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Montana Reasserts Approval for Medical Marijuana

UNITED STATES - APRIL 23: Road in a prairie, Charlie Russell Country, Montana, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Residents of Montana slapped back its legislature on Election Day after that august body tried to make it difficult for residents to acquire the medical marijuana the state legalized in 2004.

In 2011, state lawmakers decided too many people could access medical cannabis and that something needed to be done. That something was put restrictions on cannabis so strict—no more than three patients per cultivating caregiver; inspecting physicians who recommend cannabis to more than 25 people in a calendar year—that it killed the state’s nascent cannabis industry, and killed off at least one cannabis patient, a four-year-old who needed cannabis oil to survive.

Doing away with those draconian restrictions imposed by the state Legislature and returning to a more permissive atmosphere—the one approved by voters in the first place—was the purpose of I-182, which reports say has passed with more than 55 percent of the vote.

That’s a surprising outcome, given the polling that showed a majority of voters opposed to I-182 just a month ago, with 51 percent of voters opposed to 44 percent in favor.

Thanks to the voters who changed their minds, the restrictions put in place by the Legislature are now gone.

Montanans can grow medical marijuana for more than three patients, unannounced inspections by law enforcement of medical marijuana facilities are now forbidden, and physicians can now recommend the plant for sufferers of many more maladies, including chronic pain and PTSD.

 

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Amendment 2 does not set a list of qualifying conditions, leaving the decision to recommend medical cannabis up to patients and their doctors.

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