A grassroots organization called ‘Wrong for Montana’ has come out as being opposed to I-190, the initiative on the general election ballot that would legalize and tax the sale of recreational marijuana.

Organizer Steve Zabawa spoke to KGVO just moments before a press conference in Billings and gave his view of the pro-marijuana movement.

“Some out of state dark money, some  $5 million from Washington DC from two firms that are capitalized with recreational marijuana companies want to come to Montana and legalize and bring their pot shops to Montana and put them on all our corners and basically stone our families and make money off that with the promise that we're going to get all sorts of tax revenues,” said Zabawa.

He said that many statewide organizations including some involved with law enforcement have come out as being opposed to I-190.

“The Chamber of Commerce, hospitals, bankers, motor carriers, contractors, they all have a lot of issues with legalizing marijuana,” he said. “What happens when you legalize marijuana, you give the impression that you encourage people to try it. Then you have drug pushers on every corner and they double the usage. So, whatever the drug problems are in the state right now, just consider they're going to be doubled. That includes meth and heroin and all the other things that come with drug problems.”

Zabawa described how ‘Wrong for Montana’ got started.

“Wrong for Montana was set up after we found out that they did get enough signatures to put it on the ballot,” he said. “We adamantly oppose legalizing marijuana. We want to keep Montana pristine, healthy, and productive. Montana’s got a great reputation, and we don't want to ruin this worldwide known for a great place to hit the powder, snow ski and grab a trout. I mean, it's wonderful here to see the beauty that we have. We don't need the pot on our streets, just like they do in Denver or Las Vegas now.”

Zabawa gave his view about proponents who say the taxes in marijuana will improve the state’s economy.

“They charge a lot for taxation, right?” he said. “So the black market comes in and undercuts everybody. Number one, their projections on what they're going to sell normally don't even come close. Number two, the amount of money you're talking about is a drop in the bucket. So if they got their projections that they say they're going to do this about 50 million a year, okay? What's our budget annually at the state? It's in the billions.”

New Approach Montana was the organization that placed I-190 on the general election ballot.

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