To All the Montana Legislators That Voted In Favor of SB432 Medical Marijuana Reform Repeal

by jhwygirl

Dear Montana Legislators that voted for SB423:

You should be utterly embarassed by the court’s assessment of your ability to grasp the very documents you were sworn to uphold when you swore your oath of office. I’m talking about the U.S. Constitution and the Montana Constitution.

Frankly – this bodes quite well for progressive tree-hugging dirty hippies like me, given my own assessment of many of the bills that were passed.

…but I digress…..

District Judge James P. Reynolds hit ya’all on a whole list of things. I’ll just name a few:

1.) First Amendment, U.S. Constutition (right to free speech)

2.) Article II, section 7, Montana Constitution (right to free speech)

3.) Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution (the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure)

4.) Article II, section 11, Montana Constitution (“the people shall be…secure from unreasonable searches and seizures)

5.) Article II, section 3, Montana Constitution (“the opportunity to pursue employment…is itself a fundamental right”)

6.) Article II, section 10, Montana Constitution (right to personal privacy)

Boy – that’s quite a laundry list of constitutional rights violated by a majority of both the Senate and the House

What you’ll hear from them – or some of them – will be that “we had to do something!” and “if I didn’t do that, they’d of repealed it!”

Hmph. It was one thing to participate in the shit scramble party to write something up – it was an entirely different thing to vote for it.

Shame on you all. Each and every one of you.

Voters will hopefully remember this, as those lists of legislators that vote for this bill that many many people had said was unconstitutional and violated basic rights didn’t have any concern for rights. All they were thinking of was political expediency and gain.

If they’ll violate these rights – and really, do we really have to school a Republican-controlled legislature on the basic rights of a person’s ability to make a living? To speak and advertise? To be protected from unreasonable search and seizure?

Obviously we do. I say we school them out of office.

(Thank you to the Missoulian for reporting the story and posting the judge’s injuction.)


  1. we pretty much know that esseman and those completely out of touch ultra right wing republican old farts in the legislature couldn’t write good law if their lives depended on it. but i heard that some missoulian legislators actually voted for this piece of garbage.

    when you sacrifice principles like liberty and compassion for political expediency you deserve what you get in the next election.

    • Yep. that’s why I linked to the vote.

      I had to write this, pb…sorry about multi-posting on the heels of your post.

      I had too much of a rant that I had to get out. This lawbreaking unconstitutional stuff really pisses me off.

      This injunction is just an injunction, but that kind of list is no minor mistake.

      Not only that – the Attorney General’s office isn’t even debating some of the points the judge has already laid out on unconstitutionality.

      I want to know how much this has cost the state so far in staff and contract time. In paper.

      Someone needs to ask.

      • diane sands is certainly on my shit list now. and she represents my district.

        wth was she thinking?

        this seems to be at the very least curious doesn’t it?

        diane wants the feds out of the pot raiding business and yet she votes for an oppressive bill like senate bill 423 in the legislature. what am i missing here?

        • “what was she thinking?”

          So much to say about that. Was she? And if she was, how – like you said – did she vote for it?

          If she wasn’t thinking…well, I needn’t say anything more on that.

          Here’s another situation where some real media folk should force something more than a 2 sentence soundbite out of her.

          Missoulians, especially, should be asking this question of her – Missoula County decriminalized pot, didn’t it?

        • Larry Jent of Bozeman is another Democrat on that list. He’s also on the list to run for Governor.

          Larry not only participated in the writing of the bill and voted for it (like Sands), he was part of the group of select legislators on the Senate Judiciary and state people (law enforcement) that orchestrated a crescendo of a vote on HB161, a bill by Mike Milburn to repeal the citizen’s initiated medical marijuana law.

          Their vote to kill medical marijuana occurred just as Montana’s medical marijuana providers were being raided across the state by the feds, and in coordination with our own state and local law enforcement.

          In a 6-6 vote, that bill died in committee. Jent voted for that bill.

          As for Diane? I really would like to hear why…but perhaps she was running interference. Maybe some of this key stuff being struck down is her brainpuppy….the whole frigging thing (SB423) was pretty much done in conference committee….there isn’t a stitch of minutes or tape or video out there on it.

          Which seems to me to be a violation of the public’s right to know and Montana open meeting laws , no?

  2. it’s not like the repugs needed her vote to shoot themselves in the foot. they had plenty of votes to waste here. plenty without her vote to override a veto by brian if he had been brave enough to attempt it. what was her reasoning?

    and when you see her travelling to washington (i applaud this move by the way) to push for feds allowing states to run medical marijuana laws as they see fit without interference, it just seems pretty contradictory to vote for a senseless and unconstitutional law by this past year’s petty little bunch of tea partiers and go against the will of her own constituents not to mention the super majority of montanans who voted for medical marijuana initiative in 2004.

    • Kirsten

      Speaking of Tea Partiers, is there a list anywhere of Montana state level politicians affiliated with Tea Party organizations? It would be interesting to match up who voted for these unconstitutional provisions with who is Tea Party affiliated. If I someone can point me to a list, I’ll be happy to do that.

      • seems like a worthy thing to research kirsten. i have often wondered why a progressive bear with libertarian streaks is far more protective of our liberties than so called conservatives.

        the tea party seems to be especially prone to embrace fascist laws to force their agenda on a free people without regard for the principles of freedom and liberty which made this nation great.

        they are all against taxation and supposedly tell us they want less government, yet they espouse laws which limit a woman’s right to choose and deny free commerce to supply a medicine needed by many.

        the freedoms that the tea party talks about seem more like the freedom to impose your will on the individual rights of others.

        i doubt if such a list exists though. the tea party in montana is run by operatives like jake eaton
        http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/IndyBlog/archives/2010/10/26/gop-resurrects-jake-eaton
        who slither like snakes and know how to advise their minions how to operate covertly. after all, mr eaton has been paid to run these astro turf tea party groups for quite awhile by koch brother supported umbrella groups.

        for real insight google jake eaton in wisconsin.

  3. Larry – in a comment to the previous article – linked to a letter from the Obama administration to the New Jersey Attorney General. On the same day (today) The Department of Justice sent out a memo Wednesday instructing the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and leading officials in the U.S. Attorneys Office to treat medical marijuana shops as top priorities for prosecutors and drug investigators.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/30/white-house-overrides-2009-mem

    So what the hell is the real story? The medical marijuana suppliers are rejoicing in the wake of the judge’s decision here in Montana but are they setting themselves up for more Federal Raids if they open their doors again? What the hell gives here?

    • Me, Moorcat? My read is that there is no one to sue except states and the feds when cannabis comes off the Schedule I list. You can bet that torts will follow legalization that will seek damages if someone causing an accident is found to be under the influence.

      (Blackbirds: your feed seems to be on the fritz.)

      • Remember Alan Hale’s speech to the legislature? He pays plenty in insurance if one of his staff over serves someone who then goes out and T-bones somebody. I can walk to his bar in Basin so it doesn’t apply to me necessarily.

        Same deal. Cannabis distributors should be able to meet fiduciary and insurance requirements just like brew pubs do.

        • Are pharmacies liable for the actions of their clients after they pick up their medication? Most cannabis distributors aren’t present when the patient medicates. That seems unreasonable.

          • If an impaired driver without insurance plows into somebody else, you can bet that the plaintiff’s lawyer will come after the pharmacist.

            • I can’t imagine that is the case under ordinary circumstances where the prescription was legally prescribed and legally dispensed with appropriate instructions and warning labels. Unfortunately, no law requires pharmacists to check for drug interactions with prescriptions that are outside of their pharmacy…and I don’t even think they are required to check for those at all, though many do due to many patients having multiple doctors writing prescriptions.

              • Exactly. No mechanism exists. Home growers should look like home brewers and wine makers. Sell it and the rules change.

              • Steve W

                Larry, have you grown cannabis? I ask you this to see if you are familiar with what it takes to actually grow it successfully to maturity.

                You would know that someone with ailments or in any number of situations can’t grow their own medicine.

                A mechanism has existed quite successfully in the state of Montana since 1994. People who needed access to medical cannabis got it safely and fairly economically.

                Then the Repos in the legislature decide to mess it up for the people of Montana.

                We will gather enough signatures to get the peoples law back until 2012 and beyond.

  4. We are prepared for more raids. This administration is currently on track to double the total number of raids under the Bush administration, in only four years. Shame on both administrations, but at least Bush didn’t ever tell us he was going to stop raiding marijuana facilities in medical marijuana states.

    Thanks to jhwygirl and problembear for your posts on this subject. I feel like it is all I write about anymore.

    I have a good idea of why Sands did what she did…. she was pouting.

    • That’s the sad part montanafesto – no matter what kind of medical marijuana legislation the legislators, or through a citizens initiative pass, I don’t see anybody jumping to get into being a caregiver when they have to wonder on a daily basis when the Obama Regime will swoop down and ruin their lives.

      The permanent fix is a bill like Ron Paul proposed – to leave it up to the states to decide, and take the feds out of it.

      • Steve W

        Eric, there were lots of caregivers before today. Now there are none. That had zero to do with the Feds and everything to do with our Repo dominated legislature.

  5. yo kina zu

    Well, montanafesto calls the repealers the “God Squad”, but republicans deserve the scorn of the judge for their passing a law that was so unconstitutional. How in the world can an American sign off on warrantless searches (many legislators voted for 24 hour unannounced warrantless searches of sick people’s homes)

    But good of you to call your side of the aisle out, too. On the “hell no, side” Franke Wilmer kept it all in perspective as did Dave Wanzanreid. I’m not sure which republicans remembered to stand up for citizens’ rights but maybe someone here does.

  6. yo kina zu

    And I just don’t have words for the President as he follows the footsteps of John Ashcroft. Will he be covering the breasts of statutes, next?

  7. As I said to jhwygirl last night, I think this is good news. But we have to remember that it’s only a “temporary” injunction. And regardless of the strong language in the judge’s order it still has some pretty steep hills to climb to become permanent. The advice I offer up here is guarded optimism as one should never underestimate the ability of the government – including the courts – to fuck things up.

    It’s prudent to wait a bit before doing an end-zone dance.

    • Steve W

      The dancing will occur when we have completely blocked SB423 by gathering enough signatures to get it suspended until the people can vote on it in November of 2012.

      I expect that will occur before the Summer ends and the Autumn begins

      The courts ruling, while helpful, is just the beginning.

  8. And if someone over there would like to fix my fucked-up html in the last comment, that would be great. Sorry.

  1. 1 Montana Media Realize Medical Marijuana Still Exists | Reptile Dysfunction

    […] Republicans did mostly get their way in destroying the industry, but in order to do so they had to pass legislation that violated all kinds of constitutional rights, which jhwygirl wrote about in this post in 2011. […]




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