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While state politicians drink themselves to death with the full protection of the law, Montana citizens who have become addicted to a substance are criminalized, treated like a rapist or murderer because of their own bad decisions. Should the rest of us citizens spend $20,000 per year per inmate to keep drug addicts locked in cages?

Eventually, Montanans will realize that locking drug addicts in cages with real criminals just makes the problem worse for each successive generation. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, and nothing represents this concept better than the drug war. It’s cost more than a trillion dollars, and 40 years into the war on drugs, the vision of a drug-free America is further away than ever. The days when we could afford to send our children to college and put someone else’s children in prison for their drug problem are over. What is more important, Montana? Giving our children the opportunity to succeed or locking drug addicts in cages?

Make the right choice, and take the first step this November by supporting the Montana First Initiative which removes criminal penalties for adults who choose to ingest marijuana. Demand real change this election season and tell your elected officials to consider Montana First.

Michael Nevas, Missoula

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