• Christopher Smith, Publisher

Times Are A-Changing in Montana


Good morning, Dear Readers, my story today is based on an article in The Daily Montanan.


Montana is Now a Pot State, Not a Coal One — So Tell Our Federal Delegation


THE SCOOP

Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone If your time to you is worth savin' And you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin' …


THE DEEPER DIVE

The 1960’s were a time of change. 1964, Bob Dylan released “The Times They are A-Changin” [on an album by the same name]. The next year, Timothy Leary was caught with less than half an ounce of cannabis and sentenced to 30 years in prison. By the end of the decade, Dylan was playing electric and Leary had sued the federal government for violating his 5th Amendment rights and won, which killed the Marihuana Tax Act.


For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin' …

The current generation, especially the last 10 years, have seen great changes in cannabis, complete legalization of which is now discussed at the very top levels of the Government that once called Leary “The Most Dangerous Man in America”.


According to this article, the people of Montana are not happy that their representatives will not acknowledge that legal cannabis is a bigger industry, and bigger contributor to Montana’s tax base, than coal.


“For years now we have heard Jon Tester and Steve Daines declare themselves “coal state senators” whenever they so willingly vote against measures to reduce or tax the use of coal and its planet-killing pollution. But as recently released data show, the state and local tax revenue and number of jobs created by our cannabis industry [Montana’s legalization of recreational and medical marijuana] now outpace coal — a trend that is expected to continue.”


“The University of Montana [’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research] predicted total sales of recreational pot would be … $217 million this year, producing $43.4 million in … tax revenues…. “That number was predicted to RISE to … $52 million in tax revenues by 2026…”


On the other hand [According to a report from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning, coal tax revenues … are predicted to FALL to $36 million by 2025 due to “continued decline in domestic demand.”


  • And yet… “When The MORE Act passed the U.S. House earlier this month, Montana’s Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale voted against it …

  • So now the measure goes to the Senate where “Tester says legalization would cause more problems than it solves…”

  • ... and Republican Steve Daines has already told Politico: “I oppose it.” Really Sen. Daines? And why would you do that given that more Montanans voted to legalize pot than voted for you in the last election?”

The author finishes by saying “Given Montana’s indisputable vote to support legal pot, it’s clearly time for Daines, Tester and Rosendale to leave their phony anti-environment coal state excuses behind … and start representing their constituents’ priorities in Congress.”


Or as Bob Dylan would say:


Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled The battle outside ragin' Will soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin'


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Lyrics from "The Times They Are A-Changin" by Bob Dylan



Image source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/The_Times_They_Are_a-Changin%27_(Bob_Dylan_album)