Montana Public Radio

cannabis

Competing bills to regulate Montana’s forthcoming recreational marijuana program are advancing in the Legislature.

Facing a procedural deadline next Thursday, lawmakers are keeping several policies on the table as they debate how to tax and regulate recreational cannabis.

More than 30 people testified during a marathon hearing over one of three bills Montana lawmakers are workshopping to stand up the state’s forthcoming recreational marijuana program.

Marijuana in jars on a shop shelf.
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After a short break last week, Montana's lawmakers are back at the state Capitol. The 67th Legislative Session is now more than halfway to its 90-day deadline and details of the state budget and recreational marijuana regulations still need to be hammered out.

Cannabis bud.
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The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a last-minute legal challenge to block a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana sales to Montanans ages 21 and up. The decision came two days after the group "‘Wrong for Montana" filed the complaint

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.
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Opponents of two ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana sales to adults 21 and up in Montana are mounting a last-minute legal challenge to block the measures being voted on.

People browsing at a medical marijuana dispensary.
Stock Photo Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Voters next month will decide if Montana should become the latest state to legalize the use and sale of recreational marijuana. A pair of measures to open the state’s cannabis market to adults 21 and older appear on ballots.

Proponents say legalizing pot would not only advance personal liberty, but also turbo-charge the state’s economy. Critics, however, say the risks far outweigh the potential benefits.

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.
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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Secretary of State certified that a measure seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in the state has gathered enough signatures to appear on the November ballot.

If passed, the measure would legalize the possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The measure would also establish a 20% tax of non-medical marijuana.

A recent report says Black people in Montana are nearly 10 times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than white people. That’s higher than any other state.

Montana’s top rank comes from an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report released in April that evaluated six million arrests across the U.S. between 2010 and 2018.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge on Thursday denied a request by a group seeking to gather signatures electronically to qualify two recreational marijuana issues for the November ballot amid coronavirus restrictions.

Cannabis in jars.
iStock

The backer of two proposed measures to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Montana is suing the state for permission to gather electronic signatures during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Initiative-190 would legalize use of recreational pot in the state. It requires over 25,000 valid voter signatures to appear on November’s ballot.

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