Montana voters approved I-182 tonight by a double-digit margin. I-182 is leading 56 percent to 43 percent statewide. There are some votes still to be counted in counties where I-182 is either winning (Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Ravalli) or is expected to win (Glacier and Park).
Montana Citizens for I-182 Treasurer Jeff Krauss made the following statement this evening:
Leaders from communities across Montana are coming together in support of Montana’s new medical marijuana initiative, I-182. Montana Citizens for I-182 announced that 116 “Champions for I-182” have endorsed the measure that will appear on the November ballot.
“Republicans and Democrats, doctors and patients, veterans, community leaders from across Montana are coming together to support I-182,” said Montana Citizens for I-182 Treasurer Jeff Krauss. “We are here today to announce our support for this important initiative, to stand with the 11,850 patients who no longer have access to their medicine, and call on all Montanans to vote ‘Yes’ on I-182.”
Krauss was joined by five other Champions for today’s announcement, including former Montana Speaker of the House, John Vincent.
“As a former state legislative leader, I am troubled by what the Montana State Legislature did in 2011,” said Vincent. “It was designed to crash the system, and it worked. Now thousands of our fellow Montanans are suffering because they no longer have access to the medicine that eases their pain and aids in their healing. I know. My wife is one of them.”
Medical Marijuana Patients Urge Attorney General to Delay Implementation of New Restrictions, Allow Voters to Decide with I-182
HELENA – Medical marijuana patients made a plea to Attorney General Tim Fox to delay new restrictions that will leave more than 12,000 patients without access to their medicine, delivering a “Stand with Bob Ream” petition signed by more than 1,000 Montanans.
“You never leave a fellow Marine behind, but that’s exactly what we’re doing if we allow these new restrictions to go into effect,” said Tayln Lang, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and medical marijuana patient.
Restrictions contained in SB 423, a bill passed by the Montana Legislature in 2011, are set to go into effect on August 31 following an April decision by the Montana Supreme Court. In July, former State Representative Bob Ream sent a letter to the Attorney General urging him to support delayed enforcement of the restrictions, which include limiting medical marijuana providers to just three patients. Bob Ream was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is using medical marijuana to help him sleep.
“I refuse to leave Bob, or any other Montana medical marijuana patient, behind,” said Lang. “We are here to deliver signatures of Montanans that know patients deserve access to their medicine until we can once again vote on this issue in November.”
HELENA – Montana Citizens for I-182 Treasurer Jeff Krauss released the following statement regarding yesterday’s ruling on SB 423:
“We had hoped for a delay that would allow patients to maintain safe and legal access to their medicine until Montanans have a chance to vote on I-182 in November. But now, with SB 423 taking effect on August 31st, more than 12,000 Montanans with serious medical conditions and debilitating illnesses will have no access to the medicine they rely on for treatment.”
“Montanans battling cancer or with other serious medical conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain or Crohn’s disease are faced with losing access to their medicine. This is a scary time for medical marijuana patients in Montana.”
July 13, 2016
HELENA— Advocates for a new medical marijuana initiative are celebrating today’s announcement from the Montana Secretary of State that I-182 has qualified for the November 2016 ballot.
“Montanans want a responsible, accountable law allowing access to medical marijuana for those battling cancer or with other debilitating illnesses,” said Jeff Krauss, Treasurer for Montana Citizens for I-182 and former Mayor of Bozeman. “That Montana voters came together to place I-182 on the ballot in less than 60 days is a testament to the strong support Montanans have for patients’ right to safe and legal access.”
Supporters of I-182 began circulating petitions on April 20th and were able to collect enough signatures by the June 17th deadline to qualify the citizens’ initiative for the ballot, completing a successful petition drive in just 58 days. The I-182 petition now has 26,688 valid signatures statewide and enough signatures to qualify in 49 house districts. The Montana Constitution requires 5 percent of qualified electors (24,175 statewide) and 5 percent of qualified electors in one-third (34) of the state’s 100 house districts in order to be placed on the ballot.
June 16, 2016
HELENA – Initiative 182, Montana’s NEW Medical Marijuana Initiative, organized by Montana Citizens for I-182, announced today they will submit more than 40,000 signatures to county elections offices across the state by the deadline of 5pm Friday, June 17th.
“It is clear from the level of support throughout the state, Montanans want an accountable and responsible medical marijuana law,” said Morgan Marks, Field Director for I-182. “In 2004, Montana voters passed the first medical marijuana program for the state of Montana with 62% support. Now, we are going back to the voters so Montanans battling cancer and with other debilitating medical conditions may continue to receive the medicine they need.”
The Montana Constitution requires that a petition for an initiative receive 24,175 valid signatures from qualified Montana electors. County elections offices are processing I-182 petitions to confirm that signers are registered voters and match signatures with the ones on file. County election administrators have until July 15 to process the petitions and file the results with the Secretary of State.
May 19, 2016
HELENA – With just 30 days left until all petitions for citizens’ initiatives must be submitted to county election offices, Montana Citizens for I-182 is asking Montanans for continued support to help qualify I-182 for the November ballot.
“Recent court decisions and legal action have placed an increased importance on qualifying I-182, Montana’s NEW Medical Marijuana initiative, by the legal deadline on June 17th,” said Kate Cholewa, a spokesperson for Montana Citizens for I-182. “On August 31st, new policies will go into effect that will deny more than 12,000 Montanans who suffer debilitating illnesses access to their medicine. That’s wrong and I-182 is the best option Montanans have to secure access to Medical Marijuana.”
According to Montana Citizens for I-182, more than 125 volunteers and staff have been collecting signatures throughout Montana for the petition. As of May 19th the campaign reports it has collected over 18,000 signatures, one half of the campaign goal of collecting 36,000 signatures in advance of the deadline. Montana Citizens for I-182 needs to collect 24,175 valid signatures before Friday, June 17th, 2016.
April 19, 2016
HELENA – On Tuesday at a news conference at the Montana Capitol advocates for a new medical marijuana initiative announced their campaign to place Initiative 182 on the November 2016 ballot.
“Montanans want a responsible, accountable law allowing access to medical marijuana to those with debilitating illnesses,” said Jeff Krauss, republican, three-term mayor of Bozeman, current city commissioner, cancer survivor, CPA, former Montana Regent, and Treasurer for Montana Citizens for I-182. “Our friends and loved ones suffering from such ailments deserve the choice of safe, legal relief that marijuana provides. With all of the uncertainty, the time is now to make sure those who need medical marijuana have access.”
Initiative 182 is one of four ballot issues related to marijuana that is seeking support from Montanans to be on the 2016 ballot. I-182 is the only initiative that addresses medical marijuana access. One ballot proposal would repeal the current medical marijuana law and make marijuana use totally illegal in Montana, while two others would provide for recreational use of marijuana.