Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have repealed the state’s seven-year-old, voter-approved law legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
Critics of the broadly written law, approved as a ballot measure by 62 percent of voters in 2004, say the statute has been used by some as a pretext for recreational pot smoking and even for illegal drug trade.
The supply chain of pot-growing facilities and storefront dispensaries allowed under Montana’s medical marijuana statute is little regulated and has expanded rapidly during the past couple of years.
Meanwhile, the number of residents carrying cards allowing them to lawfully use pot as treatment for one ailment or another has jumped from about 1,000 to nearly 30,000.
Last month, federal agents raided marijuana greenhouses and dispensaries in 13 cities across Montana in a crackdown federal prosecutors said was aimed at supposed medical pot suppliers who were engaged in large-scale drug trafficking.
Schweitzer, a Democrat serving his second term as governor, said he supported moves in the legislature to tighten regulations under the law but was loathe to override the will of the voters.
“I do not believe it is right that 91 legislators overturn the will of the people of Montana, who passed this citizen initiative in 2004 by this significant margin,” he said in his veto message.
Just brought this up for discussion.