By Marnee Banks, KXLH Helena
HELENA- Helena Mayor Jim Smith has spoken out on the subject of marijuana saying on Thursday that the drug should be legalized.
Smith sat on a panel on Thursday evening after screening a new medical marijuana documentary called "Code of the West" and was joined by filmmaker Rebecca Cohen and several politicians.
Smith surprised the audience by pulling out a bumper sticker that read "Legalize/Regulate/Tax" and announcing that he supports legalizing the plant; his statement drew applause from the audience.
"The federal government needs to do something and I think what it needs to do is legalize, regulate, and tax the substance. Treat it just like we treat alcohol and tobacco. Take all reasonable steps and precautions to keep it away from kids and youth. But treat it as an adult substance, which is what it is and how it's being used by millions of people in the country," Smith told Montana's News Station.
He added the issue of marijuana is dividing Montanans and it shouldn't, saying he believes there is very little that states and cities can do to address the issue.
About a year ago the City of Helena looked at zoning for medical marijuana businesses; Smith says that commissioners decided it wasn't their place to step in, and he hopes that will continue to be the case.
Stop the Drug War, Before They Kick In Your Door
By Paul Stanford, Executive Director of THCF for Hemp News
My speech at the 2010 Seattle Hempfest is my effort to highlight the historical, scientific and philosophical importance of hemp and cannabis. I honor cannabis reform activists that have passed on, such as Jack Herer and Dr. Tod Mikuriya; those arrested for cannabis, such as cannabis minister Roger Christie of Hawaii, Marc Emery of Canada, and Eddy Lepp of California; and those sentenced to death for cannabis in Malaysia.
By Bryan Podwys, Portland Political Buzz Examiner
The Oregon Secretary of State has certified a petition that proposes legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana across the state. The measure, which bears resemblance to others Oregon voters have rejected over the past few decades, could be included on this year's ballot if enough signatures are gathered by July 2nd.
Over 35 years ago, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the use of cannabis products. Possession of one ounce or less became punishable by a simple fine followed by further changes with the passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. With an upcoming ballot measure in California that could go one step further and actually legalize and tax marijuana sales gaining national attention, some Oregonians are eager to keep their state at the forefront of progressive legislation.