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Supporters of a measure that would loosen state medical marijuana laws say many patients are being forced to illegally purchase medical marijuana on the black market.

Senate Bill 377 is aimed at amending the restrictions on distributing and qualifying for the drug put in place last session.

Democratic Sen. David Wanzenried of Missoula told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday the measure would put an end to the ongoing litigation over the restrictions passed in 2011.

The bill's opponents contend there is no medical use for marijuana and its proliferation creates safety issues for schools and children.

Montana Family Foundation President Jeff Lazsloffy says that Montanans didn't fully understand what they voted for on the 2004 initiative that allowed medical marijuana.

The committee didn't take immediate action on the measure.