Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Senate OKs medical marijuana law repeal

 


The state Senate Friday afternoon approved repealing medical marijuana on a 28-22 vote.

The state Senate Friday afternoon approved repealing medical marijuana on a 28-22 vote. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, eliminates allowing prescription of marijuana for specific medical conditions. Se. Rowlie Hutton, R-Havr,e voted to repeal. Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, voted against repeal. Montana voters passed the allowance of medical marijuana in a ballot initiative in 2004. The House this morning, in a unanimous vote, approved suspending procedures to allow that chamber to consider a bill from the Senate reforming the medical marijuana laws. That bill passed the Senate but did not receive a two-thirds majority needed to transfer it to the House in suspension of rules. Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, a majority whip in the House, said the House Republicans approved bringing the bill over to keep their options open. "We don't know for sure whether or not the governor will veto HB 161 or amend it in a way that is not amenable to the members of the Legislature," she said. "By accepting SB 423 from the Senate, we have the opportunity to craft legislation that reigns in medical marijuana in a way that we can support, in a manner that better matches what the voters intended when they sign the initiative Milburne's bill passed the House on a 62-37 vote, but failed to pass out of Senate committee on a 6-6 vote on March 14. Votes to blast it out to the floor on March 26 failed in 24-24 and 23-25 votes. It was taken from committee in a floor vote Wednesday on a 26-24 vote. Rep. Bryce Bennet, D-Missoula, said both Republicans and Democrats in the House wanted to keep the option open to continue the debate on medical marijuana, and SB 423 was the only option with which to do that. He said that, as the Legislature can't both reform and repeal medical marijuana, the next step is up to Gov. Brian Schweitzer."A lot will be resting on the governor as he receives HB 161 on his desk tomorrow and what we can accomplish on SB 423 in the House," Bennet said. But Havre's Republican Rep. Kris Hansen said she voted to bring over the Senate bill with reservations, to keep options open. "Personally, however, I would have preferred that we simply forced the governor to approve the repeal or veto it,"Hansen said. "I would like to think he would have approved it because of the seriousness of the issue. "We need to repeal it and start over if the people want to do that," Hansen added. The state Senate Friday afternoon approved repealing medical marijuana on a 28-22 vote. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, eliminates allowing prescription of marijuana for specific medical conditions. Se. Rowlie Hutton, R-Havr,e voted to repeal. Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, voted against repeal. Montana voters passed the allowance of medical marijuana in a ballot initiative in 2004. The House this morning, in a unanimous vote, approved suspending procedures to allow that chamber to consider a bill from the Senate reforming the medical marijuana laws. That bill passed the Senate but did not receive a two-thirds majority needed to transfer it to the House in suspension of rules. Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, a majority whip in the House, said the House Republicans approved bringing the bill over to keep their options open. "We don't know for sure whether or not the governor will veto HB 161 or amend it in a way that is not amenable to the members of the Legislature," she said. "By accepting SB 423 from the Senate, we have the opportunity to craft legislation that reigns in medical marijuana in a way that we can support, in a manner that better matches what the voters intended when they sign the initiative Milburne's bill passed the House on a 62-37 vote, but failed to pass out of Senate committee on a 6-6 vote on March 14. Votes to blast it out to the floor on March 26 failed in 24-24 and 23-25 votes. It was taken from committee in a floor vote Wednesday on a 26-24 vote. Rep. Bryce Bennet, D-Missoula, said both Republicans and Democrats in the House wanted to keep the option open to continue the debate on medical marijuana, and SB 423 was the only option with which to do that. He said that, as the Legislature can't both reform and repeal medical marijuana, the next step is up to Gov. Brian Schweitzer. "A lot will be resting on the governor as he receives HB 161 on his desk tomorrow and what we can accomplish on SB 423 in the House," Bennet said. But Havre's Republican Rep. Kris Hansen said she voted to bring over the Senate bill with reservations, to keep options open. "Personally, however, I would have preferred that we simply forced the governor to approve the repeal or veto it,"Hansen said. "I would like to think he would have approved it because of the seriousness of the issue. "We need to repeal it and start over if the people want to do that," Hansen added.

The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, eliminates allowing prescription of marijuana for specific medical conditions.

Se. Rowlie Hutton, R-Havr,e voted to repeal. Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, voted against repeal.

Montana voters passed the allowance of medical marijuana in a ballot initiative in 2004.

The House this morning, in a unanimous vote, approved suspending procedures to allow that chamber to consider a bill from the Senate reforming the medical marijuana laws. That bill passed the Senate but did not receive a two-thirds majority needed to transfer it to the House in suspension of rules.

Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, a majority whip in the House, said the House Republicans approved bringing the bill over to keep their options open.

"We don't know for sure whether or not the governor will veto HB 161 or amend it in a way that is not amenable to the members of the Legislature," she said. "By accepting SB 423 from the Senate, we have the opportunity to craft legislation that reigns in medical marijuana in a way that we can support, in a manner that better matches what the voters intended when they sign the initiative

Milburne's bill passed the House on a 62-37 vote, but failed to pass out of Senate committee on a 6-6 vote on March 14. Votes to blast it out to the floor on March 26 failed in 24-24 and 23-25 votes.

It was taken from committee in a floor vote Wednesday on a 26-24 vote.

Rep. Bryce Bennet, D-Missoula, said both Republicans and Democrats in the House wanted to keep the option open to continue the debate on medical marijuana, and SB 423 was the only option with which to do that.

He said that, as the Legislature can't both reform and repeal medical marijuana, the next step is up to Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

"A lot will be resting on the governor as he receives HB 161 on his desk tomorrow and what we can accomplish on SB 423 in the House," Bennet said.

But Havre's Republican Rep. Kris Hansen said she voted to bring over the Senate bill with reservations, to keep options open.

"Personally, however, I would have preferred that we simply forced the governor to approve the repeal or veto it,"Hansen said. "I would like to think he would have approved it because of the seriousness of the issue.

"We need to repeal it and start over if the people want to do that," Hansen added.

 

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