It seems no one is happy with the medical marijuana law passed by the legislature in May 2011. Now the Montana Republican Party has joined the call for a new bill in 2013.
In a landmark change to the party platform this past weekend, Republicans supported medical marijuana and called for “the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.”
“I am proud of my party,” said Nicole French, a spokesperson for the MTCIA and an integral part of coordinating the petition efforts of IR-124. “The medical marijuana law we’re living under now is unworkable and unrealistic. We are glad to see that the state Republican Party recognizes this problem. This law is depriving patients of their rights to use an important option. We believe voters will reject the current bad law by voting against IR-124 in November.”
IR-124 will be on the ballot this Fall, giving voters the chance to reject the May 2011 law (SB 423), which drastically restricted medical marijuana rights for patients in Montana. Most patients today find it difficult to get doctors to recommend marijuana, and find it even harder to obtain their medicine once approved.
IR-124 was forced to the ballot by a massive grassroots petition campaign coordinated by Patients for Reform — Not Repeal. That effort collected 36,374 valid signatures and qualified in 72 of 100 House Districts, far more than the state requirements for a referendum.
Lindsey Pawluk, Senior Republican Strategist for Montana First said, “The Republican Party is moving in the right direction and realizing that the previous legislature got it wrong, lawmakers over corrected. They trampled people’s rights. They thwarted the spirit of the voters. In Montana, that’s not how we treat each other. It’s time for a fresh start, after voters reject IR-124 this November.”
Rose Habib, spokesperson for Patients for Reform — Not Repeal, said “After voters reject IR-124, we look forward to working with Republican legislative leaders on a constructive solution with solid regulations. That is all that anyone ever wanted. We can come together as Montanans for workable medical marijuana regulations, just like so many Montanans are coming together now to oppose IR-124.”
The Montana Democratic Party also added medical marijuana to its platform this summer, supporting “the right of qualified patients… [to]have safe access to medical marijuana.”
The full text of the Montana GOP platform statement reads:
Medical Use of Marijuana.?We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana’s current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.