On Monday, March 23, members of the House Judiciary Committee deadlocked 9 to 9 on House Bill 541, which sought to reclassify the possession of thirty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. Not one Republican voted in favor of the bill. An effort by supporters to raise the measure for reconsideration on Friday also failed.
In other disappointing news, members of the House Human Services Committee voted 8 to 8 on Friday, March 27, to table Senate Bill 326, which sought to expand Montana’s medical marijuana program. Once again, no Republicans endorsed the bill.
A motion on the House floor to reconsider the bill failed 47 to 51.
Obviously, these results are not what we hoped for. That said, we must keep in mind that our efforts, and your assistance, succeeded in killing several pieces of bad legislation that would have increased marijuana penalties in Montana. It is also worth noting that Senate Bill 326, a highly ambitious proposal, received legislative approval from the Senate before deadlocking in the House. These are significant victories that we can build upon in the coming years.
Thanks again to each of you who contacted your state elected officials in support of these and other measures. If you would like more information on Montana’s ongoing marijuana law reform efforts, please contact Montana Patients and Families United at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for supporting NORML’s efforts in Montana.