Missoula, Bozeman Slacking on IR124 Marijuana Initiative

by jhwygirl

Let me clarify that I mean Missoulians and Bozemanites are slacking, but not for lack of signature gatherers. People – you need to stop and sign these petitions (the eminent domain one too) when you see them!

Just about every b’birder here took the legislature to task on SB423 this past session – as did Montanafesto – the bill otherwise known as the Medical Marijuana reform Repeal bill.

The bill authored, incidentally, by Sen. Jeff Essmann who recently announced he will be entertaining a run for Governor…which had been written here back in early June.

Montanafesto carried on the cause, and has been working on signature gathering for a repeal of SB423 – Initiative Referendum 124.

On of the most obnoxious things about the so-called Marijuana Reform bill of the last legislative session was that it repealed a 2004 Citizen’s Initiative which assured medical marijuana for patients here in Montana.

Let’s be clear about how obnoxious this unconstitutional SB423 is – a judge has already placed an injunction halting implementation of most of it.

Collecting signatures for IR124 has been a bit harder than expected – though the training required for all signature gatherers has paid off with a high percentage of valid signatures. Intimidation and arrests of caregivers has cut down access for patients, which in turn has reduced the number of signatures gathered.

Who’s leading the pack on signatures? Yellowstone County. A bit shocking considering Missoula is supposedly filled with a bunch of pot-smoking hippy activists who will organize for anything.

Signature gathering ends September 30th.

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association is the lead group pursuing the lawsuit which has resulted in the injunction which has all but halted implementation of SB423….and they are in need of funding to continue to fight the appeal the State has made of that decision.

Shame on Bullock and Governor Schweitzer for wasting taxpayer money pursuing such an unconstitutional bill that has ignored a recent and overwhelmingly approved Citizen’s Initiative .

So if you can help out with a donation, hit this link or put a check in the mail to their address here.

You can also use that last link to contact MTCIA for information on where signatur gatherers will be across the state. I’m kinda hoping they might add to the comments here – Labor Day Weekend, I’m sure there’s lots of events where petition gatherers will be active.

  1. Ingemar Johansson

    Maybe its because Bozeman and Mizzo have lower prices than the eastern part of the state.

  2. Turner

    Thanks for mentioning IR 125. A lot of people still don’t understand its importance. IR 125 is a referendum measure that would reverse HB 198 (passed with a lot of arm-twisting and under-the-table money) in the last legislature, a law giving power companies the right of eminent domain so they can seize Montanans’ private property for their projects.

    A Canadian power company, using the new law, has already begun condemning private property for the MATL project in northern Montana. NWE intends to do the same in Southwest Montana soon.

    Go to votefor125.com to find out more. A please, please sign the petition!

    • Turner

      That was supposed to be “And please sign the petition.”

      What I didn’t mention about the SMTI project that NWE wants to ram down our throats in this part of the state is that it would cause enormous environmental damage, adversely affect recreation and agriculture, and be of financial benefit to the power company only. Basically, it’s a scam.

    • the walrus & the carpenter

      Thank you Turner & Matthew for reminding folks about IR-125,
      the petition to get HB198 on the 2012 ballot: allowing THE PEOPLE, who are not corporations, to vote on the expanded eminent domain law! Just like the folks working for the IR-124 petition drive, we face an extremely difficult challenge with minimal resources.

      The struggle over HB 198 has really gotten no critical coverage in the mainstream Montana media (aside from some here on 4&20). When it has been written about
      in the major newspapers, it’s often simplified to read like a morality play- the struggle of two sides fighting over efforts to build industrial transmission lines across the state. One side claims it’s purpose is to develop green wind power which will wean us off fossil fuel dependency forever and the landowner’s defense of their private property rights is being judged as selfish behavior.

      Superficial press treatment is pretty much what we get.
      It’s almost as if the ghost of John D. Ryan was present today and still applying the Copper Collar technique from a century ago. The power company that bought the corpse of MPC has refitted the state’s major media outlets, most of the Montana legislature and office of the Governor, in many cases willingly.

      Please take the time to read the following articles at the links below for a view from our neighbors in Canada. There’s a much broader picture of how our struggles in Montana fit into the bigger scheme, the bigger picture.
      And the amazing thing is, it makes sense. Electricity is
      just seeking a path to market, it is non-discriminatory when it comes to color: green, brown, tar sand…
      When hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars, are on the table, the civility of businessmen usually gets a little ragged on the edges.

      How Alberta’s $16-billion Electricity Scandal Plugs into the Oil Sands


      The multi-billion dollar high-power transmission line (publicly-financed) running down the centre of Alberta would have fed electricity into the privately-owned MATL (Montana Alberta Tie Ltd) running south from Lethbridge into the U.S.  


      Please visit votefor125.com
      Take action if you do value honest effort.

  3. Thanks, Jhwygirl. We appreciate the publicity. I don’t think that signatures in Bozeman are lacking, however; I think the lower numbers are in Missoula and Helena, but they are picking up. The first two house districts that we qualified for the ballot in were in Gallatin County. Hopefully the universities will provide some signatures in the coming days.

    Petitioning is indeed hard work and we’ve been having difficulties accessing events that are held on public property, areas where we should be legally able to collect signatures.
    We have been told at some county fairs- for instance, Hill County in Havre, that we couldn’t even petition outside the gates- we were relegated to the parking lot, far from any crowds of fair-goers. Rockin the Rivers told us that we’d be forcibly removed from the event if we were seen with a petition. To say that event coordinators have been difficult and unfriendly is, for the most part, an understatement. Many events only reluctantly allowed our presence after we showed them a copy of our rights to petition, from the Secretary of State. Some required letters from our attorneys in addition. I sent letters to the editor with contact info to newspapers in 40 newspapers, many refused to print it and the editor of the one in my hometown (Plentywood) said, and I quote: “There are enough potheads in our county”. Discrimination is rampant.

    We will likely have petitioners at nearly every major event over the Labor Day weekend but off hand, here are the ones I know of for certain:

    Dillon: Patagonia Outlet sale, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    Lewistown: Chokecherry Festival, we have a booth throughout the event days.
    Saco: Saco Days
    Wolf Point: Rumble in the Rez III
    Poplar: Poplar Powwow

    As I find out about other events this weekend, I will post details. Also, if there is anyone who needs to sign the petition and isn’t aware of where to do so, here is a list of locations: http://www.patientsforreform.org/where-to-sign-the-petition/

    If anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.

  4. you can only stand on the majority’s neck for so long before the majority rises up. signed the petition today. it is definitely picking up momentum. people are starting to ask me if i’ve signed it yet.

    to hell with jeff esseman and our hypocrite district attorney van valkenberg. (who everyone knows in his younger days indulged) and to hell with chief muir. we are beginning to rise up and say enough is enough with minority rule and ignorance.

    and i don’t even smoke it. never have. i just believe people should be free and if i had my druthers any adult who desires to smoke marijuana would be able to purchase it without interference from any government agency. period.

    of course, right now we are only talking here about (again) voting to allow the use of marijuana for those who need it medically. but it is at least a good first step to reclaiming personal freedom in this country from those who usurp it.

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