Two aggressive groups are antagonism for signatures in hopes that voters will accompany change to the already agitated acknowledged mural that is Montana marijuana.
Ballot action campaigns accept been alive beyond the accompaniment in chase of support, but the action isn’t centered in the bleared mountains of western Montana. It’s based appropriate actuality in Billings.
Steve Zabawa, 58, is in his additional year at the captain of Safe Montana, the accumulation acquisitive to accomplish all marijuana use actionable by adjustment with federal law and repealing the state’s medical marijuana measures. He put alternating a agnate action in 2014 but bootless to aggregate abundant signatures.
This year, he’s aiming afresh for the 24,175 signatures appropriate to get his action on the ballot.
“We accept a acceptable aggregation now of volunteers and organizers,” Zabawa said.
He said that Safe Montana has paid agents associates in Bozeman, Kalispell and Billings, as able-bodied as volunteers beyond the state. The attack is active on $9,000 in banknote and in-kind contributions from Zabawa himself, as able-bodied as a distinct $1,500 donation from a Wyoming contributor.
Zabawa, the co-owner of the Rimrock Auto Group, said that Montana’s medical marijuana affairs has lacked blank and has done little added than to access availability.
He sees accountability in the blah areas that abide amid states with some anatomy of acknowledged pot and the federal government, which classifies it as a agenda I actionable substance. The accent in his proposal, Action 176, is aboveboard — abolition the accepted marijuana laws and adjourn to the federal statute.
“If it’s actionable federally, it would be actionable in the accompaniment of Montana,” he said.
On the added ancillary of the agitation is Anthony Varriano, a 29-year-old sportswriter for the Glendive Ranger Review. His organization, Cycling for Sensible Drug Policy, is based in Billings. His ambition is the legal, recreational use of marijuana.
“Nobody should accept to serve bastille time for possessing a plant,” Varriano said.
Cycling for Sensible Drug Policy has accustomed aloof over $2,000 in contributions from 22 bodies back October. The name of the alignment refers to a 1,200-mile bike bout that Varriano affairs to alpha in April, accession signatures alternating the way.
Varriano’s proposal, Action 178, calls for the amends of marijuana use and acquirement for bodies earlier than 21. He has additionally put alternating a built-in initiative, which requires alert as abounding signatures as a election admeasurement because it would alter the accompaniment constitution.
The action claims that with a 20 percent customs tax on marijuana sales, Montana would accomplish added than $37 actor in acquirement over bristles years. It additionally accounts for $10.9 actor in authoritative costs and costs for law administration ambidextrous with pot-impaired drivers.
It calls for acknowledged control of up to one ounce of marijuana and no added than six plants for bodies over 21. It additionally contains a account of labeling requirements for retail marijuana, including the pesticides acclimated to abound the bulb and bloom accident warnings.
Like Zabawa, Varriano said that he has a arrangement of volunteers beyond the accompaniment and is assured that he will ability the appropriate cardinal of signatures for at atomic the election initiative.
The accent in Varriano’s action relies on the accepted Montana Marijuana Act to annals and baby-sit bodies who abound marijuana. He said that he additionally took a lot from Colorado, area voters accustomed amends in 2012.
“We’ve already got that in place. We’ve already got providers who can abound the medicine,” he said. “Why not acquiesce them to adventure into the recreational market?”
In contrast, Zabawa has again a byword in cities beyond the state. He doesn’t appetite to see what he calls “Colorado craziness” in Montana.
Sides of the divide
The agitation over amends includes a agitate of abstracts plucked from studies as experts attending into the amusing amount of these accompaniment experiments. Safe Montana and Cycling for Sensible Drug Policy are no different.
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