Montana voters will once again have an opportunity to decide the fate of the cannabis industry in our state. When I-148 was passed in 2004, voters thought they were approving the legitimate use of medical marijuana for critically ill patients.
What we got instead, to the chagrin of residents, was an explosion of marijuana storefronts and a concomitant explosion of "users." Senate Bill 423 was passed by the 2011 Montana Legislature in response this out of control situation and concern from citizens.
Marijuana indeed does have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory healing properties when juiced or eaten raw, in which case, the limit needs to be increased for legitimate patients.
These healing properties, however, are destroyed when the plant is burned or smoked, turning it into a hallucinogenic drug with harmful side effects and addictive potential. There is also the problem of secondhand smoke. Most users of marijuana smoke the stuff, telling us that they are more interested in the hallucinogenic effects rather than the raw plant's healing properties.
On I-124, please vote for Senate Bill 423 to safeguard and protect the well-being of our children and communities while still providing access to the drug for legitimate patients.
Mae W. Woo