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Montana Ballot Issues, Vote 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016 13:13
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Montana Capitol BuildingMontana Ballot Issues, Vote 2016 Gary MarbutGary Marbut

Montana-( Some people complained that my previous article about my personal choices for candidates on the ballot did not include mention of ballot issues. What, people ask, is my personal take on the ballot issues that are on the 2016 ballot? In case you’re interested, here are my personal opinions:

CI-116 – Ensure that crime victims’ rights and interests are respected and protected by law. Also spoken of as “Marsey’s Law.” I’ll vote no on this. What it attempts to accomplish is already covered in existing law and judicial practice, it is not well crafted (too complex and detailed for constitutional language), and it would likely have serious unintended and negative consequences.

I-177 – Prohibit the use of traps and snares for animals by the public on any public lands within Montana, with certain exceptions. I’ll vote no. MSSA has officially taken the position opposing this initiative. This initiative violates the Montana Constitution, is a bad idea, and is just a step down the road to eventually ban hunting.

I-181 – Promote research into developing therapies and cures for brain diseases and injuries. I’ll vote no. This may be a good idea, but this initiative is the wrong way to formulate this sort of complex public policy. This idea should be vetted through the very public, creative, and filtering process of the Legislature, not by initiative. Plus, it creates debt, debt for which there is no identified income stream to pay.

I-182 – Expand access to medical marijuana. I will vote yes on this one. Honestly, I would also vote yes on an initiative to end all state regulation of marijuana, as has been done in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. As marijuana proponents say, “It’s just a plant.” The only credible argument why marijuana is a “gateway” to more damaging substances is because the illegality of it forces buyers and consumers to get it from the same people who also illegally sell the more lucrative and more injurious stuff. The societal cost of the illegality of marijuana far exceeds the societal cost of use of the plant, whatever that may be. I’m not a “pot head” and would not avail myself of marijuana if legalized (I prefer to maintain and exercise all my faculties), but I’ve had enough of the ridiculous “reefer madness” hype, widespread incarceration of people for possession, and paying for Draconian and destructive enforcement of the existing prohibitions. I-182 is a step in the right direction.

That’s all.

About Montana Shooting Sports Association

The Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners.

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