Montana 2016 ballot initiative breakdown - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Montana 2016 ballot initiative breakdown

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Minars / Flickr  / MGN Photo Courtesy: Kelley Minars / Flickr / MGN

Election day is upon us and while many of us are thinking about who we are voting for, there are also important initiatives to vote for as well.

In Montana, we have four having to do with marijuana, animals, law enforcement and bonds.

Initiative 182  renames the Montana Marijuana Act to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and allows marijuana to be prescribed as medication. Medical Marijuana was legalized in 2004, but in 2011 a law was signed to limit providers. The initiative repeals the three patient limit for a single treating physician. This initiative specifically states medical marijuana can be prescribed to patients with "debilitating medical conditions" like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I-182 also allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense and transport medical marijuana and repeals the requirement that providers with 25 patients or more to be referred to the board of medical examiners annually. Finally, the initiative would require the state to annually inspect facilities, but stops law enforcement from conducting unannounced inspections. 

Initiative 177 prohibits the use of traps and snares for animals on public lands in Montana. It also establishes misdemeanor criminal penalties for any violations. I-177 does allow Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to use traps on public lands only when necessary and if nonlethal methods don't work. 

Constitutional Initiative 116, otherwise known as Marsy's Law, would add a section to the state constitution establishing specific rights for crime victims. CI-116 guarantees the victims' rights to restitution, privacy, to confer with the prosecuting attorney, and to be informed of their rights. The measure would also protect the privacy of victims, especially during trials when the defense is allowed to bring up the victims past, but prosecutors can not bring up past convictions of the accused. Other rights secured to crime victims would include receiving more notifications regarding development or changes in their case.

Initiative 181 establishes the Montana Biomedical Research Authority to oversee grants for developing therapies and cures for brain diseases and injuries. Some of those include; Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, brain cancer, dementia, traumatic brain injury and stroke. State general obligation bonds fund the grants which can be used to pay for the costs of peer-reviewed biomedical research and therapy development, recruiting scientists and students and acquiring innovative technologies at Montana biomedical research organizations. 

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