The three books I travel with if I'm going to be working and temporarily living in a location are Out of Control by Kevin Kelly, The Structure of ScientificRevolution by Thomas Kuhn, and Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows.
How systems work, how to build them, and how things change - dynamics that are relevant to anything I'm working on, any task before me.
Right now, that location is the capital of Montana where I'm lobbying a slate of provisions to further develop the medical marijuana regulatory statute. The goal is to move the program/system towards being Transparent, Contained, Safe, and Functional. As part of the team that authored and passed in November the citizens' initiative laying down the foundation of a medical marijuana regulatory system, we are now looking to build upon this foundation. The initiative created licenses and mandatory inspections for medical marijuana providers in Montana and allowed the cannabis testing labs to re-open. The initiative also made PTSD an allowable condition for a medical marijuana referral. The initiative generated this foundation for regulation while restoring access in Montana which was lost by a court decision in February 2016 that went into effect September 30, 2016. The program was all but shut down until the initiative passed in November.
The initiative was the foundation. The basics. During the 2017 Legislative Session, we will forward the next layer of provisions in order to develop Montana's medical marijuana regulatory rubric, including tracking systems, shifting to the canopy-model for production management, defining concentrates, residency requirements, and mandatory testing once a standardized, available, affordable testing network is in place.
This will be my 13th legislative session as a lobbyist. I am proud to be lobbying in 2017 for one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and serving as Lobbyist and Government Relations for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA).
Regulatory statutes create systems. The functioning of the legislature itself is a system. There are nodes and hubs, islands, feedback loops, and both static and dynamic variables. There are goals, players, and rules - basics in all complex adaptive ("living") systems. I believe taking a systems approach to both to building regulatory models and politics is like learning about electricity, and not just how to fix the toaster.