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Montana to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana

Montana to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana
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A petition in Montana to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older has qualified for the state ballot in November.

Initiative 190 and Constitutional Initiative 118 will be eligible for state residents to vote on after the campaign New Approach Montana gathered enough signatures, local NBC affiliate KTVH-DT reported Thursday.

"Our research has always shown that a majority of Montanans support legalization, and now voters will have the opportunity to enact that policy, which will create jobs and generate new revenue for our state," said Pepper Petersen, a campaign spokesperson for the group.

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New Approach Montana said it spent around $2 million on the signature drive and collected more than 130,000 signatures from registered voters.

The initiative reportedly required 25,000 verified signatures to qualify, while the constitutional amendment needed around 50,000.

If approved, the initiative would legalize the sale and possession of limited marijuana quantities while adding a 20 percent tax on the sale of non-medicinal pot products in the state.

New Approach estimated weed sales would generate $48 million in tax revenue for the state by 2025.

The state constitutional amendment would allow the legislature to set the age limit for marijuana sale to 21 or older.

The current state constitution allows anyone 18 or older all rights of an adult, excluding the possession or purchase of alcohol.

According to Montana law, the possession of less than 60 grams of non-medical marijuana can result in a misdemeanor fine of no more than $500 for a first offense. A second offense under the same constraints could result in a jail sentence no longer than six months, plus additional fees.