2014 Roll Up

Greetings supporters! 

2014 was certainly an historic year for marijuana. Oregon and Alaska joined Colorado and Washington with legalized recreational marijuana in their states, as well as the District of Columbia and Portland, Maine.  After failing seven times since 2003, Congress finally passed a spending bill prohibiting the Department of Justice, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, from interfering with state medical marijuana and hemp laws and the US Department of Justice recently instructed US attorneys not to enforce marijuana prohibition on tribal land.  Voters in Utah, Maryland, Minnesota, and New York approved medical marijuana. Stigma is dissolving as laws and attitudes change- the President of the United States stated that he doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.  CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reversed his stance on prohibition, offering our movement high-profile credibility. More Americans identify tobacco, alcohol and sugar as more harmful than marijuana.  Our momentum is only increasing and the associated policy shifts are inevitable.  

By the end of 2017, marijuana could be legal in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, Montana fell $199,162.34 short of the $200,000 fundraising goal that would have enabled us to pass a tax and regulate ballot initiative for 2016. Barring new funding sources, Montana is unlikely to be one of the states legalizing before 2018 as we raised a meager total of only $837.66 in 2014. Our website costs $828.00 per year, of which I have paid personally since it was implemented.  We've remained completely dependent on volunteers for design and tech assistance and have saved all of the money we raised.  Had the organization paid the website fees alone, we would have netted less than $10.00 in 2014, not including the inevitable cost of tax preparation in the next month. 

Besides economic challenges, marijuana in Montana is also facing legislative challenges.  The state's biennial legislative session is slated to begin in early 2015.  As of today, at least a dozen bills directly regarding marijuana are being drafted, some of which are sponsored by allies of our cause, who are unfortunately politically outnumbered in our legislature. The others, being drafted by known prohibitionists seeking to force welfare recipients to be drug tested, prohibiting marijuana rule-making by any agency in Montana, and affirming that "Schedule I drugs are illegal" (thank you, Senator David Howard) are troubling. No evidence has thus far indicated that this legislature will be any more receptive to thoughtful marijuana law reform than those in 2011 and 2013. 

Montana NORML's  all-volunteer board's resources were stretched incredibly thin throughout the year and it has at times been difficult to remain encouraged, but we are very appreciative of the support we've received and remain engaged and dedicated to this cause.  We look forward to another fascinating year in marijuana law reform and are hopeful that Montanans are more interested in a ballot initiative in 2020 than they were for one in 2016.  Marijuana isn't going to legalize itself.  


Nicole French

Download Montana NORML's 2014 annual report. 





Showing 11 reactions

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  • commented 2017-05-11 08:41:12 -0600
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  • commented 2015-11-03 14:42:03 -0700
    There should be more advocates at campuses and I think for the upcoming years vote there should be variations of the bill such like Ohio’s. A non corporate industry is a must in my opinion and also a fresh start act for those incarcerated for it. Most are non violent ,like me, and are more a victim to the system than causing victims. I might try to get something together to push for the rights we deserve. I think an adult should be able to pursue happiness as long as you are not infringing on others
  • commented 2015-08-25 15:19:32 -0600
    I grew up in Montana and now work for one of the largest dispensaries in Colorado. It is very frustrating that Montana is in the group of the least accepting and backwards state in the union. It makes me ashamed to say I was raised there. My mother is suffering with pancreatitis and suffers from chronic pain and loss of appetite. She is also and insomniac and won’t sleep more than a couple of hours in days. They prescribe mountains of dangerous pain medications and sleep meds. If the the good ole boys up there would just be a little more current my mother wouldn’t have to suffer or worry about the addictions to the chemicals they shove down her throat. Common guys! Make e proud Montanian again!
  • commented 2015-02-05 22:50:57 -0700
    So why does someone not start talking about all the tax money colorado is bring in then maybe people will start talking about this.
  • commented 2015-01-15 02:09:24 -0700
    I will be honest, I haven’t heard about this group nor the effort till I searched for a Montana Based group. When I asked around, nobody I know, knows about this group either. I recommend taking over social media, or even advocating at campuses. I know plenty of people who would support in 2016. Its possible to do, this isn’t an insane goal. Just have a social media take over.
  • commented 2014-12-29 16:03:40 -0700
    A prerequisite to the commitment was that we raise $200,000 by the end of 2014. Unfortunately, we fell well short of that goal.
  • commented 2014-12-29 15:58:42 -0700
    What happened to the $500,000 commitment from a “leading marijuana advocacy group”?
    site: http://www.montananorml.org/ending_prohibition_in_montana
  • commented 2014-12-29 10:06:05 -0700
    Nicole, this is such disheartening news. Even if I had contributed anything this past year it would not have mattered it seems. Please lets get together and see what we can do to get marijuana legalized. It seems the Montana Tribes may have an in that can be useful to state legalization.
  • commented 2014-12-28 12:14:36 -0700
    My concern isn’t strategy at all. It’s financial.
  • commented 2014-12-28 11:51:06 -0700
    I’m cautiously optimistic that true medical cannabis law reform is forthcoming in Montana… The radical fringe groups are sounding sillier by the day. This does not make them any less dangerous.

    We, as activists, need to bring to light the back door dealings and mis-information of our opposition so that the General Public can make an educated,informed decision based on fact on all things cannabis. It is obvious that " we be poor" and “they” have plenty of money to push their prohibitionist agenda.. We have the truth on ourside, but how do we get the truth to the people with no funds?

    Anyone want to protest/demonstrate with me this summer? I feel the need for mature organized civil disobedience that is palletable to the general public… We will never change the mind of 20%, we have 20% pro-herb/liberty always, it’s the middle 60% of Montanans that we need to reach with our message… This is where the war is being won .. Public opinion is driving anti-cannabis/drug law reform natIon wide… Look at Utah…
  • @MTnorml tweeted this page. 2014-12-28 09:20:47 -0700