by jhwygirl

The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked on HB161, the bill proposed by House Speaker Mike Milburn, that would repeal Montana’s Citizen Initiative 148, which passed in 2004

Sen. Milburn is a resident of Cascade, a member of the Grand Old Party and a man working on his 4th term in the House.

We can go on and on about the evils of repealing a citizen’s initiative that passed (I hear) by an pretty significant majority…and we can go on about the evils of the refusal of legislators to actually actively regulate marijuana since it having come into law (that would be 3 sessions, folks)…and we can go on about the hypocrisy of a bunch of so called conservatives creating more nanny state government…AND we can go on about the hypocrisy of a bunch of tea party anti-government types who embrace laws that tell the federal government that they can’t regulate Montana-made firearms yet don’t want to let sick people take proven medicine that has fewer side effects than Tylenol.

I’ll just link you to this article in the New York Times which quotes Bozeman Mayor Jeff Krauss on the job and investment-killing side effects of repealing medical marijuana in Montana:

Bozeman’s mayor, Jeff Krauss, a Republican, said he thought there was an element of economic fairness to be considered in the debate about medical marijuana’s future. “I don’t think anybody passed it thinking we were creating an industry,” he said, referring to the 2004 voter referendum. But like it or not, he said, it has become one, and legal investments in the millions of dollars have been made.

“Somewhere around 25 people have made anywhere from a $60,000 to a $100,000 bet on this industry,” Mr. Krauss said, referring to the local startups and their capital costs.

“Now the Legislature has got us saying, ‘Ha, too bad, you lose,’ ” Mr. Krauss added. “Boy is that a bad message to send when we’re in the doldrums.”

I could of worked “Even MORE National Media Attention for MTGOP” into the title!

HB161 stalled 6-6 in committee. I don’t know if they officially declared it dead, but Senate Judiciary committee chair Terry Murphy immediately named a three-member committee to come up with “a regulatory alternative” to a repeal bill.

That’s a large order on a short notice (how many days left in the session?) but a whole hell of a lot common sense. And frankly, the Senate Judiciary might just be one of the only places where common sense even has a fighting chance.

I always did think the GOP in the Senate were going to try and bring a little bit of common sense back to this session.

Murphy’s hearings have been far less inflammatory than the House Judiciary (chaired by Rep. Ken Peterson, of Billings). Sen. Murphy even got a thank-you from Senate Minority Leader Sen. Carol Williams (Missoula’s Senate Goddess) for his well-run hearing on HB516 just yesterday.

That being said, let’s get to the other part….

What’s with Senator Larry Jent, a Democrat representing Bozeman for quite a number of years – 3 terms in the House and he’s currently working on his 3rd term in the Senate.

Jent was the lone Democrat to vote for repeal of medical marijuana. What to say about that?

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  1. Pogue Mahone

    He hates hippies! He’s an old fart military man from Kentucky or somewheres. It was born in’im!

    • Still. It was a voter’s initiative that passed with a healthy majority. His area actually zones the stuff and exercises its local authority to control it. And all that investment?

      Is he up there to represent himself or his constituents?

  2. ladybug

    Will be running for higher office on the Schwinden, Schweitzer, Tester model: Triangulation. Repub-lite. Ho ho ho, get your grabbin’ little hands out for heapin’ helpins’ of that sweet bbq-pork. Fat cats need only apply.

  3. I tend to agree with Ladybug.

    Once Democrats decide to run for the U.S. House or Senate, they tend to adopt Republican positions in the belief that the strongest Democrats offer the voters an echo, not a choice.

    • So Jent’s gearing up for Senate or House seat?

      I’m out of the loop on that.

      The MT Dem Party has done everything they’ve possibly can to ensure that Tester gets the nomination. I’m talking party machinations within their own rules. I don’t know, really, why we need a primary.

      And that last sentence is certainly made with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but still.

      I want to hear from a pot-smoking hippy from Bozeman.

      Maybe Jent is to Bozeman as Baucus is to Montana.

      • Well, I’m not a pot smoking hippy, but …

        Larry Jent is my Senator, and I think Pogue Mahone is pretty well onto something. He is definitely a ‘law and order’ kind of guy.

        A few other points. SD 32 (Jent’s district) is one of the schizophrenic districts in Gallatin county. Much of it is made up of House district 63, which just elected Tea Party favored Tom Burnett. (Of course, it also includes HD 64, which reelected Franke Wilmer. Like I said, schizophrenic.)

        Larry’s most recent opponent was a hell-on-wheels TeaBagger named Mike Comstock. Comstock is well known for his infamous letters to Ed in the Bozeman Comical. Even against an opponent who is an acknowledged loon, Jent only won by 5%.

        So, when examining his relation to his constituents, keep in mind that these folks are not liberal Democrats. Also, given the rural nature of much of SD32, there have been issues before with illegal drug activity. I’m certain that wasn’t lost on Jent, either.

  4. “and we can go on about the evils of the refusal of legislators to actually actively regulate marijuana since it having come into law (that would be 3 sessions, folks)”

    That’s because people were actually using for it’s intended person when it was first implemented…but then things CHANGEd… http://twitpic.com/48uz7h

    • You don’t think the legislature didn’t have the power or the obligation to regulate this?

      It’s almost as if the minority on this decided that they were going to let it implode upon itself in order to get what they wanted.

      Rusty? Even you have to acknowledge that there is a need for medical marijuana. Not only that, it is a healthier alternative that medication that all carries the standard liver damage warning and then any other long list of side effects.

      I mean – seriously. I’m asking: You can’t, as a conservative, see why this should be a state’s rights issue and a common sense decision?

      You can not be that much of a contrarian

      • Using it because you’re ACTUALLY sick, go for it.

        You gonnatell me that 28-THOUSAND Montanans are THAT sick?!

      • Oh yeah…

        “More than 25 percent of marijuana patients in Montana are between ages 21 and 30.”

        http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_4adf93b2-8ed9-11df-856f-001cc4c03286.html

        This is about stoners wanted to get stoned…way to mess it up for those who actually NEED it!

        • You and I are in agreement that the way it has been used has been abused.

          But you would be OK taking away needed medicine because of the one’s who have abused it?

          I mean – pain is real. So is cancer. I’m not a doctor. I don’t think our legislators are. What they can do is regulate it.

          So no my question to you, Rusty, I guess, is: Are you willing to take it away from everyone because of the few or do you see a need to regulate?

          • of course, common sense would bring this country to the realization that mj should be regulated just as much as alcohol and it should be legal to any adult.

            but partisan politics has no use for common sense.

            i don’t use mj, but i have seen no credible medically reasoned facts that explain why this country allows adults to buy liquor and not mj. but then again, i am just a simple libertarian leaning independent.

            it seems we are spending lots of money jailing and prosecuting adults for using mj when we could be making lots of money instead on fees and taxation of mj just like liquor, beer and wine.

            but instead the dems and the gops will use it as a political football and our law enforcement agencies will continue to bleed us taxpayers dry with overly zealous police actions and the jailing of people who have no business in our expensive and already overcrowded prisons.

          • Legalize it, sure…and tax the shit out of it.

            It’ll never happen though…OSHA & worker’s comp would be greatly affected. Lawsuits from work-related & motor-vehicle accidents and who-the-hell-knows what else would be through the roof.

            Society as a whole would suffer…”there’s a time and a place” for everything, and to a stoner, that time is “always” and the place is “everywhere”.

            You think people are lazy now, just give it time…productivity in the American workforce will dwindle to near nothing. And I’ll be damned if I have to work along side a stoner and make sure that 1.) I have to pick-up the slack for their lazy ass AND 2.) Have to be 100% where the stoner is at all times, ya know, to make sure he doesn’t accidentally injure/kill me through his drug-induced fog.

            Smoke your pot and smell like sour milk or patchouli, but stay the fuck away from me.

            Smoke your pot and wander though polite society with your bloodshot eyes taking 30seconds to process a simple yes-or-no question, but stay the fuck away from me.

            Smoke your pot because you want to, but don’t get pissed off when you have trouble finding employment because businesses don’t want to hire the lazy/unproductive.

            To quote Vincent Vega:

            “Yeah, it’s legal, but is ain’t a hundred percent legal. I mean you can’t walk into a restaurant, roll a joint, and start puffin’ away. You’re only supposed to smoke in your home
            or certain designated places.”

            • steve

              well, that’s a really nice speech, but it only shows what you really know. i guess if i didn’t do something, i would be an authority on it too… more reefer madness mentality. many people are able to be productive because of medical marijuana. i’m sure you are hard working, and a good person, but your profileing of all pot smokers is wrong. sorry if you met a bad one. i’ve met pot smokers that you’ll never compete with financially.

  5. Chuck

    Watch what the city council left does to Chief Mark Muir, simply for speaking the truth.

  6. Ingemar Johansson

    Come on Rusty, MT has busloads of sickly teenagers.

    • Pogue Mahone

      Seen the exact same thing in TANKS in Nam, dude! And so did Jent probably. Again, the dude went to friggin’ MILITARY schools! (if I remember right) He’s NOT what you’d call a liberal hippy lover! He’s more rightwing than you know. No long hair for Lar!

  7. ladybug

    The good news is Montana might gain a state senator with grit. Rep. Mike Phillips has all the right stuff.

  8. What slays me about this whole thing is that the Federal Government has declared war against the the State of Montana and no one gets it. The State of Montana declared Medical Marijuana legal and the Feds stepped in and destroyed the legal businesses supplying it. There are 16 states that have legalized medical Marijuana and 10 more that have pending legalization in the works. Montana was neither the first state to enact it or the last but the Federal Government chose to raid and shutdown every Montana Medical Marijuana supplier. Was it because we were the most likely to state to not raise a fuss about it?

    Not one national news service reported the raids. Not one. If there was ever any question what so ever of the news services casting a blind eye to the less savory actions of our government, that question has been answered. I am simply amazed that people all over the country aren’t up in arms about these raids, the lack of news coverage and the question of federal agencies VS state authority.

  1. 1 Montana Blog Roundup 19 March 2011 | Intelligent Discontent

    […] at 4&20 blackbirds, jhwygirl explored the GOP’s inconsistent and frankly illoligcal position on medical marijuana and opened up a […]




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