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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
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If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
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Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
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It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.
medical marijuana

The Voice Of The People Will Be Heard

by: Rob Kailey

Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 14:06:24 PM MST

As of today, Montana Secretary of State Linda McColluch's office has certified Initiative Referendum number 124 for the November 2011 ballot.  The signatures have been gathered (well more than needed) and Montana has the opportunity to tell our state legislature not to go about thwarting the will of the people, a will we've already voted on.

To all activists and partisans, i urge you to read the text of the IR carefully, and frame it in the manner I have here.  Those who would support the loathsome SB 423 will attempt to frame this as a vote on whether we still favor unbridled use of marijuana.  That isn't what IR-124 is about.  It's about whether we support the legislature in repealing a good initiative, voted on by all Montanans, in favor of a weak attempt to control what the state favors. IR-124 is not about whether Montana favors the use of medical marijuana.  That was decided when the voters approved I-148.  This Referendum is specifically about spanking SB 423, or supporting it.  Ballot language in full, below the fold:

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 195 words in story)

SB 423, Eviscerated

by: Rob Kailey

Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 15:03:00 PM MST

In the promotion of the diary yesterday, I mentioned the good work of Montanafesto concerning the medical marijuana issue.  Today, and how fitting that it comes on 4/20, they offer this:

Montana's SB 423: GOP Plan To Purge The "Scourge".

The post hits the highlights head on.  SB 423 is anti-patient, it is anti-jobs, it is anti-capitalism, and it is hypocritical.

Today, SB 423 got it's hearing in Free Committee forum.  The committee report has been passed on.  If you'd like to know how it reads at this point, here is the text.  Montanafesto is correct.  SB 423 is little more than a repeal of the voter actions in favoring medical marijuana.

Where it's at now is this.  The Republican control of the Mt legislature is tired from their 3 day work week, coming off their earlier vacation last weekend, so they're going to take another.  No action will be taken before Tuesday of next week.  That still gives you, good reader, plenty of time to call your Republican Congress people, and Larry Jent, and let them know that we want the needs of Montanans met.  We don't want their pseudo-religious posturing over devil weed getting in the way of real needs.    

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Never More Happy To Be Wrong

by: Rob Kailey

Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 15:07:21 PM MST

About 2 weeks ago I left a comment at 4 & 20 Blackbirds that was, at this point, incorrect.  I posited that if the repeal of medical marijuana passed the Montana legislature, then Brian Schweitzer would sign it.  My thinking, first and foremost, was that the Good Guv is a political animal and would use the passage of a repeal as proof that the Montana GOP can't be trusted with serving the people in his future political endeavors.

Now, I don't get a whole lot of credit online for distrusting Democrats.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I'm supposed to be the Democratic 'yes-man'.  So, it is an ironic bitter sweet pill that I swallow in admitting I was wrong in my distrust of the Governor.  Yesterday, in a Veto-Branding-Palooza, Brian Schweitzer vetoed HB161, the repeal of MM in Montana.  I truly did expect that Schweitzer would let that ride, and then complain later.  It's not like there isn't precedence for him doing so.

Congrats to Montana Cowgirl for another DKos recommended diary, one so rec-ed it could be called a Super-recommendation.  Do read the comments to that.  There is a huge outpouring of love for our Governor, much of it completely clueless, but it still makes this Montana boy feel very good.  In truth, Schweitzer's stunt with the branding irons has had me chuckling most of the day.  I feel better about my state now than I have for some time.  And there is some kind-hearted chuckling at those commenters who now see Brian as a progressive hero.  When, as some have suggested, he becomes President in 2017, we'll see how long that liberal love lasts.

Don't get me wrong; I like our Governor a whole helluva lot.  But there is another hurdle out there.  Lost in the cacophony of Schweitzer stunt love was a comment by Montanan, Feanor.  It was simple.

I wonder what the fate of SB 423 will be?

He (She?) follows with a link to the Montana Kaimin.  Feanor asks a damned fine question, because, although SB 423 won't repeal the voter mandate for MM, it would effectively castrate the law such as to be unusable.  Don't take my word for it; read it for yourself.  In truth, this was the bill that Lizard was writing of at 4 & 20 when I responded that Schweitzer would not veto such a thing.  And here's the point.  I remain incredulous.  SB 423 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate on Monday, April 18th.

There is a chance that this bill will die, given the threat of veto from the Good Guv.  I'm hoping that will be the case, but I'm not yet convinced.  If you are, then please, let's hear your side.  Given the actions of this legislature, it is most likely that SB 423 passes the Congress and lands on Schweitzer's desk.  One of the tricks to being a good politician is changing your position in such a way that no one notices the switch.  I like Brian, but admit that I've never seen anyone so good as he at that very thing.  It comes with the Show-Man merit badge.  As great as we all feel about yesterday's branding party, how comfortable are you that the Governor will veto SB 423?

Yes, I hope to post how wrong I am about this in the future.

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Will PhRMA Be Treated the Same as Medical Marijuana?

by: Matt Singer

Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 12:44:41 PM MST

The interim subcommittee tasked with reform of the medical marijuana system has a few suggestions, including limiting financial ties between physicians and marijuana businesses:
Another key change recommended by the panel would prohibit a doctor from being paid or soliciting pay from caregivers and dispensaries. It also would be illegal for a physician to hold an economic interest in a business if that doctor certifies the "debilitating medical condition" that allows a patient to participate in a medical marijuana program.

Sands said statistics show that many physicians have authorized medical marijuana cards for a small number of patients. However, she said there are a handful of doctors who have approved medical marijuana cards for many, many people.

Frankly, I think this is a good idea, but it is also one that would be wisely imposed on all sorts of business relationships that many doctors have.

If a doctor has a financial incentive to overprescribe marijuana, my hunch is that the worst that happens is too many pot smokers have a quasi-legal way of smoking pot. Conversely, when physicians have financial incentives to order additional tests and drum up business for hospitals and their own practice, we see insane health care inflation.

If there is a place where we need to be least worried about this sort of abuse, it is probably in the medical marijuana world. At least, that's what I think. Of course, I'm down to legalize, regulate, and tax, so my position on this may not mesh with everyone. But there are far more serious problems facing this state.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Medical Marijuana FUNdraiser in Helena -- You're Invited!

by: Daubert

Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:48:07 PM MST

Margot "Lois Lane" Kidder Is Among Scores of Auction Items for PATIENTS & FAMILIES UNITED Fundraiser at Miller's Crossing in Helena, Saturday January 17

TWO MISSOULA BLUES-ROCK BANDS TO PERFORM AT EVENT THAT BEGINS AT 4 PM

Livingston resident and international film star Margot "Lois Lane" Kidder will be among scores of "items" featured in live and silent auctions that will occur during an historic medical marijuana-related fundraiser to be held at Miller's Crossing in Helena on Saturday, January 17.

The opportunity to have dinner with Ms. Kidder (at a time of mutual convenience) will be auctioned, as will art objects, a tanning bed, a complete tattooing kit and scores of other desirables donated by Helena-area businesses, artists and others from around Montana.  Besides dinner with Margot Kidder, the other artistic highlights of the auction will include jewelry, original oil paintings and a rare antique hand-knotted afghan wool prayer rug.

The "historic FUNdraiser" will benefit PATIENTS & FAMILIES UNITED, a public education and support group for Montana's medical marijuana patients, regardless of their condition, and pain patients, whether they use marijuana or not.

The silent auctions will begin at 4 pm and will conclude at 9 pm, and the event is open to the general public at no mandatory charge until 9 pm, after which there will be a $5 cover charge.

The first live-auction segment will begin at 8:30 pm.  Live music and entertainment will start at 9 pm, featuring two original "alternative blues-rock" bands from Missoula - Viscosity Breakdown and Mighty Crevasse.

Patients and supporters of PATIENTS & FAMILIES UNITED are expected to come to Helena from all over Montana, said Tom Daubert, the group's founder and director.

"This is the first major fundraiser ever held in Montana in support of medical marijuana and pain patients, and we're deeply gratified by the support we've been receiving from artists, individuals and businesses all over the state," Daubert said.

The event also will feature information and displays concerning medical marijuana, which Montana voters legalized in 2004 with 62% support, the largest margin of support in America until last November, when Michigan voters approved a similar measure with 63% support.

Today, more than 1,500 Montana patients in 38 of the state's counties are registered with the health department as legal users of medical marijuana, based on recommendations from more than 160 physicians.  The patients suffer from a wide variety of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, AIDS and chronic pain and muscle spasms, Daubert reported.

"Medical marijuana is literally saving lives in Montana," Daubert said, "yet the law doesn't protect suffering patients as fully as it should."  He said monies raised at the Miller's Crossing event will be used to assist his group's plans for lobbying the Legislature to make improvements in the law this winter.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Dillon-Area Marijuana "Bust" Condemned as Law Enforcement "Persecution"

by: agoodhope

Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 11:48:54 AM MST

A Seriously Ill Medical Marijuana Patient Now Lives in Agony, & Fearing Threat of Prison for His Last Days of Life

Taxpayer Liability for the Patient's Healthcare Alone Would Exceed $136,000 per Month

News Links:
Felony charges pending in large MJ grow operation near Dillon http://www.mtstandard.com/arti...

Dillon, MT MJ grow operation "busted"
http://www.bmt.net/~ddaily/arc...

Patients and Families United responds:

The so-called "large pot-growing operation" that government agents raided north of Dillon recently was in fact a private, personal medicine-growing facility for a desperately ill medical marijuana patient - and both the government confiscation of the medicine and the subsequent media coverage illustrate the persistent ignorance that enables the continued, unfair persecution of suffering patients, says Patients & Families United.

Patients & Families United is a support group for Montana's medical marijuana patients, regardless of their medical condition, and pain patients, whether they use medical marijuana or not.  A wealth of scientific research over the last 30+ years has documented the value of medical marijuana in treating a wide variety of conditions, including severe chronic pain.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 755 words in story)

Comment to Missoula authorities bust pot dealer

by: agoodhope

Wed Jan 09, 2008 at 13:51:58 PM MST

Angela Goodhope Says:
January 9, 2008 at 12:37 pm

As the campaign manager for Missoula's lowest priority marijuana initiative (and a member of the county's oversight committee for it), I have to comment.
First, I agree completely that a felony burglary and assault are far more serious than growing marijuana, and it will be interesting indeed to compare the respective sentences this man receives. But history offers a safe bet on what will happen.
The crimes that actually threatened another person's life, and that violated the privacy of another person's home, are virtually certain to be treated much more lightly than the drug offense. This relates to one of the rationales for the marijuana initiative - that offenses against people's bodies and their property deserve far more attention than drug possession issues, particularly adult marijuana. The nonsensical drug war gets everything backwards.
The drug charge will likely destroy this man's life, involving a lot of prison time at great taxpayer expense. Even if it didn't, he already has lost all eligibility for any student loans, should he ever want one, and all eligibility for veteran benefits if he's a vet. These are consequences of any drug conviction, no matter how minor the offense (having a single joint, for example), and they never happen to anyone else, not even people who attack others violently, including murderers.
Meanwhile the police also have confiscated this man's property - down to his bike and music player! - and they'll auction it off as a fundraiser for their drug war budget. This, too, never happens to people arrested for anything other than drugs.
One point is that in this day and age it makes no sense to spend taxpayer dollars investigating and arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people merely for marijuana. People have used marijuana for more than 5,000 years, with no recorded deaths or overdoses in all that time. Meanwhile, a wealth of scientific research conducted over the last several decades confirms marijuana's extraordinary and diverse value as a powerful medicine. Research also has proven that marijuana isn't addictive and isn't a "gateway" to using other drugs. Pretty much everything we've heard from the government's prohibition campaign over several generations now is a lie. Nationally, we spend billions in the drug war, and most of it is focused on marijuana, one of the safest medicines on the planet. And none of that spending over the past 35 years has made a bit of difference in overall rates of drug use.
But it's made a huge and completely negative difference in the lives of millions of Americans and a great many Montanans, all of it at taxpayer expense.
Your post also invites some clarification of the facts about Missoula's lowest priority policy. First, the marijuana initiative is a recommendation, not a requirement. Second, as amended by county commissioners last year, even this recommendation now only applies to misdemeanor offenses, which are those involving less than two ounces. Growing plants in any quantity (even one) remains a felony offense, and even giving a single joint away remains a felony.
The main result - so far - of the lowest priority marijuana policy is that the county attorney no longer prosecutes misdemeanor offenses, and he has called on the county sheriff to stop making misdemeanor arrests. This is important, positive progress.
Those of us on the county's oversight committee hope that another accomplishment in the near future will be the adoption of a more complete and easy to use record-keeping system, so that both the county and its taxpayers can understand more completely where the money is going and what's being accomplished by law enforcement activities.
It's also important to keep in mind that the lowest priority policy doesn't apply to the city of Missoula. Not yet, anyway. Changing the situation, so that adult marijuana offenses are a lowest priority for the city as well, was one of the county oversight committee's most important recommendations a few months ago.
People can learn more at the oversight committee's website, http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/i... and at http://www.responsiblecrimepol...

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1460 words in story)

On the upcoming memorial, and why medical marijuana patients need your support NOW

by: agoodhope

Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 18:41:28 PM MST

Robin Prosser was Montana's leading medical marijuana patient-activist - until she took her own life last October. She also was a good friend of mine. I first got to know her when she went on a month-long hunger strike in 2002, to publicize her predicament, and I spent a lot of time with her over the years.

There are lots of reasons why I have been moved to focus my energies as a progressive political activist on the goal of ending the so-called "war on drugs." Knowing Robin Prosser, knowing of her life and struggles, was one of these reasons - and I will forever be grateful for it.

Robin quite simply was oppressed to death by the government. The fact is that the "war on drugs" is really a war on people. It's old-fashioned oppression of those among us that the government finds it convenient to dislike. It's a war that's meant to be waged, not won. Like the so-called "war on terror," the "war on drugs" has functioned as an extraordinary financial boondoggle, spawning the prison-industrial complex and the world's largest population of prisoners, most of whom permanently lose the right to vote, the right to college loans and government subsidized housing - even all veterans' benefits. Our country imprisons more people for nonviolent use of drugs - mostly marijuana - than all of Europe, which contains more people, does for all crimes combined.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 688 words in story)

Put This In Your Pipe

by: Matt Singer

Thu Oct 25, 2007 at 10:58:27 AM MST

If you missed it, the Montana Kaimin earlier this week thought it a good idea to denigrate the work of activists who have fought to produce kinder, more sane drug laws, saying "the right to smoke pot should be the lowest priority." This morning, the Missoulian chimed in, chastising activists for working locally, when the real focus should be state and federal laws.

Thanks, armchair quarterbacks.

Beyond the bloviating, there's been real news about marijuana this week, as the War on Drugs claimed another casualty -- of course, you have to turn to the Independent to find out about it:

Robin Prosser didn't look or sound much like a fighter, but she was. A mother and a musician, the Missoula woman also acted as Montana's most outspoken advocate for medical marijuana, the only remedy that could ease the ravaging pain of the lupus-like immunosuppressive disease she endured for 23 years. Prosser's fight ended Oct. 18 when she took her own life.

In recent months, Prosser, 50, would sit at the kitchen table in her small apartment, pain welling up in her eyes, and talk quietly about the victories and defeats the last several years had delivered. Allergic to nearly every pharmaceutical that could render her chronic pain bearable, she had learned that the political fate of medical marijuana also carried intensely personal implications.

[...]

[I]in March, federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents seized a small shipment of medical marijuana in transit from Prosser's state-approved caregiver. Though she was never criminally charged, Prosser was crushed. She said caregivers became afraid to supply her with the medicine she needed so badly.

In July, she penned an op-ed piece in the Billings Gazette, pleading with Montana's politicians and her fellow citizens to speak out against the DEA's actions and improve the lives of people like her.

"Give me liberty or give me death," she wrote. "Maybe the next campaign ought to be for assisted-suicide laws in our state. If they will not allow me to live in peace, and a little less pain, would they help me to die, humanely?"

Why didn't someone have the good sense to tell Robin Prosser that her medication should be the "lowest priority" in the whole arena of things to change in the world.

I'm sure then that she would have understood why it was so important for her to live with so much pain.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)
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