Lawmakers Working Hard to Ensure Montana Doesn’t Hastily Pull Up Anchor

The proponents of the legalization of recreational marijuana see us as the enemy. We are not. We simply have done our research and understand the true winners of legalized pot – commercial growers, investors, and even illegal growers who now have an easier timing flying under the radar. And the citizens of Montana are the losers.

The post-election polling conducted by Emerson College brought to light the regret of many voters who said “yes” to ballot issue I-190. But now the true facts about I-190 are starting to sink in and voters are having “buyer’s remorse”. Luckily, we can still fix the mistake. Montana legislators have been busy drafting and presenting bills to preserve the safety of our citizens.

  • Representative Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, wants to ensure the state gets it right the first time. He has drafted House Bill 701, outlining the implementation which includes no edibles, a potency limit of no more than 15% and clear and precise warning labels on every package or container. Why is HB 701 hundreds of pages long? Because implementing a recreational marijuana program is expensive and complicated. Doing it wrong runs the risk of implementing a faulty program ripe for fraud. Doing it right protects the citizens of Montana.
  • Rep. Hopkins’ bill proposes to levy a 20% tax on marijuana sales with the first $6 million allocated to an addiction prevention program. After that, revenues would flow to the state general fund.
  • At this time we are working toward having an amendment added to HB 701 that would delay the implementation of the legalized program until January 2023 so that voters can have the opportunity to recast their ballots in November 2022 armed with ALL THE FACTS, not the manipulated ones that were generated by New Approach Montana.

Implementing a program of this magnitude takes time – as well as manpower and money. Montana should not rush into the process. We should do it with plenty of forethought, ensuring the right people are in the right positions. Rep. Hopkins’ bill estimates spending close to $15 million taxpayer dollars and hiring almost 70 full time employees just within the first two years to get the program implemented. We need to be sure we are carefully building the ship before sailing off without life jackets in place. Why do we need to be in such a hurry and who is monitoring the time clock?

Make your voice heard to our legislators. Take a long hard look at House Bill 701 the legalization of recrea-tional marijuana is much more complicated than just promises of quick cash it involves the the safety and well being of every citizen of the great state of Montana. Please join use in our efforts to make sure we have a safe and sensible solution.