Lawyer Explains Medical Marijuana Case at Montana Supreme Court
This week, the Montana Supreme Court heard arguments over a case that will directly impact the state of the Montana Medical Marijuana Industry. Attorney James Goetz is representing that industry in court, and says that many of the abuses that occurred when Montana first legalized medical marijuana have been addressed
"The, so called, travelling caravans have been curbed, the doctors certifying, the medical board has clamped down on those. The system is actually working quite well, the number of card holders went down from over 30,000 to under 7,000. It is now around 12,000, but it is significantly fewer than before. I think the perceived abuses have been addressed."
Goetz says his focus in the Montana Supreme Court hearings is to end some of the “odd features” of a 2011 law that the state legislature passed to address abuses.
"Providers can only have three card holders to service, and they can't charge," Goetz said. "If you had a pharmacist for example, prescribing a pain killer, that couldn't charge, and then you're limited to only three customers... it would be the death of the pharmaceutical industry."
Goetz says that forces outside of Montana will likely impact the final decision. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but Goetz says that the current “hands-off approach” by the feds on Marijuana law enforcement has made the threat of a federal crackdown “an illusory elephant in the room.”