New Approach Montana submits signatures for 2020 legalization ballot initiatives
Last update: July 2, 2020
Earlier this year, New Approach Montana, a statewide campaign working to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, submitted two complementary 2020 ballot initiatives to the state for review. The first is a statutory initiative that would legalize marijuana in Montana for adults aged 21 and over and establish a regulatory framework for cultivation and sales. The second is a constitutional amendment that would allow the legal minimum age for marijuana consumption to be 21.
On June 19, the campaign submitted over 130,000 signatures from counties across the state in order to qualify two complementary marijuana legalization initiatives for the November 2020 ballot. Despite the severe impact of COVID-19, the campaign was able to reach its goals in time for the signature submission deadline.
“This was the most innovative signature drive I’ve ever seen,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director at the Marijuana Policy Project, which helped coordinate the effort. “The campaign used mailings, online ads, phone calls, and texting. Signature gatherers travelled all across the state collecting signatures every day while strictly adhering to internal health protocols.”
The campaign submitted over 52,000 signatures in support of I-190, a statutory initiative that would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Montana, and over 80,000 signatures in support of CI-118, a constitutional initiative that would set the legal minimum age for purchasing, consuming, or possessing marijuana at 21. Those numbers far exceed the minimum requirements of 25,468 and 50,936, respectively. A decision on qualification is expected by mid-July.
The adult-use legalization initiative would allocate marijuana tax revenue to land, water, and wildlife conservation programs, veteran services, substance abuse treatment, long-term health care, and local governments. Read a full summary of the proposal here.