Coalition406, a new group in Montana, is planning to formulate a ballot measure so that residents can decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized in the state during the 2020 elections.
In recent years, efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana have attracted growing support in the population. This support is buoyed by the increasing number of states that are either in the process or have already legalized recreational marijuana.
A poll conducted in February this year by researchers from the University of Montana found that 51 percent of all voters in the state support recreational cannabis legalization.
Coalition406 strongly believes that once recreational cannabis is legalized, thousands of people will be employed in the industry and the state will collect revenues that can help to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure projects.
Ted Dick, a campaign manager for Coalition406, announced that the group would sponsor a listening tour throughout the state in order to gather views from people regarding the plan to legalize recreational marijuana. “We want to hear from real Montanans,” he added.
Ted Dick isn’t new on the political landscape of Montana. Previously, he worked as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party in Montana. He therefore brings extensive experience in politics to this initiative to see recreational marijuana legalized.
If the initiative is to make its way onto the ballot in November 2020, at least 25,468 signatures of registered voters will have to be collected after the initiate gets the nod to proceed to the step of gathering signatures.
If the University of Montana poll is indicative of people’s current views in the state, Coalition406 will have to do a lot of work to convince more people to support the measure since the opinion poll shows that legalization currently enjoys a slim majority which can be swayed by those opposed to legalization.
Events in other states which have tried to legalize recreational marijuana also show that the objective is often easier to attain through a ballot than through legislative means.
For example, a law legalizing recreational marijuana was almost a foregone conclusion until voting on the bill was postponed after legislative leaders realized that not enough support existed in the New Jersey senate.
Similarly, the state budget was presented in New York State without including recreational marijuana, and that has cast doubt over plans to legalize recreational marijuana there during this legislative session.
Ballot measures therefore appear to be a better approach to take since the people are often ahead of their elected representatives in terms of voicing what they want. For this reason, VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) and Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) applaud Coalition406 for taking the initiative to involve voters directly in matters of legalizing recreational cannabis in Montana.
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