Coalition406 taking thoughtful approach on marijuana legalization

Jacob Bachmeier
Representative for HD 28
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Guest Commentary

Montana and the nation are moving quickly towards marijuana legalization as public opinion rapidly evolves on the issue. A recent University of Montana poll found a majority of Montanans support ending the prohibition on marijuana for adults. That’s not a surprise to me, and seems like common sense. In Montana, support for marijuana legalization, like most other issues, isn’t defined by Republican or Democrat party affiliations.

Conversations are taking place around the nation in Congress, state legislatures, and city halls about the proper approach to marijuana and the future of its legal and commercial status. In several states marijuana is now legal for adults and taxed like alcohol and tobacco. These states are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in marijuana tax revenue, and a recent study from a Montana State University researcher shows that in states where marijuana is legal opioid abuse and workplace deaths decrease.

I support the legalization of marijuana for adults for a few key reasons. First, veterans are currently denied marijuana for treatment because of the VA’s federal affiliation. These heroes deserve the proven benefits marijuana offers the most; but they are being left out. Legalizing marijuana for all adults in Montana would remove that barrier for veterans.

Second, legalizing marijuana would lead to far less people unnecessarily serving time in prison for something that should not be a crime. Third, marijuana represents a sustainable and substantial new tax revenue. By legalizing marijuana, we can help our vets, save money by spending less on our criminal justice system, and have the opportunity to collect a new form of tax revenue.

Taking an outdated approach to marijuana serves no one, and only costs the taxpayers money and time. As Montana faces decreasing natural resource revenue and ever-increasing state and local budget needs, it is time to consider the regulation and taxation of marijuana. While marijuana doesn’t offer a golden goose for all our budget needs, it only makes sense to put marijuana revenue to work for Montana citizens.

After legalization efforts failed in the state legislature this past session; Montana marijuana advocates, Coalition406, announced their intention to pursue a ballot initiative in 2020 to establish a system to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Montana.

Coalition406 then traveled around the state gathering opinions from everyday Montanans on the proper approach for marijuana legalization by holding townhall style meetings and community centered focusgroups to dig deeper into how Montanans feel about marijuana legalization and regulation. In short, they are asking Montanans to take the central role in shaping what marijuana legalization will look like in our communities.

Coalition406 is taking the proper approach to this issue by starting the process with Montana values. I applaud their thoughtful approach, and I haven’t missed the opportunity to express my opinion that improving marijuana access for veterans should be the central focus of any legalization efforts in Montana. Let Coalition406 know your thoughts on marijuana legalization by leaving a comment on their website, Jacob Bachmeier is a Montana state representative from House District 28 in Havre. His contact info is: (406) 879-6427

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


Are you happy with the cooler weather?

The Laurel Outlook


Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.