Medical marijuana on the ballot in Montana

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October 31, 2012

Montana

By Tyler King

HELENA, Montana: Montana voters will decide the fate of current medical marijuana regulations. The Montana Medical Marijuana Referendum will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot as a veto referendum and would place a legislative revision of an approved 2004 medical marijuana measure to a vote, instead of making it a law automatically.

State representatives who voted for SB-423, which applied tighter regulations, said the original initiative was too vague and let things get out of hand. Representative Ron Ehli claimed, "It grew way past what I believe was the will of the people."[1]

Ballot language The actual ballot language as it appears:[2]

INITIATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 124

AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE REFERRED BY REFERENDUM PETITION

In 2004, Montana voters approved I-148, creating a medical marijuana program for patients with debilitating medical conditions. Senate Bill 423, passed by the 2011 Legislature, repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program, which includes: permitting patients to grow marijuana or designate a provider; limiting each marijuana provider to three patients; prohibiting marijuana providers from accepting anything of value in exchange for services or products; granting local governments authority to regulate marijuana providers; establishing specific standards for demonstrating chronic pain; and reviewing the practices of doctors who certify marijuana use for 25 or more patients in a 12-month period.

If Senate Bill 423 is affirmed by the voters, there will be no fiscal impact because the legislature has funded the costs of its implementation. If Senate Bill 423 is rejected by the voters, there may be a small savings to the State.

[] FOR Senate Bill 423, a bill which repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program.

[] AGAINST Senate Bill 423, a bill which repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program. A vote against Senate Bill 423 will restore I-148.

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