Montana – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
This year, the Big Sky State of Montana may feature up to three initiatives dealing with marijuana:
The Good: I-182 is an initiative to restore medical marijuana in Montana. In 2011, the legislature destroyed the state’s burgeoning dispensary industry by establishing a limit of three patients per caregiver and auditing doctors who recommend cannabis use to more than 25 patients. This initiative would undo those restrictions and finally regulate a statewide medical marijuana dispensary system.
The Bad: I-176 is an initiative to restore marijuana prohibition in Montana by repealing the medical marijuana program altogether and aligning Montana’s drug laws with the federal drug prohibition schedules (i.e., whatever’s illegal under federal law is illegal under Montana law). Both this initiative and the prior initiative are well-funded and organized and likely to make the ballot.
The Ugly: CI-115 is a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use of marijuana, with the details to be determined later. It’s only “ugly” because as an amendment, it needs more signatures than the other two initiatives and it has far less organization and funding than the others, so it is probably not going to make the ballot.