Posted: Sep 11, 2012 7:18 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Sep 12, 2012 1:06 PM
HELENA- The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a District Court decision which stopped implementation of certain parts of the Montana Marijuana Act.
In a 6 to 1 decision, the Justices ruled that District Court Judge Jim Reynolds applied the law incorrectly when he said the Montana Marijuana Act violates the rights of medical marijuana users.
This debate was spurred from the Montana Legislature's crack-down on the medical marijuana industry. The case looks at two parts of the law: the exchange of cash for marijuana, and the number of cardholders a provider can serve.
The current law says no cash can be exchanged and a provider can only give marijuana to three cardholders. Reynolds previously struck down these parts of the law and said that they violated the right to employment and the right to seek health.
Justice Michael Wheat addressed these rights in the court's decision.
"Although individuals have a fundamental right to pursue employment, they do not have a fundamental right to pursue a particular employment or employment free of state regulation," Wheat writes.
He also says the right to seek health does not, "give a patient a fundamental right to use any drug, regardless of its legality."
There is an initiative on the November ballot which asks the voters to reject the Montana Marijuana Act altogether.
Click here to read the full court ruling (PDF).