I still think the legislature will adjourn on Thursday or Friday, but perhaps even sooner. There’s not much to do anymore.
Well...there are some bills and resolutions still, and I figured I’d better give you and the legislators some info on them.
In fact, 27 items will have hearings today.
Let’s get into a few of them.
The bill is SB 265 and you can read it here. Most legislators aren’t going to read it because it’s 63-pages long.
The TV news stations have stories on it, like KPAX put up yesterday.
I also went ahead and talked to the manager of a medical marijuana dispensary myself to learn more.
This is what I’ve figured out.
The current bill to retool the medical marijuana industry in Montana has very good intentions, but it will create so many problems that Republican legislators will try to get rid of the program again.
Let me give you some reasons why.
First, the bill will reduce the amount of marijuana a patient can get by 60% each month, which will enlarge our black market for marijuana here. Currently a patient can get 30 ounces a month, but that will be lowered to 5 ounces. For comparison, a pack of cigarettes has an ounce of tobacco in it.
The reason this is important is because severe pain patients, severe PTSD patients, and those with advanced forms of cancer will go through more than five ounces a month. When they do, they can’t get marijuana legally and will turn to the black market. This is not what legislators envisioned with the program.
Next, patients will be untethered from their providers. The manager at the dispensary said to me, “If they’re going to do that, why not just go full legalization?” She has a point. When untethering takes place, all the patients that can only go to one dispensary will now have the option of going to any dispensary in the state. Dispensaries will have to ramp-up their advertising to attract patients, and Republicans won’t like this, and will seek to limit or do away with the program.
Then, there’s the issue of telemedicine. Some don’t like the idea of patients getting their renewal card over the phone, but it’s been happening in Montana already for at least two years.
I sure hope the Senate votes this bill down and keeps the medical marijuana program in Montana in place as it is now.
We all know marijuana will be legalized in Montana in 2020 anyways, with full implementation of that going into effect by the summer of 2021.
God, the state desperately needs the tax revenue that’ll produce!
Moving on to porn.
The 3-page porn bill making its way through the legislature lacks vigor, and I feel it’s performance will leave us wanting.
The bill is actually quite turgid, when you read it. It’s full of suggestions, but little in the way of action or follow-through.
In fact, the bill has 2 pages telling us the ‘evils’ of porn, and then it gives us one page of suggestions.
Here are those suggestions:
- Enforce existing sex-related laws, like child porn laws as well as “domestic violence, human 24 trafficking, missing and murdered indigenous women, rape, and sexual assault laws”;
- Tell people we need education on porn without providing any resources for this;
- Have Corey Stapleton send out copies of the bill to the governor, the attorney general, the U.S. attorney general, the heads of congress, and the president of the United States.
In other words, this bill does absolutely nothing. Well, it does employ the Streisand Effect to bring more attention to porn than would otherwise have been paid.
Mostly, this bill succeeded in wasting dozens of reams of paper. If it passes, nothing in the state will change.
You’ll hear more about this today at 3 PM when the legislature takes it up.
Constituent Service Accounts
This is a 5-page bill that has its hearing today.
Mostly, it says legislators can have $4,000 for their constituent accounts, maybe less if their district is smaller.
It says what they can spend that money on and what they can’t.
I don’t have enough information on this bill to tell you more. Our corporate media in the state has ignored the bill.
Meat Inspection Laws
This 2-page resolution will be heard today. The study is supposed to finish by 2020 and give its report to the 2021 Legislature.
I feel this resolution was introduced because of the problems that a Missoula butcher experienced last year.
I suspect this resolution will pass, and easily so.
There’s a 7-page bill to study passenger transportation options in Montana.
It’ll also be heard today, with findings coming in 2020 if passed.
I doubt the legislature really cares one iota about passengers in Montana, as most of them are poor and vote Democratic.
The one-page resolution to study whether we should appoint PSC members instead of electing them will be heard today.
I think this is a terrible idea, aside from looking at their salaries, which should be lowered. Most of the PSC members don’t show up to work now.
I doubt that aspect will be studied, however.
I do feel confident that going forward, the PSC will care more about corporations than you and your family, and no amount of legislation will change that.
Making Healthcare Affordable
Tom Winter has a 2-page resolution to study how to make healthcare less expensive.
I think this is a great idea, but since Winter is running for Congress, it’ll probably be voted down.
Also, I think we know the main problem as to why healthcare is so expensive in this country. In fact, God warned us about it:
There’s a 2-page resolution to study bullying in Montana, and I hope it passes.
The resolution seeks to get input from “the Office of Public Instruction, the Board of Public Education, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, school counselors and psychologists, school resource officers, representatives from the youth court system, and appropriate K-12 education stakeholders.”
A Republican introduced this resolution.
I find that interesting, as Republicans are the ones that seek to cut funding for school counselors and psychologists, school resource officers, representatives from the youth court system, and appropriate K-12 education stakeholders.
Most of the rest of the stuff on the agenda for today and the rest of the session is just interim studies, approving governor’s appointments, and perhaps a bit on infrastructure...though I think that’s mostly done.
Thanks for reading.