Medical-marijuana cards are carried by 1.25 percent of the general population in Montana but about 9 percent of parolees in the state, the Helena Air reported May 31.
The data from the Montana Department of Corrections led deputy Missoula County attorney Andrew W. Paul and others to say that the medical-marijuana program is being abused.
“It's a ridiculously large amount,” said Paul. “I'm all for the cancer patient who is wasting away who needs it. That was how this initiative was sold. To call it medicine for 80 percent of the people with cards is just a farce.”
Just 176 medical-marijuana cards were issued in the first year after Montana's 2004 law went into effect. The number of cardholders didn't hit 1,000 until June 2008, but now there are more than 15,000.