Posted: Jun 6, 2010 9:21 AM
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A group trying to repeal Montana's
medical marijuana law expects to have only about a week to collect
the 24,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the November
Attorney General Steve Bullock's office has written a summary of
the initiative proposed by Safe Community, Safe Kids and has set a
deadline of noon on Friday for interested parties to comment or
accept the wording that would appear on the ballot.
Afterward, the proposal goes to the secretary of state for final
action. Organizers will then have to meet a June 18 deadline to
collect the signatures, Montana Department of Justice spokeswoman
Judy Beck said
"The biggest challenge is time," said Pam Christianson of
Billings, one of the ballot initiative supporters, adding it
"doesn't sound too promising."
Safe Community, Safe Kids formed in Billings after city
officials approved licenses for 82 medical marijuana businesses.
City officials on May 11 passed a six-month moratorium on new
In 2004, 62 percent of Montana voters approved a medical
marijuana ballot initiative. After the Obama administration
announced last year that it would not prosecute medical marijuana
users, the pace of registrations quickened, with the number of pot
cardholders swelling over the past year from about 3,000 to 15,000.
"We do believe that most of the people in Montana feel that
this is not what they voted for," said Christianson. "We believe
that it is time to take back our great state, to end the mess that
has been created."
To get the measure on the ballot, the group will have to collect
24,337 signatures. The signatures must include at least 5 percent
of registered voters from each of the state's 34 House legislative
Helena marijuana grower and caregiver Tom Daubert, who was
involved in the medical marijuana ballot in 2004, doesn't see
opponents getting the signatures needed.
"It's a huge undertaking," he said.
If the attempt fails, said Christianson, organizers will lobby
lawmakers to take action.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)