Montana has experienced a series of wins this month regarding cannabis legalization. First, a new study by Montana State University suggests the Montanans are in favor of cannabis legalization. More recently, Montana Supreme Court rejected a challenge that would have stopped the bill from reaching the November ballot.
Montana Supreme Court
Earlier this week, the Montana Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit that aimed to invalidate the cannabis legalization measure. Fortunately for cannabis enthusiasts, Wrong for Montana (WFM) fell short of stopping the measure. WFM arguest the cannabis initiative involves appropriating funds. They argue this is a violation of state statute on citizen initiatives.
Instead, the court didn’t even weigh in on the challenge due to WFM failing to demonstrate “urgency or emergency factors.”
“We express no opinion on the merits of WFM’s constitutional challenge, nor to its right to pursue this challenge in district court,” said the justices. “However, WFM’s claim does not present an appropriate basis on which to invoke this Court’s original jurisdiction. Even if it did, WFM has wholly failed to establish that urgency or emergency factors make litigation in the trial courts and the normal appeal process inadequate.”
For obvious reasons, advocates, such as New Approach Montana, are very excited about this decision. In fact, Dave Lewis, policy advisor to the pro-legalization New Approach Montana, said in a press release that this “was an easy decision for the Montana Supreme Court.”
“At best, this lawsuit was a frivolous longshot,” he said. “At worst, it was an intentional effort to create confusion right before the election.”
For the second time in October, advocates for cannabis legalization have received some good news just weeks before the election.
Montana State University
Earlier this month, Montana State University (MSU) released a poll showing promising results for this election. The study suggests that a large majority of Montana voters will vote in favor of cannabis legalization this time around.
These results display several important bits of information. First, it shows the majority of Democrats favor legalization, while the republicans are slightly against the measure, with 60% saying no to legalization. It also shows 59% of independent voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis. This could be the make or break group for the measure.
“The fate of marijuana legalization comes down to three factors: how the ‘don’t know’ respondents split, independent voters, and the presence of younger voters at the polls,” said analysts at Montana State University (MSU). “Right now, 49 percent of respondents overall indicate they will vote to legalize—a 10-point lead over those indicating they will not.”
Another important factor this data shows is that most age groups support legalization. The age group that isn’t in favor are those 60 and over. On the other hand, voters aged 18 to 29 backing it by a near than three-to-one margin. While this may be a challenge now, it is very promising for the future of cannabis.
“With a high voter turnout, Montana will likely legalize marijuana, assuming voters understand that both initiatives must pass and vote accordingly,” said MSU analysts.
All of this still proves to be good news for advocates of cannabis legalization. Hopefully, this positive shift is enough to convince voters in Montana to vote for the legalization. Residents will know in just a few weeks.