Washington, Oregon and Colorado are getting the lions share of attention in the legalization effort in the upcoming election. That’s because those three states are considering actual re-legalization (although they call it legalization; let’s forgive em’). Other states have marijuana issues on the ballot as well. Let’s check in with Montana.
Medical marijuana: Initiative Referendum 124 will appear on Nov. 6 ballot. Voters will decide whether to keep the more restrictive medical marijuana law passed by the 2011 Legislature or reject it and go back to the voter-approved 2004 initiative that legalized the use of marijuana for some medical purposes.
Republican majorities passed the more stringent law, Senate Bill 423, in response to skyrocketing numbers of people obtaining medical marijuana cards, large wholesale growing operations and storefront dispensaries that sprung up in some cities. Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer let it take law without his signature. Medical marijuana advocates criticized the law as overly harsh.
After the Legislature passed the new law, medical marijuana advocates collected more than 35,000 signatures to put it on the ballot as a referendum. Montanans will vote for Initiative Referendum 124 if they want to keep the 2011 law and against it if they choose to reject the law and go back to the 2004 initiative. SB423 repealed the initiative.
Poll results showed 44 percent are for IR-124, to keep the 2011 law, while 31 percent are against, with 25 percent undecided.
Broken down by gender, the poll showed 46 percent of men favor IR-124, while 37 percent oppose it, with 17 percent undecided. Among women, 42 percent back IR-124, with 25 percent opposing it and 33 percent undecided.
By political party, Republicans back IR-124 by 52 percent to 31 percent, with 17 percent undecided. Democrats were split, 33 percent to 32 percent, with 35 percent undecided. Independents favored IR-124 by 46 percent to 31 percent, with 23 percent undecided.
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When I found this column in the Missoulian, the newspapers logo was along side a large-print weather report. The forecast was “Haze.” The banner headline on the site read Missoulian Haze.
I followed that omen to this story. The original source is HERE.
[images: Google images Montana; logo and weather Missoulian.com]
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