Montana NORML Newsletter: Why Vote?

October 29th, 2010 by John Masterson Leave a reply »

This coming Tuesday, voters (that’s YOU) will decide a number of important issues. Here in Montana, we’ll decide on who will be responsible for deciding how your medical marijuana law will be rewritten.

I know some of you have already voted (awesome!). I know some of you intend not to vote at all (lame!). And I bet there’s a bunch of you who know you should vote, but you think you don’t know enough about the issues, or it’s a hassle, or it makes no difference, or you don’t like crowds or new experiences.

I’m here to tell you it’s important to vote, if you care about marijuana policy.

Montana is a small state, population-wise. Legislative races are sometimes decided by a dozen votes. In some districts, that means if you were to call your grower friend and tell him to call his registered patients, you could switch an election result from bad to good! That’s real voter power!

For example, in HD 63 (Bozeman – click for map), there’s a tight race in progress. The Democrat, Jennifer “JP” Pomnichowski, voted YES on a bill in the last legislative session to improve and expand the medical marijuana program. The Republican, Tom Burnett, recently distributed campaign literature indicating his support for restricting medical marijuana access.

This is a theme you can count on, actually. Montana NORML is a non-partisan organization, but in general, our sense is that Democrats generally support our position, and Republicans are much more likely to oppose us.

So, if you’re wondering how to vote on the marijuana issue alone, vote Democrat (or Libertarian). I say that with a certain hesitance, because there are Republicans who support us. But if you don’t know anything else about a candidate and you want to end marijuana prohibition, vote for the Democrat. (Apologies to my esteemed Republican friends!)

Historically, voter turnout in non-presidential elections is low. Don’t be part of the problem. But hey, when fewer people vote, that means your vote counts more than ever! So step up!

Click here right now to visit candidates.montanadrugpolicy.org and learn more about the candidates that are asking for your vote.

Please also register at the “I live in this district” link on your district page! By working together, we can make positive changes; please join me right now, tonight!


Elsewhere in the West, voters in Arizona and South Dakota will be voting on medical marijuana, and California voters will decide on Prop 19, which will make marijuana legal to grow and possess for all adults 21+.

There is a lot of debate among marijuana policy reformers about whether Prop 19 is “good enough”. In fact, a small number of people for whom I have great respect do not support it.

For us at NORML (click for video), the key factor is that, upon passage, it will become legal under California state law for adults to grow a small garden and possess marijuana. That’s just incredible! Amazing!

If this initiative passes, a big chunk of the wall of cannabis prohibition will be knocked down. About 10% of all Americans live in California. Changes that occur there have a significant impact nationwide.

Legalization in California next week sets the stage for ending cannabis prohibition in Montana in 2012, or maybe even sooner.

That’s why I personally gave $50 to the campaign tonight. I hope you will too.

And now, the news…

Mixed Bag of Marijuana News:

Thanks to all for your support.  And a very, very special thank you to our newest LIFETIME SUPPORTER. You know who you are. :)

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