Petition Results

More than 35,000 Montana Voters Signed the Petition to Force Vote on Medical Marijuana Law Changes

70 House Districts Qualified

Montana Voters Show Strong Support for Referring SB 423 to the Voters

 

HELENA, October 31, 2011 – With the support of over 35,000 valid signatures and qualifying in 70 of 100 house districts opponents of the bill that would overhaul Montana’s medical marijuana program are buoyed by the support they received during the IR-124 petition drive.

Last Friday was the deadline for county elections offices to file certified initiative referendum petitions with the Secretary of State’s office. Now that the final petitions are in, the official tally has grown to 35,839 valid signatures. Additionally, the IR-124 petition received enough signatures, at least 5% of qualified electors, to qualify 70 of Montana’s 100 house districts.

The Montana Constitution requires that an initiative referendum receive valid signatures from at least 5% of the voters statewide, currently 24,337 signatures, and that 5% of the voters in at least one-third of Montana’s 100 house districts sign the petition.

IR-124 received signatures from voters in each of Montana’s 56 counties and all of Montana’s 100 house districts. The valid signatures for IR-124 exceed the requisite 24,337 by more than 11,000, while IR-124 qualified in twice as many house districts as is required.

“For three months, hundreds of volunteers gathered signatures from tens of thousands of Montana voters,” said Rose Habib, volunteer coordinator for Patients for Reform – Not Repeal. “The response we got was tremendous and reinforces that Montanans are not happy that the legislature overturned the will of the voters by repealing I-148.”

The campaign is placing before Montana voters Senate Bill 423, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Essman (R-Billings). Essman’s bill repealed I-148, the voter-approved medical marijuana initiative, and replaced it with a new program that opponents say leaves many critically ill patients with no access to the medicine they need.

“SB 423 would force many patients with a prescription for medical marijuana to choose between not having the medicine they need or going to the black market to obtain their medicine,” said Habib. “While the bill allows for patients to grow their own, it provides no legal avenue for obtaining seeds or plants. This is just one of many problems with the new law.”

In late June, a Montana district court found many parts of SB 423 unconstitutional and temporarily blocked those parts of the new law. However, other provisions of SB 423 are in effect and the temporary injunction could be lifted.

Rather than relying on a legal strategy alone, opponents of SB 423 launched an initiative referendum petition drive last summer. The success of IR-124 means that Montana voters will have the opportunity to vote on IR-124 in November 2012 and decide whether to approve or reject SB 423.

“This is a historic achievement. It is not often that Montana voters exercise their right to refer a bill back to the people,” said Habib, “But when the legislature overturns the will of the voters by repealing a citizen initiative, the people are motivated to take back the power.”

IR-124 marks the first time an initiative referendum will appear on the ballot in Montana in 10 years and is just the third time since the new Montana Constitution was ratified in 1972 that Montana voters have placed a referendum on the ballot.

# # #

Official numbers from the Montana Secretary of State:

 

Qualified Districts: Need 34

70

Total Valid Signatures: Need 24,337

35,839

House District County (City) Valid Signatures Number Needed Difference
HD 1 Lincoln (Libby)

239

204

35

HD 2 Lincoln

616

253

363

HD 3 Flathead, Chouteau

365

237

128

HD 4 Flathead (Whitefish)

411

280

131

HD 5 Flathead

283

297

(14)

HD 6 Flathead

376

326

50

HD 7 Flathead (Kalispell)

357

224

133

HD 8 Flathead (Kalispell)

445

207

238

HD 9 Flathead

274

315

(41)

HD 10 Flathead

346

314

32

HD 11 Polson/Dayton

295

290

5

HD 12 Polson/St. Ignatius

222

222

0

HD 13 Sanders

411

268

143

HD 14 Mineral, Sanders, Missoula

367

257

110

HD 15 Glacier, Flathead, Pondera, Lake, Missoula

186

192

(6)

HD 16 Glacier, Toole

83

164

(81)

HD 17 Teton, Lewis and Clark, Powell

108

223

(115)

HD 18 Cascade

107

269

(162)

HD 19 Cascade

116

234

(118)

HD 20 Cascade (Great Falls)

130

185

(55)

HD 21 Cascade (Great Falls)

150

199

(49)

HD 22 Cascade (Great Falls)

240

175

65

HD 23 Cascade (Great Falls)

213

165

48

HD 24 Cascade

96

110

(14)

HD 25 Cascade

140

251

(111)

HD 26 Cascade

213

187

26

HD 27 Glacier, Toole, Pondera

79

207

(128)

HD 28 Toole, Liberty, Chouteau

154

224

(70)

HD 29 Chouteau, Fergus, Judith Basin

69

239

(170)

HD 30 McCone, Garfield, Fergus, Petroleum

92

259

(167)

HD 31 Roosevelt, Valley

272

170

102

HD 32 Blaine, Hill, Phillips, Valley, Chouteau

439

176

263

HD 33 Hill (Havre)

542

182

360

HD 34 Blaine, Hill (Havre)

499

174

325

HD 35 Valley, Phillips

216

231

(15)

HD 36 Sheridan, Daniels, Roosevelt, Richland

430

233

197

HD 37 Richland, Dawson

41

223

(182)

HD 38 Wibaux, Dawson (Glendive)

141

221

(80)

HD 39 McCone, Dawson, Prairie, Fallon, Custer, Carter, Powder River

110

252

(142)

HD 40 Custer (Miles City)

568

207

361

HD 41 Big Horn, Rosebud, Powder River (Hardin)

47

145

(98)

HD 42 Big Horn, Yellowston (Hardin)

67

188

(121)

HD 43 Yellowstone, Treasure, Rosebud

252

242

10

HD 44 Yellowstone

331

215

116

HD 45 Custer, Rosebud, Musselshell, Yellowstone

505

234

271

HD 46 Yellowstone

417

330

87

HD 47 Yellowstone (Billings)

371

268

103

HD 48 Yellowstone (Billings)

465

216

249

HD 49 Yellowstone (Billings)

470

188

282

HD 50 Yellowstone (Billings)

370

233

137

HD 51 Yellowstone (Billings)

463

176

287

HD 52 Yellowstone (Billings)

399

206

193

HD 53 Yellowstone (Billings)

453

197

256

HD 54 Yellowstone (Billings)

383

175

208

HD 55 Yellowstone (Billings)

542

285

257

HD 56 Yellowstone (Billings)

338

301

37

HD 57 Yellowstone, Carbon

311

333

(22)

HD 58 Yellowstone (Laurel)

760

237

523

HD 59 Carbon (Red Lodge)

180

261

(81)

HD 60 Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Carbon

100

257

(157)

HD 61 Sweetgrass, Park (Big Timber)

288

281

7

HD 62 Livingston

536

243

293

HD 63 Gallatin

612

343

269

HD 64 Gallatin (Bozeman)

837

328

509

HD 65 Gallatin (Bozeman)

416

208

208

HD 66 Gallatin (Bozeman)

719

285

434

HD 67 Gallatin

529

339

190

HD 68 Broadwater, Gallatin (Townsend)

288

231

57

HD 69 Gallatin

328

348

(20)

HD 70 Gallatin

588

332

256

HD 71 Jefferson, Madison

301

300

1

HD 72 Beaverhead (Dillon), Jefferson

207

237

(30)

HD 73 Silver Bow (Butte)

361

212

149

HD 74 Silver Bow (Butte)

209

251

(42)

HD 75 Silver Bow (Butte)

339

214

125

HD 76 Silver Bow (Butte)

477

176

301

HD 77 Lewis and Clark, Jefferson

200

284

(84)

HD 78 Lewis and Clark (East Helena)

285

223

62

HD 79 Lewis and Clark (Helena)

230

259

(29)

HD 80 Lewis and Clark (Helena)

281

260

21

HD 81 Lewis and Clark (Helena)

414

224

190

HD 82 Lewis and Clark (Helena)

285

253

32

HD 83 Meagher, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Wheatland, Golden Valley

154

238

(84)

HD 84 Lewis and Clark, Powell

277

273

4

HD 85 Powell, Deer Lodge (Deer Lodge)

223

169

54

HD 86 Granite, Deer Lodge (Anaconda)

299

259

40

HD 87 Ravalli (Darby)

598

280

318

HD 88 Ravalli (Hamilton)

781

249

532

HD 89 Ravalli (Victor)

614

293

321

HD 90 Ravalli (Florence)

391

277

114

HD 91 Missoula

447

237

210

HD 92 Missoula (Missoula)

550

299

251

HD 93 Missoula (Missoula)

703

324

379

HD 94 Missoula (Missoula)

582

284

298

HD 95 Missoula (Missoula)

563

263

300

HD 96 Missoula (Missoula)

609

245

364

HD 97 Missoula (Missoula)

778

284

494

HD 98 Missoula (Missoula)

608

308

300

HD 99 Missoula (Missoula)

939

305

634

HD 100 Missoula (Lolo)

328

237

91