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How the Feds Cruelly Set Up Medical Marijuana Providers in Montana

The federal government abruptly steamrolled dozens of medical marijuana providers in Montana last March. Unlike their California counterparts, they received no warning.

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They are no less guilty under federal law than anyone else, but federal prosecutions are being very selective — for what seems to be political purposes — in who is targeted by DEA investigation and those resulting prosecutions.

This situation in Montana and elsewhere magnifies the counterproductive results of modern day prohibition and needs to end immediately. This is the sort of thing that weds "Occupy Wall Street" to the legions of Americans who know the so-called "war on drugs" has been a complete failure.

Today's prohibition effort repeats our history of alcohol prohibition in demonizing drug addiction and has enriched organized criminals while criminalizing average Americans seeking relief from pain and disease.

This all comes at tremendous cost to the treasury, with no impact in drug use or the problems it causes.

While I am personally a strong supporter of the Obama administration and Montana's U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter, I am confused and disappointed.

This administration has some serious explaining to do, not just to Montanans but to the voters in every medical marijuana state. Some of these states — like Michigan, Colorado, Washington and Oregon — are must-win states for Obama next year, and many of the other medical marijuana states feature federal Senate races of major significance, including Montana.

Why are taxpayers now paying to persecute Americans who merely responded honestly to campaign promises and policy pronouncements of our president on medical marijuana?


William Strizich, a former legislator from Great Falls, has been involved in the criminal justice system throughout his life.