It seems like every day we read about new medical cannabis business owners face serious federal charges. So it’s particularly timely that a new documentary film, “Code of the West” — telling the emotional story of out state’s medical cannabis political debate — will screen in four Montana communities this month. Here’s the trailer:
“Code of the West” documents the infamous imbeciles of the 2011 Montana Legislature as they debate cannabis regulation and repeal of the Medical Marijuana Act that Montana voters passed with a citizens initiative in 2004. It follows key figures on each side of the debate, including Tom Daubert — longtime lobbyist for environmental and public health-related issues including medical cannabis, who recently reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors after his former business Montana Cannabis was raided by federal agents in March 2011.
On the other side of the Montana debate, the documentary follows advocates of the medical marijuana repeal effort, including Cherrie Brady of Safe Communities Safe Kids and disgraced Montana Speaker of the House Mike Milburn(R) HD 19 Cascade, who sponsored the bill to repeal the medical cannabis initiative and make all marijuana use again a crime. Speaker Milburn will participate in the film’s panel discussion in Helena on Thursday, May 17, at the Myrna Loy Center, and Cherrie Brady will sit on the Billings post-screening panel. Milburn was term limited in the House but decided not to run for the senate (for obvious reasons) after he presided over the massive disaster that was the 2011 Legislature.
Opponents of the new law, SB 423, have collected more than enough signatures to put a Montana Medical Cannabis Referendum on the November 6, 2012, ballot. If passed, the measure would repeal SB 423. During the 2011 session the Governor called SB 423 “unconstitutional on its face,” and issued an amendatory veto to fix the parts he considered legally defective. The legislature rejected his changes.
Also, the Montana Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on May 30 for Montana Cannabis Industry Association v. the State of Montana, a suit that is appealing portions of state District Judge James Reynolds’ ruling on June 30, 2011. That ruling blocked portions of SB 423 from taking effect. The state of Montana is required by law to defend SB 423.
Screenings and post-screening panel discussions with high-profile figures from both sides of the political debate are to be held in Missoula, Bozeman, Helena and Billings the weeks of May 13 and 20. “Code of the West” screening times, trailer, ticket information, discussion panelists and Facebook event links are available at http://www.codeofthewestfilm.