The state of Montana considers marijuana a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance and a dangerous drug. Recreational marijuana is very much illegal and punishable by imprisonment and fines. Possessing up to 60 grams of recreational marijuana for personal use is considered a misdemeanor and carries a three year maximum jail sentence and a $1,000 maximum fine.
Getting caught with more than 60 grams of marijuana is considered a felony and can result in five years incarceration with a $50,000 maximum fine. Selling, delivering, and cultivating ANY amount of marijuana in Montana is criminalized with a felony conviction.
Montana’s medical marijuana program, aka the Medical Marijuana Act or I148, was first approved in 2004, allowing patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access marijuana. In 2011, the Montana Legislature approved SB 423 and enacted an entirely new medical marijuana program, which placed more restrictions on medical marijuana and increase the requirements of patients, caregivers, and physicians. Many patients feel SB 423 has made the process of obtaining medical marijuana even more burdensome and discouraging, despitethe strong support of medical cannabis in Montana.
Since then, efforts have been made to encourage progress in Montana. Anthony Varriano, a medical marijuana patient, submitted a petition in 2015 to get the legalization of marijuana on the ballot in Montana. The proposed amendment, The Marijuana Legalization Initiative, would have allowed adults to legally purchase, possess, and consume marijuana. Unfortunately, it did not meet the 48,329 valid signature requirement to qualify for the 2016 ballot.
Nonetheless, Montana residents voted on the legalization of medical marijuana on November 8, 2016 and successfully expanded their medical marijuana program. Montana Citizens proposed the Medical Marijuana Initiative (I182) to repeal the current law, which was enacted in 2011. This new initiative will allow patients to safely access medical marijuana without many of the obstacles they currently face. I182 will also allow other serious health conditions, such as PTSD and chronic pain, to qualify for medical marijuana.
Is marijuana legal in Montana?
The use of recreational marijuana is illegal in Montana and is punishable by hefty fees, fines, and criminal charges. Qualified patients with certain conditions can legally consume and grow marijuana in Montana.
Where can I buy marijuana in Montana?
The purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal in Montana. Patients with medical cards can legally purchase cannabis in state licensed dispensaries.
What is the punishment if I’m caught with marijuana?
It depends on the amount and whether it’s your first or second offense. Possessing up to 60 grams for personal use is considered a misdemeanor and carries $1,000 maximum fine and up to three years in jail. Subsequent offenses result in more jail time and higher fines. It’s a felony to sell, distribute, or cultivate any amount of marijuana in Montana.
What medical conditions qualify for the Medical Card?
You must have been diagnosed by a licensed physician as having one or more of the following medical conditions:
● Crohn’s disease
● Intractable nausea or vomiting
● hospice care admittance
● Muscle spasms
● Multiple Sclerosis
● Peripheral neuropathy
● severe chronic pain
How can I apply for my Medical Card?
You must submit the application form, physician statement, and valid Montana state ID along with any applicable fees to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services office. Click here [https://dphhs.mt.gov/marijuana.aspx] for more information and details.
Can I get my Medical Card if I’m not a Montana resident?
No. You must be a Montana resident with a valid Montana ID.
If marijuana is legalized can I still get in trouble?
There’s always a chance you could get in trouble at the federal level, but you shouldn’t have any issues with authorities in states where marijuana is legal.
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