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Montanans vote to uphold tighter medical marijuana restrictions

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Nov 07 2012 12:14:04 AM MST
Updated On: Nov 07 2012 04:20:30 PM MST
Montanans vote to uphold tighter medical marijuana restrictions
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Montanans have been asked to weigh in on a number of ballot issues ranging from the health care laws to illegal immigrants but one of the most heated issues is Montana's medical marijuana regulations.

A “yes" vote for this measure supported tougher regulations passed by the legislature and a vote "no" supported repealing the stiffer regulations and reverting to more open medical marijuana rules passed by voters in 2004.

With about 91 percent of Montana’s precincts reporting, the initiative is passing with about 57 percent of the vote.

The new medical marijuana law restricts the number of patients each caregiver can supply to three and caregivers are not allowed to be compensated for providing patients with medical marijuana.

Patients are only allowed to reimburse their caregiver for the state application fee, and if patients choose not to name a caregiver they are allowed to possess 12 seedlings, four mature flowering plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.

If patients do choose to have a caregiver they give up their right to grow their own plants.

We spoke to state Representative Champ Edmunds who said he thinks Montana’s new medical marijuana program will work much better than the old program, I-148.  

“We passed a law last session that was what we think the people were asking for,” said Edmunds.  “I think the vote tonight showed we were right.  That is what the people wanted because that's why they voted to approve what we passed last session.”

Edmunds says even with the new initiative, medical marijuana is still illegal on a Federal level but he says as far as Montana’s new medical marijuana program goes, people will agree this time around there is much less of a grey area.