2012 Montana Voters Choose to Keep Marijuana Laws the Same, No Repeal of Senate Bill 423
Update: 5:55 a.m. Nov 9-
Despite personal assurance from the Secretary of State herself that the ballots from Yellowstone county would be finished by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 7, 7% of Montana’s ballots have still not been accounted for. All but a few hundred of the unaccounted votes will effect the initiatives.
Currently 57% of voters have voted for maintaining Senate bill 243 and keeping the legislatures comparatively strict marijuana laws in place. The vote is 250,160 in favor of maintaining Senate Bill 243 and 108,857 (42.99%) against.
With 542 of 794 precincts reporting and partial reports from the rest, referendum 124 is likely to pass, but it remains the closest race of all of the referendums. There are currently 220,480 votes for and 168,209 votes against referendum 124.
10:25 with 15 out of 794 precincts fully reporting referendum 120 is receiving support, however it is the closest race of all of the referendums. So far 58% of votes are in favor of the measure, while 41% are against.
Initiative Referendum No. 124 gives voters the ability to overturn Senate bill 423, a bill that significantly limited the distribution of medical marijuana in Montana. The effect of overturning Senate bill 423 would be to revert Montana’s medical marijuana laws back to the relatively unconstrained form they were in when they originally passed through initiative 148 in 2004.
A vote “FOR” the initiative is a vote to keep Senate Bill 423, while a vote “AGAINST” will repeal Senate Bill 423 and Montana’s medical marijuana laws will return to the way they were in 2004.
Below is the wording of the referendum as it appears in 2012 Montana ballots.
AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE REFERRED BY REFERENDUM PETITION
In 2004, Montana voters approved I-148, creating a medical marijuana program for patients with debilitating medical conditions. Senate Bill 423, passed by the 2011 Legislature, repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program, which includes: permitting patients to grow marijuana or designate a provider; limiting each marijuana provider to three patients; prohibiting marijuana providers from accepting anything of value in exchange for services or products; granting local governments authority to regulate marijuana providers; establishing specific standards for demonstrating chronic pain; and reviewing the practices of doctors who certify marijuana use for 25 or more patients in a 12-month period. If Senate Bill 423 is affirmed by the voters, there will be no fiscal impact because the legislature has funded the costs of its implementation. If Senate Bill 423 is rejected by the voters, there may be a small savings to the State.