HELENA – Montana voters approved five ballot questions before them Tuesday – four with more than two-thirds support.

Voters overwhelmingly approved measures that require parental notification for minor girls’ abortions, deny services for illegal immigrants, declare that corporations are not people and forbid governments from imposing health insurance mandates.

The last question – whether to ratify a law that severely limits the use and distribution of medical marijuana – received 57 percent approval.

“The politicians won and patients lost,” Bob Brigham, the campaign manager for the group that opposed the law, said in a statement. “Montanans are clearly sick and tired of debating medical marijuana, when the conversation should be about when and how we’re going to end prohibition, just as two states did (Tuesday night).”

He was referring to marijuana legalization ballot questions in Washington and Colorado.

A lawsuit questioning the legality of the measure is still pending in court.

One initiative that had 75 percent approval creates a state policy that corporations are not people entitled to constitutional rights, and direct Montana’s congressional delegation to introduce a constitutional amendment establishing that.

The initiative got on the ballot amid the backlash to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that ruled a ban on corporate spending in federal elections was a restriction of free speech.

Backers of the initiative say there should be a level playing field in campaign spending by prohibiting corporate contributions and limiting political spending.

Opponents say corporations are formed by individuals who don’t give up their rights because they pool their resources and speak with a common voice.

Another initiative that had the support of more than 67 percent of voters prohibits governments from mandating that people buy health insurance.

The question is a legislative referendum placed on the ballot by majority Republicans who thought the measure had a better chance of passing by popular vote than getting past Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

The question was drafted in reaction to the health insurance mandate in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which was opposed by Republicans.

The two other ballot questions also were authored by Republican lawmakers

One, which requires parents to be notified prior to an abortion for a girl under 16, took more than 70 percent of the vote. A doctor who provides an abortion without proper notification could receive a six-month prison sentence and a $500 fine, according to the initiative.

Supporters say parents should be involved in such an important decision, and the child can petition a youth court judge to obtain a waiver of that notification in some cases.

Opponents argue that the government should stay out of such decisions and the right to privacy extends to all Montanans in making private medical decisions.

The fifth and final initiative would deny illegal immigrants from obtaining state services from student aid to disability benefits.

The initiative, which was approved by nearly 80 percent of voters, would require every person who seeks any state service to prove that he is a U.S. citizen or in the country legally.

Supporters say it will prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining services at the expense of citizens and prevent them from taking jobs at a time of high unemployment.

Opponents say the initiative will put the burden of identifying illegal immigrants on employers

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(9) comments


Montana voters have spoken loud and clear. Now we need the legislature to tighten SB423 even more. We need to stop ALL persons growing and distributing for profit. Montana does not need these illegal businesses. If you don't like this law then move to california and deal with the cartels there.

for freedom

Bill and Madtaxpayer, do you really think that you know more than the American Medical Association and the FDA? Both of whom recently approved cannabis as having substantial medical value. (see AMA spring issue + FDA approval of sativex). There are people out there that have terminal cancer that are using cannabis instead of morphine because it actually will prolong their life. Once a terminal cancer patient begins morphine they will typically go down hill much faster and die much sooner ( personal experience and doctor consultation). Madtaxpayer this is directed at you: I get that you want to gloat about your temporary victory, but it is unconscionable that you would say "hehehehe" to all of the terminal patients that will suffer as a result. I get that you are mad about the people who abused this program, but your lack of sympathy for those who did not, those who had a real need, those who will suffer while their families stand by and watch, makes me feel sorry for you, with your hatred and nearsightedness. And as for you bill, I think that it is hilarious when republicans spout off about smaller government and freedom when all they do is the opposite. According to you freedom means "you are free to do what you want as long as I agree with you". You and your party are nothing more than moral dictators and your narrow minded views may have won the day in Montana, on this issue, but I think that the NATION has spoken in this election and if you and yours don't go back to the real republican values ( the constitution and states rights), I think that you will find that your days are numbered.


Colorado and Washington are calling you!!! go away stoners! We don’t want you here!

Bye bye, don’t let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out!



@MontanaJim....YOU NEED TO GET INFORMED AND STOP BEING IGNORANT. The TEA PARTY stands for freedom, individual responsibility, small government, reduced regulation and low taxation.

Before you spew ignorance, think about the big government, centralized regulation, high taxation, reduced individual freedom type of government you are promoting with your liberal democratic (aka socialist) rantings. READ ABOUT THE VIEWS OF THE TEA PARTY & LIBERTARIANS. GET INFORMED BEFORE YOU UTTER ANY MORE STUPIDITY.


way to stick to those 19 th century values montana,so nnow for pain relief i have to be a criminal or take hardcore painkillers


Huh, your fingers must be ok, you have no problem typing. You’re in pain? Yeah right, just like all the other drug addicted losers.


The bottom line is that the Republican house decided they knew better that Montana voters. They put a bill together that Gov Schweitzer vetoed. Running out of time, they put together a bill that made it impossible to be a medical marijuana provider, as in providing it for free. Do you know any farmers that provide their crops for free? This is a tea party bill that did what all tea party bills do....stick it to any body that doesn't share their far right views. You won this one I think, but you will be shutout in the election two years from now. It's happening nationwide already. The tea party is history.


It's only happening in LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC states. Montana is still a red state and will be 2 years from now. you will lose again.

dave ajou
dave ajou

I just want to see if i follow this correctly. The people who disgree with your even handed characterization of them as " sticking it to anybody who doesn't share their far right views", are geniuses when they agree with your views on the other ballot measures ? Seems like MTJimbo is the one looking to ram down his view on anybody who disagrees with him. But this is what we see from your ilk, the glass being 80% full isn't enough, you have to whine and shreik about not getting 100%, because you know better. And now you'll have the audacity to howl about gridlock and the staus quo for another four failed years. And then, assuredly you will collectively be designated to the dust bin of actual history.

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