March 14, 2011

Montana Senate Turns Away Medical Marijuana Repeal

March 14, 2011

By Steve Elliott

A Montana Senate committee has deadlocked on a tie vote, failing to endorse a bill that would have repealed the state’s medical marijuana law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee locked up 6-6 on a motion to pass House Bill 161, by House Speaker Mike Milburn (R-Cascade), to repeal the law passed by 62 percent of voters in 2004, reports The Missoulian. The repeal bill, which removes safe access to cannabis for thousands of seriously ill patients in Montana, passed the House earlier this session.

Five Republican senators, joined by turncoat Democratic Sen. Larry Jent of Bozeman, voted in favor of repeal.

Four Democratic senators, joined by Republican Senators Chas Vincent of Libby and Terry Murphy of Cardwell, opposed the bill.

After the deadlock, Sen. Murphy, who chairs the committee, appointed a three-member subcommittee to work on a bill to “tighten regulations” on medical marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essman (R-Billings) will chair the committee. Other members are Sens. Cliff Larsen (D-Missoula) and Vincent.

Article from Toke of the Town


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