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Campaign to legalize marijuana in Montana offers ballot initiatives

A medical marijuana caregiver sits with other vendors during a medical marijuana clinic in Billings, Mont., in 2010.
A medical marijuana caregiver sits with other vendors during a medical marijuana clinic in Billings, Mont., in 2010.James Woodcock

HELENA, Mont. — A campaign to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana use has submitted two proposed ballot initiatives for state review, the group “New Approach Montana” announced.

The first ballot proposal would legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults in Montana, establish a regulatory framework, and impose a 20 percent sales tax. Part of the tax money would be used to reduce the tax on medical marijuana from 2 percent to 1 percent.

The second ballot issue is a constitutional amendment that would restrict marijuana consumption, like alcohol, to people age 21 or older.

The initiatives were delivered to the Secretary of State and Legislative Services Division on Monday, Montana Public Radio reported. The Attorney General must approve the language before the group can start gathering signatures in an effort to put the issues before voters in November 2020.

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The group would need over 25,000 signatures by June to put the marijuana legalization issue on the ballot and almost 51,000 signatures to qualify the constitutional amendment for the ballot.