Archive for April 25th, 2011

by jhwygirl

Earlier this month, Governor Schweitzer held a VETO branding party on the back lawn of the Capitol and with a bevvy of cameras and reporters even Justin Beiber might be jealous of, announced the following before putting the hot iron to 7 bills in front of a roaring crowd:

“These bills are either frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana.”

Great Falls Tribune state reporter John S. Adams had the story and the video at his blog, The Lowdown.

I was comforted that day I heard Governor Schweitzer say those words…because, if you’ve been around long enough, you know I’ve not been happy in the past with some of the bills he’s signed into law in previous sessions. I won’t rehash the ugly, but hell – he’s been unhappy with bills he’s signed into law.

All of that being said, I’ve watch medical marijuana become an abused I-don’t-know-what issue up there in Helena since day one…and now SB423 has been banged around to what is going to be another “we can’t have any amendments even if they’re good because we have to get this done and there isn’t time” bill tomorrow on the floors of both the House and the Senate.

So I read here and elsewhere that SB423 is essentially a repeal of the citizens Initiative (I-148 from 2004) that passed with 62% of the votes cast. Is that true? How true is it?

Gotta go read the thing. Page 45 begins the actual text of the law that was submitted with the initiative. Page 30 is the summary along with the proponent and opponent argument.

First of all, I read that law there and it’s pretty thorough. So it seems to me that there was a failure in enforcement and rule writing. Not only that – there were problems professed with this since it was approved and yet the legislature session after session (3 of ’em before this one) refused to address them.

So now the sick are going to get punished for the follies of those who were allowed to run unregulated. Keep that in mind as I say that there were plenty and ARE PLENTY of providers out there that keep accounting records far beyond anything required under state law to demonstrate that they are in compliance with what laws and regs that are out there.

SB423 requires two doctor recommendations. I don’t know that it is the state’s business to tell someone how many doctors they should go to. If someone is sick (cancer?) do they really need to spend money to see two doctors to get OK’d for using marijuana? Really?

How’s that for cutting back on medical costs? Cancer isn’t costly enough? Dying isn’t costly enough?

Whoever thought this was a good idea? You disgust me with your personal agendas.

I pray you never get sick or know someone suffering of cancer. Or leukemia. Or the ravages of chemical weapons.

Another component of SB423 “reform” is some sever limitation on providers and a “non-profit” requirement. Well…that is in direct conflict with Section 3.4 which specifically allow for the caregiver to be permitted “reasonable compensation.”

Let’s take this whole compensation versus non-profit versus limited caregivers/patients versus cost thing up again – now we’re saying you have to see multiple doctors because being sick isn’t enough….and once you get your card, you can only have a relative or someone who is only providing to you and one other person provide you your medicine and that person providing it to you has to do it at no profit.


So the sick patient is going to loose out of economy-of-scale and quality-of-medicine (and now the state is going to have small little grow operations all over the place) because the state didn’t want to do the job of writing decent rules and regulations to accompany the laws so that police and judges actually had something to work with?

The nanny state 2011’s 62nd Legislature could’t write up a law requiring all medical marijuana businesses to be 1000 feet from a school?

Have you ever listed to a tv commercial for a prescription drug? Seen a magazine ad? They’re at least 2 pages, if not 3 anymore with warnings: May cause liver damage. Contact your doctor if you experience this or that or this or that…20 pills a day isn’t enough under cancer treatment, you have to stomach down morphine too. Always goes well with breakfast.

I hope some of the experts on this issue jump in here. I by no means have torn apart SB423 to fully understand it.

Tomorrow, as I mentioned above, both the House and the Senate hear SB423 in second reading. Let your legislators know what should be done to this bill – amendments that can be offered so that Schweitzer hears what complies with “…the expressed will of the people of Montana.”. Both the House and the Senate have great advocates for this issue.

Those advocating this repeal should look inwardly at their own complicity into the matter – ignoring this issue for the last 3 legislative sessions? – and act accordingly.

While we’re at it, perhaps someone might remind the House that all the testimony in opposition was not exactly what it seemed.

Rep. James Knox, one of repeal’s biggest advocates, still hasn’t told Montana whether he sold his brother marijuana, nor has he explained his double-standard of advocating for repeal profiting from the burgeoning industry he was helping to advertise.


In the current edition of the Missoula Independent the local paper takes aim at Missoula City Councilman Dave Strohmaier over his Social Host Ordinance  and many of the policy positions he has taken in his six years in office.  Three times in the article – once in the headline, once in a quote, and once in the second to last paragraph – the Indy emasculates and attempts to make Dave appear effete through his desire to clean up after an infantilized Missoula populace.  In my opinion, the use of such language turns a pretty solid article into a hack job.

I would expect such language from a right-wing rag but from an independent newspaper based out of Missoula?  There is a long history of Liberalism’s opponents painting liberals as soft, elitists, and effeminate.  I don’t understand why the Indy is playing into such lazy stereotypes other than to set the tone of how the paper will handle Strohmaier in any eventual run for Montana’s open Congressional House seat.

The Tea People now holding sway in Helena proposed plenty of legislation to clean up after messy voters including:

But in conducting a search of the Indy’s news stories I never once came across language labeling Tea Party policies or politicians as people espousing a nanny-state.

I can understand why the Social Host Ordinance is the definition of government overreach to some people; the sanctity of one’s home and personal privacy are issues that people care deeply about and the image of Dave poking his fedora clad head into your house to check IDs  probably isn’t a pleasant one.  But at the same time, bar tenders are held responsible for serving minors alcohol… maybe people throwing house parties should be held responsible as well.

by jhwygirl

The last 500 typewriters ever manufactured are going up for sale by the last manufacturer of typewriters “at discounted prices.”

I hope desktop printing calculators aren’t next because I hate spreadsheets.

by lizard

Jim Harrison looks like he’s been carved from granite weathered by some serious storms. I was finally prodded into buying his most recent publication, In Search Of Small Gods after watching an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain (here’s a bit of the chat between Tony and Jim)

And here’s a double shot (first and last poem) from that book. Not a bad way to start this last week of April, right?. Enjoy. (note, the formatting of both poems has been slightly altered to fit the virtual page)



I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across
the lake in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.



Maybe the problem is that I got involved with the wrong
crowd of gods when I was seven. At first they weren’t
harmful and only showed themselves as fish, birds, especially
herons and loons, turtles, a bobcat and a small bear, but not
deer and rabbits who only offered themselves as food.
And maybe I spent too much time inside the water of lakes
and rivers. Underwater seemed like the safest church I could
go to. And sleeping outside that young might have seeped
too much dark into my brain and bones. It was not for me
to ever recover. The other day I found a quarter in
the driveway I lost at the Mecosta County Fair in 1947 and
missed out on five rides including the Ferris Wheel and the
Tilt-A-Whirl. I sat in anger for hours in the bull barn
mourning my lost quarter on which the entire tragic history
of earth is written. I looked up into the holes of the bulls’
massive noses and at the brass rings puncturing their noses
which allowed them to be led. It would have been an easier
life if I had allowed a ring in my nose, but so many years
later I still find the spore of the gods here and there but never
in the vicinity of quarters.

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