The Medical Marijuana community in Montana may face some very harsh push back if Bill 33 is put into law. The bill will basically make it illegal for anyone with a "dangerous" drug in their system to drive a vehicle.

Dan Boyce - KBZK.COM

ken peterson

One, House Bill 33, is facing stark opposition from the medical marijuana community.

The language of the bill reads:

"It is unlawful and punishable...for any person to drive...while there is any dangerous drug in the person's body."

Prescription drugs are exempt from the bill. But Executive Director of the Montana Medical Growers Association Jim Gingery says medical marijuana is recommended rather than prescribed. So it fits this definition of dangerous drug.

"(The bill) would mean that any medical cannabis patient in the state would not be able to drive, ever," Gingery said.

Gingery says cannabis remains in someone's system for almost a month. Yet he says the impairing side affects of marijuana wear off in a few hours after use.

Gingery admits that the use of Marijuana, medical or not, has impairing side effects but they wear off quite quickly. Where my concern lies is that most people I've talked to do bot believe Marijuana affects their driving or not as much as alcohol would. I don't like the idea of anyone being under any substance while driving whether it is Marijuana, alcohol, or prescription drugs. But how can we deter drivers from stepping into their car without enforcing some sort of penalty? Should prescription drugs be included in this bill as well?

I don't like the idea of our lobbyists attacking certain groups of people with their laws. It's almost as if they are saying they want to ticket people who drive hybrids on the road differently than drivers of diesel. One could easily argue that larger cars cause more damage in crashes than smaller cars but that doesn't ever seem to be taken into consideration when giving out speeding tickets or DUI's.

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