Pending State Initiatives - Nov. 2004
As of September 10, 2004



The following state initiatives are either pending for the Nov. 2004 ballots, or have already qualified for the ballot:

 
State Ballot No.
Status & Description
1. Arkansas
None at
this time
Status: "The Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana (http://www.ardpark.org) fell some 12,000 signatures short, garnering only 52,364 valid signatures when it needed 64,456 to qualify, according to state election officials."
- Sep. 10, 2004 DRCNet

On Wednesday [Aug. 25, 2004], Arkansas medical marijuana supporters handed in 30,000 new signatures after canvassing statewide. Under Arkansas law, petitioners whose original signature petitions did not come up with enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot are granted a 30-day grace period to attempt to find more. With these additional signatures, the Arkansas initiative may make it to the ballot in November, but it is going to be a real nail-biter.
- Aug. 27, 2004 DRCNet

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels announced Tuesday [July 27, 2004] the organization collected 29,947 valid signatures. Proposed Act 1 must contain 64,456 valid signees to be certified for the ballot. The alliance has until Aug. 26 to reach that number. "We think if we've got enough perseverance and do enough hard work we can collect these signatures," said Denele Campbell, executive director of the alliance. "We're going to try. That's all we can do. I want to stand here and say we're confident we're going to pull this off, but we're not confident. It's a lot of hard work."
- July 28, 2004 Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)

Description: "The 'Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act' would allow patients with cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and other serious diseases to use marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation. The act would create a registry system where patients and their caregivers are issued cards allowing them to grow and possess limited amounts of marijuana for medical use." - July 9, 2004 DRCNet

"A national organization pushing for the legalization of marijuana for medical use snuffed out its effort Friday to put the issue to a vote in Arkansas. The main sponsor, the Marijuana Policy Project, has decided 'to discontinue our medical marijuana petition drive in Arkansas this year, primarily because of the rapidly increasing costs of TV airtime caused by the presidential campaigns.' The Marijuana Policy Project's decision, which surprised and disappointed advocates who have pushed for similar measures in the state for years, came just a week after the Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana submitted just over 67,000 petition signatures asking for a vote. For the measure to qualify for the ballot, the organization needs 64,456 signatures to be verified as those of registered voters, which supporters said seemed unlikely." -- July 10, 2004 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Sponsors:Marijuana Policy Project and Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana

Opponents:Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council

2. Montana
Init. 148
Status: Enough signatures have been submitted to place the initiative on the November 2004 ballot.

Description: The "Montana Medical Marijuana Act" would:

  • "Allow terminally and seriously ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctors' approval;
  • Protect these seriously ill patients from arrest and prosecution for the simple act of taking their medicine;
  • Permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to cultivate their own marijuana for their medical use, with limits on the amount they could possess;
  • Create registry identification cards, so that law enforcement officials could easily tell who was a registered patient, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards;
  • Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court; and
  • Keep common sense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana."
    - July 9, 2004 DRCNet

Sponsors:Marijuana Policy Project

Opponents: No formal opposition at this time.

3. Oregon
Init. 31
Status: Enough signatures have been gathered to place the initiative on the November 2004 ballot. The state's official announcement was made on July 19, 2004.

Description: The "Oregon Medical Marijuana Act 2" will revise the current Oregon law the permits medical marijuana in a variety of ways, such as:

  • "Lower annual fee from $150 to $20
  • Permit nurse practitioners and naturopaths, who are permitted to prescribe the same drugs as do M.D.'s, to be described as the "attending physician"
  • Increase amount of marijuana plants a patient can have from 7 plants (3 of which can be "mature") to 10 plants, eliminating the "mature" distinction, as well as eliminate seedlings and cuttings from counting as plants.
  • Increase amount of harvested marijuana a patient may have from less than a pound to 10 pounds.
  • Allow physicians to recommend marijuana for "any illness or condition they think is appropriate."
  • Allow caregivers to charge for their services, and to grow for multiple patients at the same location."
    - July 9, 2004 DRCNet

Sponsors:Voter Power

Opponents: No organized opposition at this time.

Note: General legalization initiatives are pending in the states of Alaska and Nevada. As they are not specific to marijuana's medical use, they are not discussed here.