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Montana medical marijuana industry goes its own way

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: May 12 2013 09:11:44 PM MDT
Montana medical marijuana industry goes its own way
MISSOULA, Mont. -

After three years, more than 30 arrests and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment seized a massive federal investigation into Montana's medical marijuana industry ended last week.

Prosecutors wrapped up when the last of 33 convicted defendants were sentenced.

As voters in Colorado and Washington passed laws legalizing recreational pot use U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter defended the crack down on Montanans pot industry saying something had to be done.

Sunday evening we talked to one of those defendants, Chris Lindsey, who is also a legislative analyst; he says he feels the federal government is missing the whole point and now he says we're left with a market that's entirely unregulated

“The federal government really is missing the point that what they seem to perceive as a victory is really anything but. It was a zero sum gain and in fact it was worse because tax payers put out a lot of money for them to go do what they did,” said Lindsey.  “I'll bet you there isn't one person that actually stopped consuming marijuana -- it's just simply less regulated.”


Lindsey says the real industry, or the black market industry, is still chugging along regardless of what happens with Montana’s medical marijuana industry.  


“Has the industry, the real industry the black market industry slowed down? Of course not because people didn't stop consuming marijuana, people didn't stop producing marijuana, now it's just entirely unregulated,” said Lindsey.  “If he wants to call that a victory, that's not what I call a victory.”

A new poll released found that 52 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal.

Cotter says he believes he is on the right side of history regardless of what is happening in the country.