For the second time in the past four years, a misguided attempt to end the medical-marijuana law in Montana has failed. Steve Zabawa's attempt to qualify his anti-marijuana petition for the ballot has failed to garner the required number of signatures.
The people of Montana have sent a resounding message that they do not appreciate extremists' attempts at meddling with their doctor-patient relationship. Unfortunately, Zabawa still does not seem able to digest that message. He has vowed to carry his ballot initiative to the 2015 Legislature.
In an era where there is national support in the range of 80 percent for medical marijuana, Zabawa has embarked on a personal religious crusade to rid Montana of all marijuana. Rational people understand that his goal is impossible, regardless of whatever laws get passed in the Legislature.
What Zabawa is really attempting to do is remove legal access of marijuana from sick and dying Montanans, thus dictating their medical options. This arrogant intrusion into people's personal lives is at the core of the failure of his ballot initiative.
A few years ago, an affiliated group, Safe Community, Safe Kids, also attempted to ban medical marijuana through a ballot initiative with the same results. No one is forcing Zabawa or anyone else to use marijuana in any form. They would certainly be better neighbors if they respected the rights of Montanans to make their own medical decisions.
William “Mort” Reid
Montana Cannabis Information Association