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Committee proposing marijuana legalization ballot measure in Montana launches survey

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 20:18:38-04

HELENA- The committee planning a 2020 ballot initiative on legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana is asking for input on what its proposed measure should look like.

Coalition406 has opened an online survey, including questions on issues like who should be allowed to buy or sell recreational marijuana, how it should be taxed and whether limitations should be placed on the number of marijuana providers.

More than 300 people have already submitted responses to the survey. Coalition406 director Pepper Petersen said the group hopes to eventually have at least 500 responses.

On Thursday, Coalition406 leaders discussed the initial results of the survey and some proposed ballot language with current medical marijuana providers. Those providers said they wanted to see some limits on the recreational marijuana system, so that it would not force out existing medical marijuana businesses.

Petersen said his group has met with hundreds of people across the state to get their opinions on what shape a recreational marijuana program should take. He said they will take all of that input into account as they put together the final ballot measure.

“We want to make this thing very Montana-centric and start from a place based on Montana values,” he said. “We think marijuana legalization is very popular in Montana, but Montanans want to do it the way they want to do it. They don’t want to be California; they want to continue to be Montana.”

Petersen said Coalition406 plans to finalize its ballot language in about a month. They will then submit it to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office. The Secretary of State and Attorney General’s offices must review a proposed initiative before supporters can begin collecting signatures to put it on the ballot.

In order to qualify for the 2020 ballot, Coalition406 must collect more than 25,000 signatures – 5 percent of the votes cast for governor in the last general election.

You can find a link to the Coalition406 survey on the group’s Facebook page.

Story by Jonathon Ambarian, MTN News