BILLINGS - Volunteers across the state are working to collect 25,000 signatures to get an initiative on the November ballot repealing medical marijuana; hundreds of people have already signed their name on the petition.
Dozens of people in billings joined the fight Monday night in an attempt to repeal Montana's medical marijuana laws. Petitioners with 'Safe Kids, Safe Community,' led the fight; collecting signatures for the initiative they hope will make the November ballot. It's a battle medical marijuana caregiver Mark Higgins says is unnecessary and extremely harmful. "There's no need to repeal it and to make people have to suffer," Higgins said," it's like here you can have your candy; oh we're taking it away! You can't do that to people! You just can't mess with their lives that way!"
People signing the petition disagree, saying they think medical marijuana laws have gotten out of hand. "I think that the legalization of marijuana is not a good moral choice. I think that I need to stand up for what I feel is right so that my kids will look back and someday know where I stand morally and I think that eventually the legalization of it is what's going to come next," Gina Mcqueen said.
Others, like Boyd Strissel say they are signing the petition because they expected stricter regulations. "I think they've been mislead and the I way I feel this stuff should be prescribed by a doctor and with a prescription for each and every time they get it and make it a little tougher to get it."
But Higgins said repeal is unnecessary, "medical marijuana laws in Montana aren't perfect but they're workable. if we repeal these laws I'm going to have cancer patients that are going to have to suffer. I'm going to have to suffer with chronic back pains and it's going to put me back on heavy narcotics all the time and it's going to make me an unproductive member of society."
Although both sides agree medical marijuana laws need to be changed, it is clear neither said can agree on just how much.
Petitioners have until this Friday afternoon to collect the 25,000 signatures they need to get the initiative on the ballot.
By Lindsey Scheetz
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