Medical Marijuana and the GOP: A Symbol of a Failed Session


While the GOP “leadership” at the Montana Legislature will no doubt blame their poor grades from Montana voters on the EVIL, LIBERAL, GODLESS media and its decision to cover their actual bills and speeches, it’s becoming clear that Montana voters are seeing exactly what you get when you elect a batch of uninformed, unprepared, often bigoted, ideologues to the People’s House: the worst legislative session in decades, if not longer. The Republicans can scream that they are creating jobs until they are hoarse, but their obsessive focus on an extremist agenda Montanans don’t support has turned this session into an almost complete waste of time, other than as an object lesson in why we shouldn’t vote these people in again. [pullquote]Wouldn’t those hours spent debating UN membership, unconstitutional federal nullification, a personhood amendment, the gold standard, concealed weapons in bars and banks, denying basic rights to our GLBT brothers and sisters, and all those other terrible bills have been better spent crafting a solution to the medical marijuana issue?[/pullquote]

No issue better exemplifies this failure than medical marijuana.

Going in to the session, the Republicans had a mandate to reform medical marijuana laws. Even supporters of the law, people who had voted for it, were concerned about the abuses being perpetrated by “entrepreneurs” like Jason Crist and his kind. Far too many people were getting medical marijuana cards for spurious reasons, making a mockery of federal and state laws designed to control the use of the drug.

Montanans, who aren’t ready for full legalization or even decriminalization across the state, would have absolutely supported sensible regulation and stricter controls over the sale and distribution of cannabis. It would have been smart politics, sensible policymaking, and potentially even a way for the state to generate some desperately needed revenue.

But governing is hard. Legislating is hard. Because grandstanding for partisans and performing for the press is easier, that’s just what the Republicans at the Legislature did. We heard them cry out about imaginary drug cartels, organized crime, and teen prostitution. What we didn’t hear were solutions.

So, now, with the session coming towards a close, they’re considering HB 175, which would turn the decision back to voters. Rather than fixing the legislation (the task of the Legislature), this decision would put Montana voters in an untenable position: either criminalize the behavior of thousands of sick Montanans or continue a legal regime ripe for abuse.

The ballot box isn’t the place to legislate and refine laws; that should have happened in the big building a few blocks away. The Republicans have failed to do their jobs—and as concerned as they are about the Constitution, it’s hard to understand how they don’t realize what they are supposed to be doing.

Wouldn’t those hours spent debating UN membership, unconstitutional federal nullification, a personhood amendment, the gold standard, concealed weapons in bars and banks, denying basic rights to our GLBT brothers and sisters, and all those other terrible bills have been better spent crafting a solution to the medical marijuana issue? Writing a sensible, fact-based budget? Funding schools on something other than assumptions?

Medical marijuana is just a symbol of this session’s failure. Whether it has been an obsessive focus on extremism or just basic lack of understanding about the function of government, the Republican legislature has failed to do its job. While they will cash their paychecks, collect their laptops and health insurance, we’re left holding the bills—and the broken policies they leave behind.

If you appreciate our efforts to hold Montana Republicans accountable and the independent journalism here at The Montana Post, please consider supporting our work with a small pledge.
Join a discussion of this (and all of our post) at our Facebook community page.

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.


Click here to post a comment
  • I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific situation plus it really does present me personally some fodder for thought. Nevertheless, from what I have observed, I just simply trust when the actual reviews stack on that folks continue to be on issue and don’t get started on a soap box regarding the news du jour. All the same, thank you for this superb point and even though I can not really concur with it in totality, I value the standpoint.

  • І would likе to thank yоu for the еffоrts yоu have рut in writіng thіѕ blog. ӏ am hoрing the same high-gradе blоg poѕt from you іn the future too. Actually your сreаtive writing skills has inѕріrеԁ mе tо get my own webѕite going now. Really blоgging is spreading its wings and growing fаѕt. Үоuг wrіte uр is a gоoԁ eхаmple.

  • I do not know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your site. It appears like some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Cheers

  • It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  • I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  • Together with almost everything which appears to be developing throughout this area, all your opinions are relatively exciting. Nevertheless, I beg your pardon, but I can not subscribe to your entire suggestion, all be it radical none the less. It would seem to everybody that your commentary are generally not totally validated and in simple fact you are generally your self not even entirely certain of your argument. In any case I did enjoy reading it.

  • Needed to compose you this bit of remark in order to say thank you the moment again with your great suggestions you have discussed above. It was certainly tremendously open-handed of you in giving publicly what exactly a number of people could possibly have sold as an electronic book to get some money for their own end, principally considering that you might well have tried it in case you decided. These pointers likewise worked as a great way to know that some people have similar dream the same as my very own to learn more and more concerning this issue. I am certain there are a lot more pleasant occasions up front for individuals who looked at your website.

  • I kinda admire Cavic as a villain. He is, regardless of the suit he wears, an amazing swimmer who separates himself from all but a select group of athletes. People should not hate on Cavic for hyping up this event. Anyone who knows of this rivalry is anxious about the final. As for phelps, I am a fan but I’m frustrated that he won’t accept Cavic’s offer to wear a jaked. What I want is an even race. Whoever takes the win, I’m happy.

  • Took me time for it to have the ability to recognize all of the comments, however I genuinely appreciated this write-up. This turned out to be Invaluable to my opinion and I’m certain that to every person this commenters below! It is undoubtedly great each time a specific person are unable to just learn, but furthermore interested! I’m certain you needed enjoyment penning this type of write-up.

  • I am only commenting to let you be aware of what a extraordinary experience my friend’s girl found checking your web page. She learned a good number of details, including what it is like to possess an amazing helping character to have others very easily know precisely selected hard to do subject matter. You truly surpassed visitors’ expectations. Thanks for displaying such warm and helpful, dependable, revealing as well as unique tips on this topic to Lizeth.

  • Hey very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • This is the proper weblog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so significantly its almost hard to argue with you (not that I in fact would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just fantastic!

  • I am usually to blogging and i genuinely appreciate your internet site content. This content material has truly peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your internet web site and keep checking choosing information.

  • I have enjoyed looking around your website and reading various posts. Medical Marijuana and the GOP: A Symbol of a Failed Session is a well written piece about a very interesting issue. I look forward to your planned updates.

  • Thanks for another informative blog. Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I’ve a mission that I am just now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

  • My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This submit truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

/* ]]> */