Posted: Oct 17, 2012 9:51 PM by Callie Eike - MTN
BILLINGS - Billings Republican state Sen. Jeff Essmann called a discussion on medical marijuana to "clear up the confusion over a recent radio ad" but his meeting soon turned ugly.
"Obviously the advocates that want to return to a Wild West situation on medical marijuana are very intent on achieving their goals," said Senator Essmann, during the Wednesday press conference at Jake's on the West End. "They showed up today in order to advance their agenda."
Bob Brigham from Patients for Reform said Essman's own Republican party "took the historic step on putting language in their platform specifically bashing [Essman's] bill."
Senator Essmann wants voters to vote for I-124, since it would keep the current regulations on medical marijuana. A vote against I-124 would repeal the Legislature's new medical marijuana law, and return the law to its original form that voters approved in 2004.
A third player jumped into the mix Wednesday. The anti-pot group Safe Community Safe Kids says I-124 is misleading, and faults Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock for allowing it to happen.
"If you're in favor, you'd vote yes on this one... and no, you would vote no...and that's my point is that it's really confusing," stated Steve Zabawa, Safe Community Safe Kids. "And our Attorney General's office for whatever reason didn't think that out when they put the initiative out in the voter pamphlet."
"The people who are here complaining today had full knowledge of what was going to go on the ballad, and had every opportunity to provide input and approve it," stated Jim Molloy, Bullock Campaign Spokesman.
Regardless of the bickering, if we learned anything from today's event, is that Montana voters need to do their homework and make sure they understand the implications of Initiative-124.
For voting information and to read more about the ballot Initiatives on this year's ballot, go to montanavoterguide.com.