Good old Montana, the state that provides such good copy for medical marijuana writers.
Over the past two days, the Montana Medical Grower’s Association have been holding their first annual symposium, with the aim of educating detractors and to putting straight some of the controversy surrounding medical weed. Folk came from miles around – even as far away as from California – to see what is going on in the Montana Medical Marijuana industry.
The grey areas have, of course, been highly publicized and it’s not only patients who are confused, Legislators are too. According to their website, the aim of the Growers’ Association is to:
-To provide a political voice specifically for medical growers in the state.
-Support Montana-based marijuana cultivation.
-Find ways to make our medicine better, safer, and more accessible to those who need it.
-Preserve the “one caregiver per patient” model as it currently stands under Montana Law, but find ways for caregivers to support each other to meet the needs of their patients.
-Help identify “best” (or perhaps “safest”) business practices for caregivers and patients who grow their own and make the information available to its members.
-Identify standards for Montana’s medical marijuana industry in terms of the quality and consistency of its products as a whole.
-Provide education to doctors, state agencies or other third parties on the practical dynamics of growing medicine for the ill.
-Support a framework for excellent patient-physician interraction.
-Act as an information resource for growers.
-Interact with law enforcement and other state agencies on behalf of growers.
-Identify vendors who are friendly to our cause and make them known to our members.
-Provide a meaningful context in which caregivers and patient-growers can interact and learn from one another.
-Help develop standards to reduce the risk of illegal use of medical marijuana products by those who are not authorized.
Marijuana is not running rampant in schools, said Growers Association Director, Jim Gingery, “There are only 44 kids under the age of 18 that have a license in the state, so not everyone is getting their cards in high school. It’s a misunderstanding and fear mongering by some who don’t understand it.”
Somebody who definitely knows the score is Irvin Rosenfeld, who travelled from Florida to support the cause. Rosenfeld, who is the longest-living federal cannabis patient, suffers from a rare condition that causes tumors to form on his long bones. If anybody is qualified to say whether medical weed works or not, it has to be Rosenfeld, who for the past 28 years, has received a parcel from the government every month containing 9 cured ounces of marijuana packed into 360 jointsgets his weed ready rolled and supplied in tins by the government, free of charge. Rosenfeld has been enrolled in an extremely limited (and quiet) federal marijuana program, which will be phased out once the last participant dies. Marijuana for this program has been grown and supplied the University of Mississippi. In his address to the meeting, he said, “Education is always needed because the Federal Government has done a really good job of making cannabis/marijuana out to be hysteria, and how bad it is and I’m living proof that it’s not”
We’ll leave the last word to Gingery, “We are an industry; it’s no longer just a thought or an idea, and its here.”