There is an imbecilic group of conservatives currently humping the political landscape of Montana in hopes of persuading the local yokels into outlawing marijuana across the state.
Earlier last week, the collaborative effort between anti-cannabis group Safe Montana and a shifty-eyed car salesman by the name Steve Zabawa won approval from the Secretary of State to begin collecting signatures for their petition, Initiative 174, aimed at banning the use and possession of all Schedule I substances deemed illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act -- including medical marijuana.
"The initiative would eliminate the current disparity between federal law and state law with respect to the legal status of the possession and use of marijuana," reads a mission statement on the Safe Montana website. It continues by expressing concerns over the validity of state's medical marijuana program, which currently affects 8,533 patients. "Federal Illegal Drugs are being presented in Montana as medicine and are too easily secured through green cards."
It is readily apparent that supporters of this initiative believe that unless a drug comes stamped with seal of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it has no place in Montana. "If there's anything good about a Schedule One drug, whether it be marijuana or one of the other ones, then we need to take it to the FDA and get it switched," Steve Zabawa told KXLH. "We don't want to be legalizing any illegal drugs."
Despite increasing public opinion surrounding the concept of legalizing marijuana across the United States, with some of the latest polls indicating nearly 60-percent of the population are in support of putting an end to prohibition, Zabawa told KTVQ that volunteers for Initiative 174 have already inked an impressive amount of bi-partisan enthusiasm since beginning their mission last week.
"This is the first time anything's been done like this on a petition gathering deal," Zabawa told KTVQ. "Normally you go door to door, you wait one at a time. Here what we're saying is we're going to use the people in favor of it to go out and get us 20, so with one signature, you're getting 21, so it goes a lot faster quicker as far as getting to the 24, 175 signatures we need."
Safe Montana has until June 20 to collect the required 24,174 signatures it needs to get I-174 on the ballot in the upcoming November election. "We're going to give it our best shot," Zabawa told the Independent Record, adding that he believes the initiative has the potential to collect 100,000 signatures. "We've got great support around the state."
It should come as no surprise that state marijuana advocates believe Zabawa's anti-pot initiative is a scourge on society. In fact, during a recent interview with Chris Lindsey, who works with both the Marijuana Policy Project and the Montana chapter of NORML, he argued against Zabawa's idea of establishing pot laws that coincide with federal policy. "Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient and problematic as alcohol prohibition," said Lindsey. "It's a colossal failure. And Steve wants to be the champion of that failure."