Basics of Montana's Law, Summarized
It is important for patients, caregivers and their families to review and understand Montana's full law. It contains numerous nuances and complexities, including problems and ?gray areas? that we outline elsewhere on this website. Improving the law is one of the key goals of Patients & Families United, and you can learn more about those goals by reading Our Mission.
The basics of Montana's law:
· Patients can register with the state health department, which allows them the legal right under state and local law to possess and use marijuana as medicine. Registration requires a signed recommendation from a Montana physician, and the law allows possession of up to 6 plants and 1 ounce of dried marijuana per patient. Registration is confidential and protected information. Local law enforcement may verify that a specified person is registered, but being a registered patient explicitly doesn?t by itself give law enforcement agencies justification to conduct any investigations or searches.
· Each registered patient may have 1 registered ?caregiver,? who also is allowed to possess up to 6 plants and 1 ounce of dried marijuana on that patient's behalf.
· Patients and caregivers must update their registration with the state health department on an annual basis.
· The law allows patients to possess and use medical marijuana in the privacy of their own homes and in other private-property locations. It doesn?t allow patients to use medical marijuana in public parks or other public settings, nor to use marijuana while driving. The only other location expressly forbidden under the law is ?in corrections facilities.? The law protects patients from being fired for using medical marijuana ? but the law doesn?t require employers to provide space nor to allow medicinal use at the workplace itself.
· Montana's law allows anyone ? whether formally registered with the state as a patient or not ? to use an ?affirmative? medical defense if needed in court.