Montana Politics

More Reasoned Discourse on Medical Marijuana from Mike Milburn

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While no deadly blow darts were hurled during the press conference, Speaker of the House Mike Milburn certainly beat the hell out of the truth when talking about medical marijuana in Montana yesterday.

Apparently, the newspapers have missed entire neighborhoods in the state turning into areas in which episodes of The Wire could have been filmed:

Milburn said Montana now is confronted with “an out-of-control organized drug trade” involving organized crime.
“We’re talking about infiltrating into the schools, into the neighborhoods, taking down whole neighborhoods,” Milburn said. “That’s what we’re talking about now. So we’re talking about a totally different issue than what the people voted in.”

And Montana’s high school age population is either much smaller than I realized or Speaker Milburn is worse at math than James Knox is at paying his employees:

At the GOP press conference, Peterson asked if Montanans want one-third of high school kids with medical-marijuana cards.
Official state statistics show that 51 people under age 18 have been issued medical marijuana cards as of Feb. 1, or 0.18 percent of the 28,362 people with cards.

There’s certainly a debate to be had about the status of medicinal marijuana in Montana. Perhaps the law needs revision or simply better enforcement. When my high school debate class offers more reasoned discussion and accurate statistics than the Speaker of the Montana House, though, that debate certainly isn’t going to happen in the Legislature.

It’s fine that Speaker Milburn believes that the medical marijuana law isn’t working. It’s fine that he believes that Montana voters were wrong. It’s not fine, though, for him to rely on hyperbolic histrionics (read: lies) to make his point.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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