On Friday, Montana’s Secretary of State Linda McCulloch announced that Montana’s amendment to legalize medical marijuana has failed to qualify for the November general election ballot.
The legalization measure, CI-110, needed 48,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. By the deadline on Friday, supporters had handed in less than 18,000 valid signatures.
The measure was sponsored by Barb Trego. She expressed her disappointment that the measure failed to make it onto the ballot. “We didn’t make it,” she explained. “We just ran out of time. We just got going too late.”
Gathering signatures for the initiative was delayed multiple times because sponsors had to edit the proposal’s language due to objections from state officials. The language had to be in its final form before sponsors could begin seeking out support.
Now that the language has been finalized, Trego believes efforts moving forward will be simpler in the future. She said, “We’re not giving up. When we do it the next time, we’ll be more prepared.”
Despite the failure of CI-110, marijuana advocates will still have something to vote on this November. Medical marijuana initiative IR-124 will be on the ballot, which would give voters the chance to reject the May 2011 update to the state’s medical marijuana law SB 423. SB 423 greatly restricted medical marijuana patients’ rights, making it difficult for patients to obtain a doctor’s recommendation and safely access their medicine.