Marijuana. Yep, it's an issue again in Montana. There are two competing potential ballot initiatives seeking your signature for the November vote.

What is I-176 Proposed Ballot Initiative Legislation? ​

I-176 Proposed Legislation establishes a state law that drugs listed on Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, now or in the future, would be illegal in Montana. The law would eliminate the current disparity between federal law and state law with respect to the legal status of the possession and use of marijuana. Unless a separate statute authorizes the receipt, transfer, manufacture, cultivation, trafficking, transportation, or use of a drug on Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, a drug listed on Schedule I would be illegal for all purposes in Montana.

What is I-182 Proposed Ballot Initiative Legislation?

I-182 renames the Montana Marijuana Act to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and amends the act. I-182 allows a single treating physician to certify medical marijuana for a patient diagnosed with chronic pain and includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a “debilitating medical condition” for which a physician may certify medical marijuana. Licensing requirements, fees and prohibitions are detailed for medical marijuana dispensaries and testing laboratories. I-182 repeals the limit of three patients for each licensed provider, and allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the State.

I've had conversations with both sides.

When the director of SAFEMontana, Steve Zabawa, is asked directly: "Why should I sign your petition?" It is met with the response, "Because it's the right thing to do."

Steve, that is NOT an answer. The followup question was: "Why is marijuana so bad?" Steve replied, "Read about it at" Again, NOT an answer.

Why would anybody ask another person to sign a ballot initiative when they or their co-workers cannot answer even the most basic questions?

Finally, Steve Zabawa blurted out something about happy, healthy families and then the threat of a call to the cops. Sorry, Chief Crawford, if your guys came looking for me on Sunday. You know where and when I work, if I broke the law by asking questions.

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