Missoula crowd rallies for right to medical marijuana

Shouts of protest filled the streets of downtown Missoula on Saturday as medical marijuana advocates, angered by the raids of cannabis facilities across Montana last week, rallied in support of their right to use marijuana for medical purposes.

“DEA, go away!”

It was a line repeated over and over as more than a hundred people wielding signs that read “No Plant Left Behind,” “We are not criminals” and “Feds Hands Off My Meds” marched from Caras Park to the Missoula County Courthouse and back. There were families, veterans, college students and medical marijuana caregivers. At times, a faint scent of marijuana drifted through the crowd.

Doug Chyatte, founder of Montanans for Responsible Legislation and one of the rally organizers, used a bullhorn to encourage people to “come out of the shadows and into the streets” – a message of standing up in support of medical marijuana.

The rally was in response to federal agents on Monday issuing 26 search warrants on medical marijuana shops and producers in a handful of cities across Montana, seizing cash and plants. The raids generated fear and anger in an industry that’s under the microscope of state lawmakers working to regulate the industry.

Montana legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2004, and the number of cannabis patients and providers soared after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo in 2009 stating that the prosecution of medical marijuana programs in states where it’s legal is not an effective use of the use of federal resources.

via : Missoulian

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