Montana and the Latest Marijuana Movement
Initiative 190 and Initiative 118, a pair of complementary, citizen-initiated ballot measures legalizing the personal possession, commercial production, and retail sales of marijuana to adults, became law on January 4th. Provisions in the new law, which allow ages 21 and older to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or to privately cultivate up to four mature cannabis plants for personal use, took immediate effect.
Separate provisions in the law establishing a licensing system for commercial marijuana producers and retailers will take effect later this year. Voters approved I-190 and CI-118 on Election day with almost 60 percent of the vote. This is just further proof that people are becoming increasingly more accepting of marijuana. “Today is a great day for the people of Montana, who will no longer be subject to arrest, prosecution, and a criminal record for their personal use or possession of marijuana,” said NORML State Policies Coordinator Carly Wolf.
“The enactment of adult-use legalization in Montana is yet further evidence that this policy change enjoys widespread support from those across all geographic and political spectrums” Carly continued.
Misdemeanors, Marijuana, Montana
Those with misdemeanor possession convictions will be able to begin the process of expunging the charges from their records starting Jan. 1. Montana Supreme Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin said Monday that data on marijuana convictions that qualify for expungement were not then immediately available.
“Every case is different and has unique facts, so you have to look at each one and make sure it fits the criteria,” Helena criminal defense attorney Jenny Kaleczyc said. “In some cases, that criteria may be in dispute. We’ll find out.”
It’s unclear yet what role the state office of the public defender will take on the expungement process.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal, as is delivering or distributing marijuana to someone who is under 21. “The big thing is for the most part, with some exceptions, it eliminates marijuana enforcement,” Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki said, adding that there are still some civil fines for certain violations.
Public Use of Marijuana in Montana
Racki said the initiative included $50 fines for smoking marijuana in public and $250 fines for growing marijuana somewhere visible from a public place. It is unclear who would enforce those regulations.
Montana became the 14th state to legalize recreational marijuana with the passage of Initiative 190 and Constitutional Amendment 118, which enshrined legal marijuana use in the state Constitution.
At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis: