Mixed Signals From Big Sky Country
I suppose you could say Montana is the Last Best Place to go if you’re interested in toking up, in that it’s the last of the states with okay-ish medicinal policies. Kind of.
Montana does have fairly lean misdemeanor penalties, but these skyrocket once you jump up to a felony. And while they do have a mandatory minimum sentence enacted, it’s only applicable if you’re caught selling or delivering. Here’s what’s interesting about that, or nucking futs depending on which way you view it. You will absolutely get a year in prison if you’re caught, do not pass go, do not collect $200. That jumps to 3 years if you’re caught within 1,000 feet of school grounds. (Don’t do that.) Both of those penalties carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. But the third offense, the sale or delivery from an adult to a minor, is a minimum two years and no threat of life. Cue a Scooby Doo inspired “ruh?”. Apparently if you want to bring a hash bag on your school’s annual trip to Yellowstone–actually, no. Don’t do that. Ever.
Possession and personal use
Possession and personal use are fairly run of the mill and no MMS are enacted. If you’re caught with 60 grams or less on your first offense it could be six months in the slammer and a possible $500 fine. If you intend to distribute you could be looking at 20 years and 50 grand in fines. Hash and concentrates are treated a little more hashly (sorry, just a little stoner blogging humor) in that you could face the same penalties as marijuana but with only a gram or less.
If you continue any of these “criminal enterprises” after your first offense, you are at the mercy of having your fines and imprisonment doubled or tripled. If you’re convicted for any misdemeanor you will be forced to take a drug education course, but fret not, Montana does have a conditional release available to first time offenders. This usually means you can opt for probation rather than a trial and the criminal offense will not be on your permanent record. Jail time for felonies may be eligible for a trade-in of commitment to a drug treatment facility, community service, or a loss of your driver’s license.
Can I use it for medical purposes?
Which brings us to medicinal usage. It’s legal and has been for over a decade, hence why Montana is still in the “good” category of states. Patients are allowed to have up to an ounce on them, and since there are no state dispensaries patients are also allowed to keep up to four mature plants in their homes.
Don’t take it with you in a trip
Here’s a parting tidbit for Montana: you will incur additional penalties if you have marijuana on your person while riding a train. I guess they’re getting really strict about what those kids take into Hogwarts.