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Marijuana

The campaign opposing a Montana medical marijuana ballot initiative has filed a second complaint against I-182, which appeared in two recent magazine ads.

Safe Montana issued the complaint on Oct. 6 to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, alleging that the ads are unreported election communications.

The fall 2016 issue of Outside Bozeman contains two full-page advertisements for medical marijuana providers. Both ads include images that say "vote yes I-182." The ads depict two businesses: Greener Pastures Natural Medicine and Lionheart Caregiving.

I-182 would remove restrictions placed on the state medical marijuana program by a 2011 law. In February, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a majority of the contested provisions.

One of those provisions was a ban on advertising for medical marijuana. If I-182 passes, it would maintain that ban.

The Safe Montana complaint was signed by the group's founder, Steve Zabawa. The complaint said that the businesses behind the magazine ads should have registered with the state and reported the expenditures as campaign spending.

Simultaneously, Safe Montana said that the groups tied to the I-182 campaign should have reported the ads as in-kind contributions. Those groups are Montana Citizens for I-182 and the Montana Cannabis Industry Association.

The latter group is a trade organization that has financially supported the I-182 campaign.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl already has two complaints on his docket related to this campaign. The proponent and opponent groups for I-182 have filed complaints against each other. No ruling has been issued.

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