The Montana Secretary of
State's office and the Montana Attorney General's office have approved
the language and legal sufficiency of a medical marijuana initiative.
The way is now open for initiative organizers with the Montana Medical
Marijuana Policy Project (http://www.montanacares.org)
to begin the signature-gathering phase of the effort. Organizers
must gather some 20,000 signatures, including at least 5% of voters in
half of the state's counties, by June 18.
The Montana Medical Marijuana
Act, which would amend state law and which will be known as Initiative
148 (I-148), would:
Under the ballot measure, patients
could use marijuana under medical supervision for a list of specified illnesses
(cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS), as well as other conditions or treatments
that produce wasting, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures,
severe muscle spasms, or other conditions defined by the state.
Allow terminally and seriously
ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctors'
Protect these seriously ill
patients from arrest and prosecution for the simple act of taking their
Permit qualifying patients or
their caregivers to cultivate their own marijuana for their medical use,
with limits on the amount they could possess.
Create registry identification
cards, so that law enforcement officials could easily tell who was a registered
patient, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID
Allow patients and their caregivers
who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court.
Keep commonsense restrictions
on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of
marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana.
to read the text of the ballot measure online.
-- END --
Issue #334, 4/23/04
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