Questions and Answers
Are you a nonprofit or a government agency?
SafeMontana is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. We are not part of any government agency.
Where does SafeMontana receive its funding?
We receive our funding from corporations, individuals and foundations, and seed capital from Steve Zabawa. We accept no funding or in-kind services from alcohol or tobacco companies. We accept donations from individuals like yourself.
Do you receive money from the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy or the State of Montana?
No. We do not presently at this time receive any form of government grants, nor taxpayer-funded monies, and we would be transparent if this policy ever changes for any reason.
Would you accept support from pharmaceutical companies?
Many analysts and industry insiders would presume the pharmaceutical industry has a civic duty, as well as a business incentive, to help prevent and treat the abuse of their products. By contributing to independent treatment and prevention programs, pharmaceutical companies may eschew public criticism. SafeMontana would accept support from pharmaceutical companies whose goal of reducing misuse and abuse of prescription drugs aligns with our mission of preventing and treating substance abuse problems. We recognize the value and utility of pharmaceutical companies, the immense value of their breakthrough research, and their contributions to the health and well-being of society.
What is your relation to the National Institute of Drug Abuse?
We feature NIDA materials on our Research Page. There is no formal affiliation, however, between SafeMontana and the NIDA and its parent, the National Institutes of Health, rather NIDA is a federal taxpayer-funded entity, and pursuant to 17 U.S. Code § 105, the information published by the NIDA maybe freely published, reproduced and disseminated in the public domain. SafeMontana believes that much scholarly research material is not readily accessible to laypersons, and through its activism it hopes to make materials on the harms of drug abuse, the benefits of treatment, and concerns about policy issues freely available to the Montana public and policymakers.
Do you support prescription drug monitoring programs?
Yes. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs a vital pillar of addressing the nation-wide problem of prescription drug abuse which has become epidemic in Montana and the throughout the United States. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's recommendation for PMPs throughout the United States, as well as a forum for collaboration between various state programs, would provide an effective means of combating drug diversion and medicinal drug abuse nationwide. We support state initiatives in Montana and other states to ensure such programs are funded and properly structured.
Do you support Good Samaritan laws?
Yes. Accidental drug overdoses is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Many of these deaths could arguably be prevented if the patient received medical care in a timely manner. As such, SafeMontana supports Good Samaritan laws that would encourage people to call 911 when someone is overdosing and indemnify them with limited legal immunity for minor drug law violations for those who call for help as well as the person who is overdosing. Drug abuse is certainly a societal-wide problem that needs to be addressed by policymakers and lawmakers alike, but Good Samaritan laws serve a vital purpose in ensuring the victims of substance abuse are properly treated should the need arise. The difference between having and not having Good Samaritan laws could be the difference between life and death for thousands of individuals annually.
What is your position on legalization of marijuana?
As people across the U.S. debate public policies on marijuana – be it for medicinal purposes or decriminalization for recreational purposes – our paramount concern is the health and well-being of our families, communities and especially our young people. The consensus is certainly changing. However, we believe that drug abuse is an important public health issue.
As such, we are NOT strictly opposed to the medicinalization of marijuana, rather we leave the issue as moot for policymakers, and believe if legalized in any form, it should be strictly regulated as a controlled substance, whether with scientifically-respectable criterion for the issuance of prescription to the logistics to the issue of patient possession and sanctions for abuse.
Too many issues and lives are at stake to ignore the fact that marijuana often cultivated for recreational use nowadays is available in far more potent strains, including GMO, that have harmful and adverse side effects, which may include loss / distortion of cognitive functioning, brain damage, myriad health problems, which in some cases may not be temporary, but a life changing trauma.
We are firmly committed to the notion that the use of marijuana or any substance in adolescence is an unhealthy behavior for minors, children and teens.
We also favor credible, scientific research from all quarters, public sector, private sector and non-profit, to ascertain whether any potential medical benefits of marijuana outweigh its risks, or vice versa. Significant health risks come with the manufacture and sale of medicine that has not been scientifically validated for efficacy and safety. If it is to be considered medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should test it to ensure its safety and efficacy as it does with all other medicine.
Paid for by SafeMontana Stephen A Zabawa, Treasurer PO BOX 20515 Billing MT 59104