|Medical Marijuana patients protest in Montana|
The new rules will be implemented for everyone on July 1, but the state has granted the Health Department emergency powers to issue cards under the new rules.
Montana's new program will be one of the strictest in the nation and will set forth new guidelines for patients using marijuana for Chronic Pain, the most common reason medical marijuana cards are issued. Under the new law, patients will have to provide proof that they suffer from chronic pain, such as an x-ray, or they will have to have two different physicians agree on the diagnosis.
The new law also sets up strict rules for cultivation and will essentially do away with the state's dispensary system. Starting July 1 marijuana can no longer be sold and caregivers must be volunteers who provide marijuana to no more than three patients. Caregivers also must register with the Health Department, be fingerprinted and submit to a background check.
The new rules will severely limit access to medical marijuana for the state's 30,000 patients, but some Montana residents aren't taking the changes sitting down. and have already staged protests and have filed a petition to have Judge Kathy Seeley removed and replaced with another judge during the process of appealing the overhaul bill SB423.