Pubdate: Sat, 22 Sep 2012
Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Copyright: 2012 Helena Independent Record
Author: Charles S. Johnson


Montana voters support the more restrictive medical marijuana law and
strongly back a ballot issue requiring girls under age 16 to get
parental consent before having an abortion, a new Lee Newspapers poll

They also favor another ballot issue that would deny state services to
"illegal aliens."

Mason Dixon Polling & Research Inc. took the poll Monday through
Wednesday for Lee Newspapers, interviewing 625 registered voters who
said they were likely to vote in November. The poll has a margin of
error of plus or minus four percentage points, although the margin
rises with subgroups like gender.

Here's a look at the three questions polled:

- - Medical marijuana. Initiative Referendum 124 will appear on Nov. 6
ballot. Voters will decide whether to keep the more restrictive
medical marijuana law passed by the 2011 Legislature or reject it and
go back to the voter-approved 2004 initiative that legalized the use
of marijuana for some medical purposes.

The Republican majorities passed the more stringent law, Senate Bill
423, in response to skyrocketing numbers of people obtaining medical
marijuana cards, large wholesale growing operations and storefront
dispensaries that sprung up in some cities. Democratic Gov. Brian
Schweitzer let it become law without his signature. Medical marijuana
advocates criticized the law as overly harsh.

After the Legislature passed the new law, medical marijuana advocates
collected more than 35,000 signatures to put it on the ballot as a

Montanans will vote for Initiative Referendum 124 if they want to keep
the 2011 law and against it if they choose to reject the law and go
back to the 2004 initiative. SB423 repealed the initiative.

Poll results showed 44 percent are for IR-124 to keep the 2011 law,
while 31 percent are against, with 25 percent undecided.

Broken down by gender, the poll showed 46 percent of men favor IR-124,
while 37 percent oppose it, with 17 percent undecided. Among women, 42
percent back IR-124, with 25 percent opposing it and 33 percent undecided.

By political party, Republicans back IR-124 by 52 percent to 31
percent, with 17 percent undecided. Democrats were split, 33 percent
to 32 percent, with 35 percent undecided. Independents favored IR-124
by 46 percent to 31 percent, with 23 percent undecided.

Referendum 120 prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a
girl under age 16 unless the doctor notifies a parent or guardian at
least 48 hours before the procedure. The measure waives the need for
consent if there is a medical emergency, it is waived by a youth court
in a sealed proceeding and if it is waived by the parent or guardian.

A doctor who performs abortions on minors in violation of this measure
is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.

The measure was passed as a legislative referendum by the
Republican-controlled Legislature. As a legislative referendum, it did
not need to go to Schweitzer for a possible veto.

A Montana court in 1999 struck down as similar law as

The poll showed 65 percent of voters support LR-120, while 28 percent
oppose it, with 7 percent undecided.

By gender, 74 percent of men favor LR-120, with 19 percent opposed and
7 percent undecided. Among women, 57 percent support LR-120, while 36
percent are against it and 7 percent are undecided.

By political party, 91 percent of Republicans back LR-120, with 7
percent against it and 2 percent undecided.

Fifty percent of Democrats oppose LR-120, while 39 percent back it,
with 11 percent undecided.

Independents favor LR-120 by 64 percent to 27 percent, with 9 percent

- - "ILLEGAL ALIENS." Legislative Referendum 121 prohibits the state
from providing state services to people who aren't U.S. citizens or
who have illegally entered or illegally remained in the United States.

It was passed by the GOP-controlled 2011 Legislature as a legislative
referendum and went directly on the ballot, avoiding a possible veto
by Schweitzer.

Poll results showed 57 percent of people favor denying state services
to "illegal aliens," while 29 percent oppose it, and 14 percent are

Both men and women favor LR-121. Men do by 64 percent to 28 percent,
while women do by 51 percent to 30 percent, with the rest decided.

Republicans strongly support the measure by 86 percent to 8 percent,
while most Democrats are against it, 56 percent to 22 percent. The
remaining voters were undecided.

Independents back LR-121 by 61 percent to 25 percent, with the rest
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MAP posted-by: Matt