Back in 2004, voters overwhelmingly passed I-148: the Medical Marijuana Act. Appealing to both Montanans’ libertarian character and progressive view on rights, it passed with 62% of the vote — a twenty point landslide victory. And that was that, or so people thought. Then the “Bat Crap Crazy” legislature showed in 2011 with their War on Voters.
Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed their attempt to directly repeal medical marijuana, so they used SB 423 to overturn the will of the voters through a stealth repeal (that became law without the good guv’s signature). The constitutionality of this legislation is currently under review by the Montana Supreme Court after it was blocked by a lower court.
Regardless of the how the Supreme Court rules, voters will get their say this fall with IR-124, an initiative referendum that puts the legislature’s attempt at a stealth repeal of Medical Marijuana to the voters.
That’s the history you need to know to appreciate the leadership by the Montana Democratic Party’s Platform Convention last weekend. In a move meant to stand up against the War on Voters and highlight the compassion of Montana Democrats, the delegates added Medical Marijuana to the party platform.
This is going to be a big issue this election season and the leadership of Montana Democrats is much appreciated.
Because of how a referendum campaign is worded, a “no” vote on IR-124 is a vote to defend the will of the voters on Medical Marijuana, a “yes” vote is a vote to uphold the “bat crap crazy” legislature’s stealth repeal of the will of the voters.
I hope you’ll stand proud with Montana voters and Montana Democrats and defend the right to Medical Marijuana this fall.
Bob Brigham is an advisor to Montana First