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Group Claims Enough Signatures For Recreational Marijuana Vote

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.
Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.

A group seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Montana says it has gathered enough signatures to put the question to voters in November's election.

The ballot committee, New Approach Montana, says it has turned in 52,000 signatures in support of a ballot initiative to allow retail marijuana sales at a 20% tax rate.

Organizers also turned in more than 80,000 signatures for an accompanying constitutional initiative that would allow the legal age buying age of marijuana to be set at 21.

The committed collected signatures from all 100 state House districts, spokesman Pepper Petersen said, all while taking precautions to prevent disease transmission during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We think it represents what’s going to happen in November, “ he said. “There’s going to be an overwhelming support for this in every corner of the state. There’s not a legislative district that’s not represented in the signatures. We feel like the support out there is deep and wide, and it’s really exciting.”

Election officials must verify signatures before the measures are approved for the ballot. According to the Associated Press, campaign finance reports show New Approach Montana spent more than $1 million collecting signatures.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.