It has come to our attention here at the MTCIA that there are several active campaigns, formed by various groups, currently seeking both support and funding for their agendas. The agendas vary from gathering the signatures by a certain date to submit to the Governor to fundraising for vague legal efforts. We want to make it clear that the MTCIA has absolutely no association with these campaigns. We did not structure, organize, or fundraise for these campaigns and we have no intention of doing so. Nor do we oppose these efforts. Though we may feel that some of these endeavors are ill conceived and/or counter-productive, we also feel that people have a right to organize and express their values and demands in any way they so choose. These calls to action are at the heart of all democratic societies.
In 2011 the Montana legislature sought to overturn the will of the voter by passing SB 423, effectively terminating the medical marijuana program in Montana. The MTCIA then, and for the past five years, fought the full enactment of this ill-conceived, “repeal in disguise” law and worked to save the MMJ program here in Montana. The lawsuit brought by the MTCIA, with the incredible effort and financial support from thousands of Montanans, kept providers in business, and patients receiving their medicine for these past 5 years.
While this was a necessary measure, we also always recognized that the only true and long term solution was to change the law. Our strategy at this time is to get a strong, clear, and robust medical marijuana initiative on the 2016 ballot. To this end we presented an initiative to the Secretary of State in December. Unfortunately, feedback from the Secretary of state’s office as well as various points raised in the MT Supreme Court decision illuminated too many vulnerabilities in the initiative that we had presented. We decided, in consultation with political professionals, to withdraw our original submission and replace it with a fully vetted and more impenetrable initiative.
Because the initiative language is in progress, elements may still change, be adjusted, or corrected. We don’t want to release something that turns out not to be the best possible product. We are working to make the process go as quickly as we can. Please bear with us.
As we have stated previously, we have hired a professional company, M+R Strategic Services, and a professional lobbyist, to steer our initiative through all of the various legal processes and signature gathering that are required to get an initiative on the November 2016 Ballot. We have been told by these professionals that the timeline we are currently on is doable, and that our initiative has a very good chance of success in November.
The MTCIA has been open and transparent about its goals and mission. We feel we have a solid and long term solution for the medical marijuana program in Montana. We will stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in our mission to keep access to marijuana open for all who need it.
Thank you all for your continued support.