Not to be outdone by the Democrats, whose state parties in Washington, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Iowa have all recently adopted pro-reform policies in their platforms, the Montana Republican Party has endorsed medical marijuana at their state convention held on June 16th. The official language from their 2012 platform is as follows:
Medical Use of Marijuana
We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana’s current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.
This endorsement should be taken with a grain of salt, considering it was the Montana Republicans who had previously attempted to veto Montana’s medical program entirely and, when that was not politically feasible, passed SB 423 which greatly restricts the number of patients who may qualify to use medical cannabis legally under state’s voter-approved law.
The Republicans’ endorsement comes just over a week after the Montana Democratic Party adopted a similar resolution. At their convention, held from June 8th-9th, the Democrats also publicly voiced support for medical marijuana in their platform:
WHEREAS, the voters of Montana approved by initiative the compassionate use of medical marijuana
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Democratic Party supports the right of qualified patients, with a medical condition where marijuana is appropriate, to have safe access to medical marijuana.
This provides a rare instance where both the political right and left seem to agree on a single issue.
Hopefully this political support turns into success at the ballot box. Montana residents will be casting their vote this November to decide whether or not to strike down SB 423, a measure passed in 2011 through the legislature that essentially gutted the 2004 voter approved medical marijuana measure already in place. You can read more about the upcoming referendum vote here.
If you wish to learn more about the fight over medical marijuana in Montana, NORML highly recommends watching the documentary “Code of the West” as it does a fantastic job of explaining and detailing the ups and downs in the battle to save the state’s medical cannabis program.