Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Montana Caregivers Network founder arrested

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Jason Christ, the controversial medical marijuana advocate and founder of Montana Caregivers Network (MCN), was arrested in Missoula late Monday afternoon and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.

Jason Christ, Montana Caregivers Network
  • Jason Christ, Montana Caregivers Network
"The incident that occurred was about marijuana," says Missoula Police Sgt. Bob Bouchee, "but his charges were not related to marijuana, if that makes sense.”

Christ declined to comment, and Chris Arneson, a public relations officer with MCN, declined to give further details surrounding the incident.

“Because it’s on ongoing legal issue I really can’t talk too much about it," Arneson says. "What I can tell you is it was a personal misunderstanding and had nothing to do with Montana Caregivers Network. We believe the charges are frivolous and hope they will be dropped soon.”

Through Missoula-based MCN Christ has likely done more to enroll patients in Montana's medical marijuana program than anyone else. Over the past year the group has organized dozens of medical marijuana clinics throughout the state, with doctors sometimes recommending medical marijuana to more than a 1,000 patients in a single day. But some say the approach has done more to hurt the state's medical marijuana industry than help it.

"For all the flaws in the law, the biggest single problem has been Mr. Christ's exploitation of its vagueness and loopholes," Tom Daubert, founder of Patients and Families United, has said.

The group announced last week that it's shutting down the traveling medical marijuana clinics amid the criticism. Some of the pressure has come from the Montana Board of Medical Examiners, which in May disciplined MCN doctor Patricia Cole, of Whitefish, for failing to maintain the state's standards of care while seeing 151 patients in one day during a MCN clinic last October.

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