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Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed in Montana

They're back. Although a late effort to get on the ballot this year fell short, Montana marijuana activists are determined to get on the ballot in 2014, and just 10 days after the election, they submitted the first 2014 ballot question received by the secretary of state's office.

The constitutional initiative is proposed by East Helena medical marijuana advocate Barb Trego and lists as contact person Chris Lindsay, former partner in Montana Cannabis and now a convicted federal marijuana offender for his efforts.

The language of the 2014 initiative is not yet on file with the secretary of state's office, but it is said to mirror this year's failed CI-110, which would have amended the state constitution so that "adults have the right to responsibly purchase, consume, produce, and possess marijuana, subject to reasonable limitations, regulations, and taxation.  Except for actions that endanger minors, children, or public safety, no criminal offense or penalty of this state shall apply to such activities."

To qualify for the ballot, initiative organizers must obtain the signatures of 10% of qualified voters, as well as 10% of qualified voters in each of the state's 40 legislative House districts. It's not clear yet what the exact numbers are -- they are based on this month's election results -- but this year, organizers needed about 45,000 signatures and came up with only 19,000.

This next time around, organizers will have the benefit of more time. They will also have the benefit of the examples of successful legalization initiatives this year in Colorado and Washington.

Helena, MT
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Legalization should not be something we have to wait for. Come on Obama Administration just drop cannabis from the schedule 1 list and do away with prohibition and free the weed that God put on this green Earth. But its just a dream :(

Guns, Drugs, and Insanity

It seems ridiculous that a government restricts what an individual can or cannot ingest.  People should be judged on what they DO, not what they own or ingest.  It should be of no one's concern what consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes-- only what people do in public.  Police should protect people and property, period.  If someone behaves irresponsibly and gets addicted to drugs, it is a medical and/or psychological problem, NOT a criminal one.  It becomes criminal only if they misbehave in public (assault people), DUI, or commit robbery to feed a habit, and these activities are ALREADY against the law.  But, for someone to medicate themselves with marijuana, and laugh or sleep peacefully, should be no one else's business.

When will people wake up and realize that prohibition does not work?  It failed in the 1920's with liquor and only succeeded in creating crime cartels.  Nowadays, we apparently have learned nothing and have been futilely a lost "war on drugs" that is criminalizing millions of Americans.  For why?  No real reason aside from "we don't think it is a good idea".  Frankly, I don't think drug use is a good idea either, but I respect your right to do as you wish, as long as you do not endanger others, and governments should act accordingly.

Whether you like it or not, people will use drugs and no laws will stop them.  Such laws only empower the drug cartels, cost lives, resources, and have a more negative impact on society than the drugs or drug users have.  Wake up!

Lastly, if you wonder about the zeal behind drug prohibition, just follow the money trail:  Liquor industry, the pharmacological industry, law enforcement, prison industry, etc.  All these will potentially lose money or jobs if drugs are no longer criminalized.  And, these industries pay politicians a LOT of money to keep drugs illegal and the money flowing to them, instead.

It should be nobody's

It should be nobody's business what another person puts onto their body, but in christianly screwed up amerika christians make it their business. If you want freedom, either get rid of christians, or forget about it. Christian socialists lawmakers will resist the people rights to smoke pot just as they resist the peoples rights to do other things that are considered "vice". Troublemaking christians are the entire problem.

Christians are not the

Christians are not the problem.  Quit using us as scapegoats for something you obviously have no clue about.

christians quit kicking them..please!!

i watched on netflix about what was going on, and it was wrong on both ends, and i understand the fear from Christians, for i believe also brought up southen baptist and read daily, and it's hard when your kids in schools get pot and you don't want that and i agree, but i use myself i have a nerve disorder and no cure,pain cramps daily loosing feeling in my body and migraine headaches on a daily basis and i work every day and can't afford not too! i love god and i love my kids and i love to work earn my way, but what is wrong is with all this! is education and the medical community do these studies to conifer all the crap and  of pot stop the scare tactics , in my state federal and state have there own drug store and had out methadone like candy for everything and yet it's synthetic heroin ! hand out pain killers like candy and wonder why we have drug problems? pot i found helps doesn't cause depression and i can work and do my job to take care of my kids and support them, make me hungry, but what i was getting at , you folks locked up people for doing what the fed's turned a blind eye to ,and the state allowed how where those people doing wrong!!  should have never been locked up ,just take the pot close down and walk away, you folks take the law too hard, law has never work it's government playing head games with everyone, to keep there drugs and the money going to feed there pockets, drug companies make millions and bet your butt our government has there hand in that pocket, pot non addictive nor a stepping stone , to other drugs, it's by choice can't deal with life and head down the wrong path..leave you with this..if anything takes you away from god(drink, drugs ,sex) then your doing wrong, moderation!! read the word and get medical community involved do the studies and stop listening to the goverment...please! we are the government we the people by the people, for the people, our government are not for the people..for themselves to divide and destroy us, take a way our faith, take away our rights, and our choice..please educate yourself's, we need to take back our world and stop letting them run us and hand out there bad drugs that destroy us, what happen to homeopathic meds,, and pot has always been in our schools, it just now in your faces..

you are right

I argey with alot of what was said in the page i belive what some one desides to put in there bodys or do to them is there choice and shud be left as that a choice if ya want to smoke pot treet it like booz or tabaco it will help the econamy and lower crime rates alot of arests are from weed or outher drug related trafic stops.....i say the goverment shud keep there gready hands off out weed....more deaths have hapend from drunks then pot heads ....the only time a stoner wants to drive any were its to get food or a drink...and most the time thay walk....stop dickn around and just give the green lights for green!

The biggest problem with the Drug War

The biggest problem with the Drug War is that it is enacted in a way that is counterintuitive to its own stated goals.  The Drug War was supposed to bring us a demand reduction in the United States, but it hasn't.  We remain the #1 consumer of illegal drugs in the entire world.  The policies of the Drug War mark individuals for life, making it unlikely that they can ever correct their action and stop using drugs.

The Drug War causes small time users to be labeled as criminals, giving them a black stain on their record that will follow them for the rest of their lives.  In some cases, they are unable to vote, unable to receive financial aid from the government, unable to get some of the best jobs, or unable to be accepted into some of the best schools.

While the government has recognized (and published ) the finding that drug use "is not a moral failing", but rather is a health issue, it continues to enforce a policy which TREATS drug use as criminal activity.

Quite frankly, the current policies create a 3rd class of citizen--those who are marked for life by by drug convictions, who will never be able to rise above this conviction in finding a decent job or getting a decent education.  So as we can see, it creates a trap that once you fall in, you can't get back out again.

Despite all this, we continue to use more illegal drugs than anyone on the planet, and it's simply costing us far too much.  It goes beyond the fiscal costs, as well.. we have seen a lack of respect for the law.  What is it, 18 states now?  That allow medical Marijauan, in spite of federal law?  Two that allow recreational use?  No one wants to live in a society in which law and order are trivialized by a general lack of respect for following these laws... and the unpopularity of the drug war has led to the demonizing of police and other enforcement officials.  These should be seen as the heroes they are, but the policies they must enforce means they target non-violent individuals and ship them off to prison, for having a plastic bag with dried up plant in their pocket?

There's also a darker cost to all of this.  The numbers are out there, our friends at NORML or MPP could surely cite the numbers-- minorities, especially blacks, are arrested in greater numbers than whites, even though the drug use is evenly split among the races.  And among whites, it is those in the lower income class who are far more likely to be arrested.  So the War on Drugs is a thinly veiled Class and Race war.

Also of note, I noticed in the recent weeks that the ONDCP's website has made subtle changes since the legalization in WA and CO.  If you frequent the site often or know its content quite well, you may notice a subtle re-arranging of information there and how / where it is presented.  It looks to me like the government is winding up for a big push back against Legalization efforts and reform law in general.  Although our hopes were high that they would take a knee on this one, it just doesn't seem likely.  I can see the writing on the wall.  They are going to come down hard on the WA/CO thing... mark my words, the Drug War will go down fighting, it won't just vanish with a whimper in the night.  We have to fight back with democracy by speaking with our votes.  It's the only way to legitimately win.

the feds will "come down hard" on WA/CO? How?

I'm wondering what you think the feds will do to come down hard.  I don't think they have enough DEA agents to take on Colorado by itself, much less Washington and the rest of the country at the same time.  What can they do that they're not already doing?  How much "push back" do they have left?  They've maxed out their scare tactics, and they've run out of stupid shit to say, apparently.  What more can they do?


They'll try to "win the argument"

I think their strategy will be trying to "win the argument" by setting the two states up for failure.  They may do this under a thinly veiled appearance of trying to "let be" or under a more active opposition, I'm not sure.  But I think they'll do everything they can to undermine the state's efforts so that it doesn't work, or never gets off the ground in the first place, and then they'll point their finger and say "ah hah.  We TOLD you legalization wasn't the answer."

Of course maybe I'm completely wrong.  Maybe this will be Obama's "now would be a good time for beer" moment.  Who knows.  I want to believe that they'll just step back or even better, side with reformists.. but we have to take a look at history and realize the most likely outcome is that they will oppose this thing.

I see. Thank you for your thoughts.

You could well be right.  I'm just trying to look at all possibilities, including those I might not have considered.

Just because I don't see an attack on the horizon, doesn't mean there isn't one.

Thanks for the response.  Sounds reasonable.

What everyone fails to see is

What everyone fails to see is the massive economic injection that the WOD produced. The trillions of dollars that are processed and distributed, the thousands upon thousands of jobs created, the court systems (drug courts) and all of the people that are employed on behalf of the cause was and is an economic boost that if it were to all come to an end right now, it would destroy the country. It's so entrenched that it perhaps will never be overcome, at least not in our lifetimes. Yes, the war on drugs has been a massive windfall for the government and it's minions and it was all paid for by a few poor people that wanted to use drugs recreationally. Do-gooder christian socialists have made a lifetime income from it and stopping it will be a lifetime effort. Good luck.

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