You All Took the Oath of Office: Article 111 section 3, Uphold, Fulfill, Protect and Preserve the Rights of every citizen in the great state of Montana.

In the best interest of all citizens of Montana, the 25% that use THC products and the 75% that do not, our state government should adopt safe regulatory mechanisms to control marijuana production, sales, transportation, testing, and taxation. Plus, make sure of proper distribution of said taxes, while advancing the public health and safety. These regulatory mechanisms will help prevent minors from accessing marijuana, protect and inform consumers, and can also protect third parties from unwanted consequences of “adult use” THC.

2023 Safe Montana proposed Modifications to HB701/I-190 Marijuana Bill with the express purpose to accomplish the following points:

  • Make it as safe as possible for Montana families, businesses, and tourists to coexist with THC users.
  • Test potency level, with limits not to exceed 15%, and dispense all products in a responsible way.
  • Do not encourage, advertise to, or grow the number of Montana marijuana users.
  • Tax it at a level that will significantly help offset the issues created by marijuana in the counties and municipalities most impacted: Plus significantly fund the HEART drug treatment programs, serious awareness programs, and canine support. Fund veteran families, trails, and fish and wildlife as promised.
  • Discourage all out of state investment and tourist THC activity.

The proposed changes:

  • Delete only “adult use” licenses. Run, all THC users through the Department of revenue (DOR) Green Card System.
  • Green Card holders must be seen in person by their doctor yearly, to verify the validity of the treatment plan and to assure that marijuana is not creating other medical or psychological issues.
  • Run all HB701 functions through the Department of Revenue, no more DPHHS.
  • No more homegrown marijuana, everything tested and taxed.
  • Only Montanans can own marijuana licenses and must be at least 25 years of age, in addition to paying Montana State income Taxes on profits.
  • Apply advertising restrictions like those for the cigarette industry. (No Billboards, Print, Digital, Media, pay per Click, etc.) $5000 fine to any advertiser of THC.
  • Clarify “opt out ballot” question for a county or municipality can be placed on ballot by a simple majority of council people/commissioners.Example ballot question: Vote yes for adult use marijuana dispensaries…. Vote No not to have adult use marijuana dispensaries. Simple language.
  • After covering DOR State cost of marijuana program, 50% of the remaining tax revenue goes to Governor Gianforte’s Heart Treatment Fund to help cover the treatment issues of a federal illegal drug THC being sold to our residents. $25-$50 million estimated total State revenue with new law impact.
  • The remaining tax revenue goes as currently written with one addition of 3% to Illegal Drug Awareness organizations (like Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Johnny’s Ambassadors, SafeMontana, and Youth Awareness organizations).

Key take away:

1. Keep 20% State Tax Rate and 3% Local County/Municipality to pay for the issues caused by THC usage! Basic theme of I-190…the voice of the people.

2. Ensure the funds are available for proposed financial support of Veterans, Fish, Wildlife, Trail management and drug treatment and awareness programs.

3. Don’t radically increase current usage levels of THC like what happened to Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, CA, and Washington after adult use THC was voted in. By increasing THC usage, you risk large increases in fentanyl, heroin, meth, cocaine, and ETC usage in the State.

4. Test everything and sell through DOR green card system.

5. No out of state license ownership and tourist sales.

6. Apply advertising restrictions like those for the cigarette industry. (Billboards, Print, Digital, Media, pay per Click, etc.) $5000 fine to any advertiser of THC.

If these proposed responsible changes happen to HB701, families and our state will be in a better place than where we are headed today. We do not need a green pot shop on every corner with a green billboard!

Remember the other side has never said “adult use” THC is good for you, your family, or pets. Their selling points have been the tax money will help with THC addiction treatment facilities, vets, fish, and more trails! I agree with their points, finally! These proposed changes do this! Plus, the SafeMontana sideboards bill will add awareness of this weed to help us lead a productive healthy life! Again, the voice of the people is heard with the passage. Libertarians will like this. Veterans, fish advocates, trail lovers, employers, and families will be elated with these changes. Governor’s HEART Treatment Program will be funded at a higher level.

This is our best SafeMontana work to date! Please share this! Now let’s study, discuss this modification bill and get it passed! Please call me anytime with any suggestions or comments at 406-670-8100!


God Bless,
Steve Zabawa


Ranked by net more likely to support Much More Likely to Support More Likely to Support Less Likely to Support Net More Likely
“Just like big tobacco companies, marijuana companies target minors with their advertising, despite the fact they are legally not allowed to advertise at all. Revising HB-701 to enforce the advertising ban on marijuana will help keep our kids safe.” (Q9) 32% 50% 36% +14
“Our local and state police and labs are not able to keep up with the crime associated with the explosion of drug use in our communities. Revising HB-701 will make sure marijuana sales are taxed at a level that provides enough funding to cover the high cost to our communities.” (Q6) 29% 49% 39% +10
“THC is federally illegal and is considered a Schedule One controlled substance by the FDA, which means it can be very dangerous when used in excess. Currently there are no regulations governing how much THC can be added to marijuana products. Revising HB-701 will reduce THC potency levels and make sure they stay at a safe level, to keep our communities safe.” (Q5) 28% 47% 40% +7