Pubdate: Tue, 30 Oct 2012
Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Copyright: 2012 Helena Independent Record
Author: Drenda Niemann


There is much confusion about Initiative Referendum 124.

In an effort to clarify, Youth Connections would like to offer this 
statement: In 2004, the people of Montana passed an initiative to 
allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Our elected 
legislators and state and local experts determined this original law 
was insufficient in regulating the use of marijuana as medicine as 
evidenced by criminal activity connected to dispensary operations, 
requirement of little to no medical oversight by a physician, and 
increased availability of the drug leading to recreational use by youth.

According to the 2012 Montana Prevention Needs Assessment, 22.3 
percent more students in Lewis & Clark County reported using 
marijuana in the last 30 days since 2008. In 2011, legislators 
adapted the law controlling the use of medical marijuana to keep the 
citizens of Montana safe and still allow for the substance to be 
available for the terminally and chronically ill as originally intended.

Voting for Initiative-124. It will keep the current medical marijuana 
law including regulation passed during the 2011 Legislative session 
intact. Voting against I-124 will restore the law passed in 2004 by 
removing the 2011 regulations. Please be thoughtful of how this vote 
will impact the safety and health of Montana communities and our youth.

Drenda Niemann, Director Youth Connections Coalition, Safe Schools 
Healthy Students Initiative Helena
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