Medical marijuana will be placed before voters in 2012

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October 4, 2011


HELENA, Montana: Earlier this year, state legislators passed a law to overturn parts of a voter-approved 2004 medical marijuana legalization initiative. Once again, due to a veto referendum effort on the recently passed law in legislature, voters in the state will have their say on the issue.

On October 3, 2011, the initiated referendum qualified for the ballot after the Montana Secretary of State concluded enough valid signatures were submitted by the September 30, 2011 petition drive deadline for proposed veto referendums. According to the secretary of state, approximately 26,000 signatures were collected to qualify the measure.[1]

Reports said that the initiative effort had collected close to 24,000 signatures by late August. The group needed to collect 24,337 signatures in order to make the 2012 ballot.[2]

The measure will place the legislative revision of the approved 2004 medical marijuana question to a vote, instead of making it a law automatically. The measure was slated to become a law on May 13, 2011. To read more on the legislation that is seeking to revise the 2004 measure, click here. The petition to place the legislation on the ballot was filed with the Montana Secretary of State by John Masterson of Montana Cannabis Industry Association on May 12, 2011.

State lawmakers had previously tried to repeal the 2004 measure outright with House Bill 161. HB 161 passed through both the Montana House of Representatives and the Montana State Senate, which only left the Governor of Montana to sign the measure for it to become a law. The measure was vetoed by Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer on April 13, 2011 stating that the repeal was contrary to the decision voters made in 2004.

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