Why We’re AGAINST IR-124

IR-124 is a referendum that will appear on the November 6, 2012, ballot.

IR-124 is the new name for Senate Bill 423, enacted by the 2011 legislature, after it was forced onto the ballot. Because we disapproved of SB 423, we are asking Montanans to vote AGAINST IR-124.

The bill repeals voter-approved Initiative 148, Montana’s medical marijuana law, replacing it with an unworkable alternative that hurts patients. A court has already enjoined key parts of IR-124, leaving chaos and uncertainty. We need to start fresh by voting AGAINST IR-124.

Among the problems with IR-124:

▪   It makes it much harder for cancer patients, or people with glaucoma or AIDS to even qualify for medical marijuana.

▪    Seriously ill patients must grow their own marijuana or force someone to grow it for them. The bill provides no other way to get it.

▪    It literally provides no legal way for patients or providers to obtain plants or seeds to grow.  IR-124 is designed not to work for anyone, and reinvigorates a “black market” – the opposite of what voters intended.

▪  Doctors say the new requirements are much harder to follow, much harder than regular prescription drugs. Some doctors say they will simply stop recommending medical marijuana.

▪  Patients will have a hard time finding growers to help them. People who agree to grow marijuana for a patient must go through background checks, including by the FBI. With federal agents busting providers all over Montana, who will register with the FBI as a marijuana grower?

No one asked patients whether IR-124 would work for them. Now patients say it won’t work at all. And isn’t the whole point of having a medical marijuana law to have a system that helps seriously ill patients? We certainly think so.

IR-124 must be replaced. By voting AGAINST IR-124, we can bring everyone to the table again and write a law that restores patients’ rights, provides workable, safe access to medical marijuana, and respects patients and the communities they live in.