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Marijuana advocate submits 2014 ballot proposal

Associated Press Published: November 23, 2012

"The negative reaction that I heard in my district and most legislators heard in their districts two years ago to the proliferation of the (medical marijuana) storefronts indicates I do not think Montanans are ready for legalization of recreation marijuana," he said.

Trego's proposal would add two sentences two the Montana Constitution: "Adults have the right to responsibly purchase, consume, produce and possess marijuana, subject to reasonable limitations, regulations and taxation. Except for actions that endanger minors, children or public safety, no criminal offense or penalty of the state shall apply to such activities."

That is the same language approved last year, Trego said. This time, she said she submitted the proposal early so they could get the language approved and supporters organized with plenty of time left over to collect signatures.

Terri McCoy, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, said petitions may not be circulated for signature gathering more than a year before the deadline for filing a petition. That means the earliest supporters can start collecting signatures is June 2013.

For a constitutional initiative to qualify for the ballot, backers must gather 10 percent of the total number of qualified voters in the state — that meant 48,674 signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot. Of that total, the signatures must come from 10 percent of the voters in each of the 40 state House districts.