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Montana man challenges 2011 medical marijuana law

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December 15, 2011

Jeff Essmann, who introduced S.B. 423 by request of the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee

HELENA, Montana: Jason Christ, a Missoula businessman, is challenging Montana's 2011 medical marijuana law. S.B. 423 , which became law on May 14, 2011 without the signature of Governor Brian Schweitzer, restricted the sale of medical marijuana in Montana.[1] The law repealed Montana's 2004 voter-passed law that allowed the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Christ helped Montanans sign up for medical marijuana cards prior to the passage of S.B. 423. He claims the law violates his constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, dignity and his right to pursue life's basic necessities.[2]

Montana voters will have the opportunity to reinstate the provisions of the 2004 medical marijuana initiative in 2012. By October 2011, Initiative Referendum-124 obtained enough signatures to appear on the 2012 statewide ballot. A spokeswoman for the IR-124 campaign stated, "This new program does not work. ... Montanans agree that patients with serious conditions should have access to medical marijuana and that government has no business interfering in medical decisions between those patients and their doctors."[3]

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