Montana Senate passes bill legalizing recreational marijuana
Montana’s Senate on Friday passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana and direct taxes on the drug to support addiction treatment and conservation programs.
The bill passed out of the House earlier this month and was passed in the upper chamber by a 34-16 margin. It will go back to the House so it can approve the legislation with the Senate’s amendments.
Should the bill be signed into law, recreational marijuana sales would be taxed at a rate of 20 percent. Of the money raised, $6 million annually would go toward drug addiction programs, and 20 percent would go to conservation efforts. Other funds would be directed to state parks, wildlife protection, veterans services, police training and more.
Tax revenue from the law is anticipated to be more than $48 million annually by 2025, according to The Associated Press.
Voters in 2020 also approved a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana sales that sought to send funds to conservation efforts, substance abuse treatment and more.
Native American tribes in the state are also expected to receive sales licenses that can be used near reservations.
However, some Republican legislators have come out against legalization and have vowed to challenge the ballot measure, which includes a provision that would nullify the law if the ballot initiative is ultimately struck down in court.
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