The Big M(marijuana) is Not the Letter of the Law

Good News on the Status of the Legal Attempt to Secure Answers about the North Fund

In October 2020, prior to the voting on ballot initiative I-190, a campaign practices complaint was filed against the North Fund with the Commissioner of Political Practices of the State of Montana.

New Approach Montana, the group promoting the passage of this ballot issue, was plied with funds from the North Fund. Their purpose? To convince the voters of Montana that the legalization of recreational marijuana was good for our state and good for our citizens. The question? Why would an out-of-state fund have such an interest in Montana?

The complaint alleged that the North Fund had registered itself as an “incidental political committee” when, in fact, it was acting as an “independent committee” which would then require disclosure of its funding sources and donors.

The North Fund skirted the request for information and filed an appeal, all while the clock ticked away. This meant that the voting on ballot issue I-190 came and went without the voters being privy to information that may have affected which way they chose to cast their ballot.

On December 28, 2020, COPP Commissioner Jeffrey Mangan submitted his findings that supported the complaint that the campaign practice act had been violated. This ruling has paved the way for a civil fine to be levied against the North Fund. Why is the North Fund willing to risk a substantial fine along with other legal ramifications simply to protect the names of their donors and funding sources?

The North Fund has evaded demands for disclosure and kept themselves cloaked in secrecy for a reason. Our guess is that it is up to no good and that Montana voters were hoodwinked by New Approach Montana propaganda into believing the passage of I-190 would be beneficial to our state. This could not be further from the truth.

Hindsight is 2020. Can Montana nip this in the bud before we go down that path?