, District Judge John Larson ruled in a Missoula County case, saying the marijuana law prohibits a caregiver from providing marijuana to anyone other than a qualifying patient who is registered with that caregiver. That case is being appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.