Western News – The Western News

In Montana, medical marijuana was legalized in 2004 through a ballot initiative. This time around, voters will decide if marijuana should be legalized for recreational use among adults 21 and older.

If passed, Montana residents would be able to use and grow limited amounts of marijuana for non-medical purposes starting Jan. 1, 2021.

Advocates tout a controlled and regulated system that has potential to generate millions in annual tax revenue, while opponents argue societal and public safety harms associated with legalization will outweigh any revenue increase, citing data coming in from states such as Colorado, whose residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 with retail sales starting in 2014.

On the ballot, Montana residents will see Initiative 190 (I-190), accompanied by Constitutional Initiative 118 (CI-118).

If passed, I-190 would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana sales for adults 21 and over. CI-118 must pass to set the minimum age to buy or use marijuana at 21.

Under I-90, adults would be able to use or possess one ounce or less of marijuana, or not more than 8 grams in concentrated form. It would also allow an individual to grow no more than four mature marijuana plants and four seedlings in a locked area of their residence, beyond public view.

The Montana Department of Revenue would be responsible for regulation. Advertising marijuana and related products would be prohibited under I-190.

Additionally, people serving sentences for an act allowed by I-190 may request resentencing or an expungement of the conviction.

As part of I-190, non-medical marijuana would be taxed at 20%. The ballot initiative states 10.5% of the tax revenue will go to the state general fund, with the rest going to conservation programs, health-care costs, substance-abuse treatment and prevention, veterans’ programs, and localities where marijuana is sold.

ACCORDING TO a University

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