Money Drying Up In Marijuana Suit
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Advocates suing for the repeal of the restrictive medical marijuana law passed by Montana legislators last year said that donations must get raised to continue with their lawsuit. According to Montana Cannabis Industry Association president, the organization has no plans to drop the case and they have enough money to observe it through a
Supreme Court hearing later this month. However, the advocacy needs huge support from medical marijuana suppliers.
The association wanted to emphasize to the folks benefiting from the lawsuit that there is no free lunch and those who remain will be provided with their full support. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association is ready to challenge the 2011 marijuana legalization issues that prohibit the commercial sale of medical marijuana. The law has also made it tougher to register as a user and imposed more regulations over doctors who recommend patients for the state registry. The restriction was passed by the Republican-led Legislature after Gov. Brian Schweitzer banned an outright repeal of the 2004 voter-approved medical marijuana cannabis law. Supporters of the new law are of the opinion that it was meant to rein in an out-of-control industry. Meanwhile, a state judge has blocked portions of the law from taking effect that include the ban on profits from marijuana sales. However, the Montana Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on that injunction on May 30.
The MTCIA has posted a notice recently on its website saying that the organization can’t continue with the lawsuit at the rate that donations are flowing in. The organization has already spent about $150,000 and the cost of keeping the suit going could run another $100,000, which would be tough for them. The MTCIA president further said that the notice was meant to instill a sense of urgency in the medical marijuana cannabis suppliers in the state. Since spring 2011, the number of registered medical marijuana providers in Montana has dropped by 91 percent with the new law combined with a federal crackdown on providers resulting in many shops closing their doors. According to the report of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service the total number of registered medical marijuana providers has dropped from 4,848 to 414 recently. The organization’s focus on the lawsuit means that it won’t be active in publicizing a referendum asking voters to repeal the marijuana cannabis law. Along with the advocacy group, there is another sponsor, ‘Patients for Reform-Not Repeal’ which is expected to lead the referendum campaign.