Montana Green Lights Marijuana Legalization

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  Montana Green Lights Marijuana Legalization

Posted by CN Staff on November 04, 2020 at 14:40:10 PT
By Seaborn Larson 
Source: Billings Gazette 

Montana -- In 1929, Montana made it illegal to grow, use, possess, sell or give away “Marijuana,” but medical marijuana was legal. The law did not prohibit druggists or doctors from “possessing Marijuana in the ordinary and the usual course of his business or profession … in prescribing or dispensing Marijuana or any derivative, mixture, or preparation."Montana became one of several states Tuesday to legalize recreational cannabis, a measure proponents say could crack open a new revenue stream as economists project the deepest recession in the state's history due to COVID-19.
With Initiative 190 passed, retail cannabis sales, taxed at 20%, would begin January 2022. Its companion ballot initiative, Constitutional Amendment 118, also passed, setting the age of consumption in the Montana Constitution at age 21.By Wednesday morning, 57% of votes were cast to approve I-190 with 320,084 ballots in favor of legalization. Fifty-eight percent of votes cast said "yes" to CI-118. The Associated Press called the race shortly after midnight after Election Day. By Wednesday morning, 185 of 663 precincts were fully reported. I-190 also comes with a retroactive application to criminal sentences related to marijuana possession. Anyone who is currently serving a sentence or has completed a sentence may petition their county prosecutor's office to expunge their record or seek a resentencing.Montana was among five states voting on cannabis measures this year, including Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey and South Dakota. New Jersey had approved its legalization measure by the time Montana's polls closed on Tuesday. By the night's end, Arizona and South Dakota joined Montana in enacting legalization.Kate Cholewa, government affairs representative for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, said much work is ahead in the state Legislature if I-190's lead carries through the final results. "We're going to definitely bring a few agenda items to the Legislature in terms of some tuning the legalization law that may likely pass tonight," Cholewa said. "And we do have to give some consideration to the medical program and how to make sure medical patients still have access and how to streamline regulation."Wrong for Montana, the group formed to oppose cannabis legalization in Montana, sought to have the ballot measures voided if passed, arguing the measure cannot allocate funding. I-190 does point funding toward public lands access, veterans issues and mental health resources, although New Approach Montana says those are only suggestions. The Montana Supreme Court threw the opponent's petition out, ruling the matter needed to first run through a District Court judge. Steve Zabawa, who heads up Wrong for Montana and has stood as a longtime opponent of cannabis, vowed Tuesday to bring their challenge to a District Court judge."Wrong for Montana will sue tomorrow and defeat this measure, either at the District Court or Supreme Court of Montana" Zabawa said in an email. "Either way, recreational marijuana is a pipe dream."Voters, however, have given cannabis the green light time and time again.In 2004, voters passed Initiative 148 to allow medical marijuana use by 62%, with only eight counties rejecting the measure. The medical industry grew into a Wild West disposition, with a hands-off regulatory approach that cultivated a kind of industry that drew federal raids. Then a Republican-led Legislature passed measures so rigid that eventually 93% of patients lost their access to providers. Voters, however, resurrected the medical marijuana industry in 2016 by another ballot measure, Initiative 182, by 58% — even though the majority of counties, 30, went against the expansion. Republican-led Legislatures have worked during the two sessions to shore up enforceable regulation.Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Author: Seaborn LarsonPublished: November 4, 2020Copyright: 2020 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 09, 2020 at 05:27:42 PT
Yes Yes Yes and hugs back. Hickenlooper is now a Senator and he learned. Wise people learn so he is wise.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 08, 2020 at 16:29:20 PT
Let's talk
Something else happened during this election along with so many other positive movements.Colorado saw Hickenlooper becomes a new Senator. I believe that is significant. For 1, We got ride of Gardner, who I felt backed t's every command. (felt? that's on record as FACT) We got rid of HONEST EVIL... -don't EVER forget who enabled t: NOT as an act of revenge but an attempt of getting rid of the swamp We were told would be emptied.History, (2nd) is going to show Hickenlooper didn't initially support RE-legalizing cannabis in Colorado but excepted the will of the PEOPLE and did His part to make it successful. !!!He's come out afterwards and spoke against (CAUTIONED) other states doing it for a while however I believe noted the good and bad. -I don't know.What I'm trying to say is:There is a man in the Senate with experience to know how to make Cannabis work.The United States is better for that, I believe.Don't be surprised if one day We see Hickenlooper on a Presidential ballot.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 08, 2020 at 16:09:03 PT
FoM, -M,
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 08, 2020 at 04:40:08 PT
I felt like a heavy weight was lifted from me. The feeling yesterday when the election was called was a moment my husband and I will never forget. I did a lot of praying over this election. 4 years of fear has ended. Now all we have to do is hope that he doesn't go orbital until January 20th and not make anything worse.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on November 07, 2020 at 16:53:21 PT

I want to say something, but I just want to be heard breathing.-however, Earth just dodged a meteor. 

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