Pot, Pills, and the Missoulian

by lizard

During the peak of our local media’s scare-mongering campaign against medical cannabis, I wrote posts like this criticizing how the Missoulian was negatively framing the issue with sensationalist stories. I also pointed out how eager the Missoulian was to report on anything Jason Christ did, including an in depth look in the pronunciation of Jason’s last name.

The use of cannabis to manage chronic pain was a point of contention in the debate that raged as Montana allowed property to be forfeited and lives destroyed by the “fusion” of Federal and local law enforcement.

The legislative backlash (partly a product of Montana legislators repeated inability to address the ambiguities in the law in a timely manner) was fueled by the rapid increase of caregivers and registered patients, many of whom claimed chronic pain as the reasons for seeking cannabis treatment.

Now that an entire industry was successfully attacked and reduced in scope, the Missoulian can print stories like this one: Pot for pets: Vets recommend medical marijuana for animals in pain.

LOS ANGELES – Until she introduced “magic cheese” to her sick and aging bulldog, Laura Bugni-Daniel watched him suffer for two years. He’d spend his days lying down or throwing up.

Today, at age 12, he plays like a puppy through the day, his fur is soft and he sleeps at night, soothed not by magic, but by the dose of marijuana in that cheese.

Bugni-Daniel, of Divide, is part of a growing movement to give medical marijuana to pets in pain. Many urge caution until there’s better science behind it. But stories abound about changes in sick and dying pets after they’ve been given cannabis – even though it isn’t a proven pain killer for man or mutt, and it’s an illicit drug under federal law despite being legal for people in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

The Missoulian recently focused on the state’s growing prescription pill crisis. Nationally, accidentally overdosing on pain killers has become the number one cause of accidental deaths, surpassing car accidents:

Car accidents are no longer the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. According to a recent report published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, this dubious distinction now belongs to drug poisoning. What’s at the root of this trend? A river of prescription painkillers.

Man, it sure would be nice if people had the option to treat chronic pain with medical cannabis instead of very dangerous opiates, because pain pills are killing lots of people.


  1. d.g.

    Our County Attorney recently extolled Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio’s “breaking” of the sexual crimes incidents at UM. I will forever remember Gwen as the person who profiled Jason Christ and, upon discovering that he had no meaningful (aka wealthy) friends in Missoula, proceeded to mock, demean and sarcastically make money on his eccentricity. Heard she’s soon to have a novel out. Can’t wait to read shallow characterizations once again.




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