The Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA) has submitted to the Secretary of State a referendum proposal to give voters an opportunity to judge the Legislature’s medical marijuana “repeal in disguise,” the group announced.
If enough voters sign an approved petition, SB 423 will appear on the 2012 general election ballot for voters to either reject or endorse. A sufficient number of petition signatures would nullify SB 423 in the meantime, MTCIA reported.
“Montana voters are rightly offended by the Legislature’s actions on medical marijuana, because SB 423 is going to hurt patients severely and intentionally,” said Kate Cholewa of MTCIA. “Rather than work constructively with patients, growers and law enforcement to fix the law, legislators repealed it completely and imposed instead an scheme that is designed not to work at all as voters intended,” she reported.
The terms of the new law are “so severe that even the most seriously ill patients will find it difficult if not impossible to obtain physician recommendations, and those who do will find it nearly impossible to maintain a reliable supply of medical-grade cannabis because of the new law’s radical and nonsensical constraints on growing procedures,” she said.
Cholewa explained that SB 423 requires doctors to pay the costs of being investigated for every recommendation made to more than 25 patients; requires pain patients to see two doctors and undergo costly testing procedures if they lack proof of their pain’s etiology; requires providers to produce marijuana completely for free to patients regardless of cost, and to provide their fingerprints to the FBI and Department of Justice; and “believe it or not, the Legislature even deliberately refused to provide a legal way for patients and providers to obtain cannabis seeds and plants,” Cholewa emphasized.
Now that MTCIA has submitted its referendum proposal to the Secretary of State, the Legislative Services Division and Attorney General will conduct the required review and approval processes before signature-gathering can begin.