Warning Label Rejected For Montana Medical Marijuana

Montana legislators in the state House have rejected a bill requiring warning labels on medical marijuana.

House Bill 389, sponsored by Rep. Pat Noonan (D-Ramsay), fell by only one vote, 50-49.

Noonan’s bill would have required medical marijuana labels to include this language, in at least 14-point type, in all capital letters: “WARNING: IN SOME INSTANCES, MARIJUANA MAY TRIGGER ACUTE PSYCHOSIS OR SYMPTOMS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA AND OTHER MENTAL ILLNESSES.”

Caregivers who sold medical marijuana to patients could have faced a $500 civil penalty for failing to attach the warning labels.

Noonan called the warning labels “a good thing.” He told the Billings Gazette Friday that he was asked to introduce the bill by the Montana Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) opposed the bill, but not because he doesn’t think marijuana is dangerous. He was against it because he claimed it “legitimizes” what he considers an illegal substance — despite the fact that 62 percent of Montana voters approved medical marijuana seven years ago.

The “Reefer Madness” notion that marijuana leads to psychosis, as represented by the Montana warning labels which which were one vote away from being approved, has a major problem: widespread cannabis use by the public has not been followed by a proportional rise in diagnoses of schizophrenia or psychosis, according to the findings of a 2009 study published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.

The authors concluded that an expected rise in diagnoses of schizophrenia and psychoses did not occur in the decade under study.

Schizophrenia rates are similar across decades and from country to country: about 0.5 percent in any given population. Rates of cannabis use, on the other hand, have skyrocketed since the 1960s. In the United States, 41 percent of adults have used marijuana at some point in their lives; 10.3 percent have used in the past year, and 6.1 percent have used pot in the last month — yet schizophrenia rates remain unchanged.

The results of another clinical trial, also published in 2009, indicate that the use of marijuana does not affect brain chemistry in a way that is consistent with the development of schizophrenia.

Steve Elliott is editor of Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media’s site of cannabis news, views, rumor, and humor. He’s willing to take his chances.


7 Responses to Warning Label Rejected For Montana Medical Marijuana

  1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Leonard Krivitsky, MD
    March 6, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Cannabis prohibition is doomed to failure, as it is based on a series of total “un-realities”, which no amount of repression can make “real”. Cannabis is NOT physically addictive as it lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, the so-called “gateway drug theory discredited as invalid, much touted by the DEA drug Marinol is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis, smoking Cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer, and cannabis use suppresses violent behavior. These are REALITIES! To further say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional and is a complete “break” with “reality”. If anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies were to be intensified, the rate of alcohol, cocaine, opiates, other hard drugs, alcohol, and dangerous prescription drugs would increase sharply. Neither the DEA, not its minions can make people perceive Cannabis as “unsafe”, where is in reality it is quite safe, much safer than alcohol and other alternatives. With the rise of the use of alcohol/hard drugs, the amount of violence and mayhem in this society will also rise, something that every mother and wife should consider. In these hard economic times our so-called “representatives” do not even dare talking about cutting the bloated DEA budget, especially its so-called “marijuana” enforcement, while they are willing to discuss cutting everything else. This is because the DEA and its minions are very good with attaching labels, and no one wants to risk being “labeled” as “soft on drugs”! The employment drug tests have a potential of “screening out” “Picassos”, and Lady GaGa’s, and Willie Nelsons, but letting people like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson slip through (if the employers are “lucky”). And to say that Cannabis Plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional! Cannabis prohibition, as based on glaring scientific and philosophical “un-realities” and can never succeed in the long run!

  2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Mr. 505 Advocate
    March 6, 2011 at 7:41 am



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  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Casey
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    If there is someone out there that thinks putting a stupid label on Marijuana is going to change peoples mind about it they have another thing comein, i mean how much of a simpleton do you have to be, there are much bigger issues at hand in America, stuff like this just crowds the airwaves from people getting to the root of our countries problems…give me a break. Junk Removal Atlanta

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