With most of the United States currently having some sort of legal marijuana program, Montana legislators are giving the subject a fair chance by creating a committee to study many aspects of recreational marijuana legalization and how it could be done in the state. Montana's next legislative session will hear comments on the pros and cons of legalizing as well as how it is done in other states. If Montana lawmakers go as far as legalizing through legislation, it would make history as the first state to do so due to every other legal state being passed by a popular vote through it's citizens. 19 other states are currently considering recreational marijuana, but several have already failed to pass such legislation this year. Legislators in Montana are recognizing that prohibition not only doesnt work, but it is funneling potential tax revenue to the black market instead of worthy state programs like substance abuse programs and child protective services.
House Joint Resolution 35, heard Monday, would create a committee that would study how recreational legalization would be carried out in Montana.
The panel would look at things like if liquor control should be a guide for marijuana control, how legalization has affected other states, and the pros and cons of it all. The findings would be reported to the next Montana Legislature.
“Why should all of this money be going to the black market, when it could be going to Montana’s budget?” Dunwell said. “Funding substance abuse programs, funding other human services programs, funding child protective services, funding developmental disabilities, senior long-term care, I could go on and on and on.”