Montana Judge Hears Arguments Over Governor’s Veto Of Marijuana Revenue Bill – Legal Battle Unfolds

Legal Battle Unfolds: Understanding the Montana Marijuana

If you’re like me, you’re always up for some good cannabis news. But this time, it’s not just about the latest strains or products hitting the market. It’s about a legal battle that’s been unfolding in Montana, and it’s high time we dive into the details.

The Backstory: Montana’s Marijuana Revenue Bill

So, here’s the deal, my fellow . Montana Greg Gianforte made a move that stirred up quite the controversy. He vetoed Senate Bill 442, which aimed to restructure how Montana’s annual $50 million marijuana tax revenue was distributed. Now, why would he do that, you ask?

The Buzzkill

Well, it turns out that even though this bill had and 131 out of 150 lawmakers were all in for it, Governor Gianforte wasn’t exactly thrilled. He had a different plan in mind. His administration was all about directing more of that sweet green to law enforcement and the General .

So, when the Senate decided to call it a day and adjourn after passing the bill, Gianforte seized the moment. He signed that veto in the nick of time, leaving the with no chance to override it. And that’s when the legal drama began.

What’s the Legal Beef?

The big question here is, what defines the legislature being “in session”? This little detail has been the crux of the legal battle. The groups that sued the governor argued that since the veto wasn’t officially announced in the Senate before adjournment, it should’ve been sent to the Secretary of State for an override poll.

They claimed that Gianforte and his veto letter were too slow to the Senate, and that’s where the fuss started. The governor’s side, on the other hand, said, “Hold your horses, folks! The Senate had not adjourned completely, and we were still in session.”

The Lawsuit Unfolds: Who’s Who in the Courtroom?

Now, let’s talk courtroom drama, shall we? Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike Menahan, a former lawmaker himself, had the honor of presiding over this legal showdown.

On one side, you had lawyers representing Governor Gianforte and Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, both Republicans. On the other side, the Montana Association of Counties, Wild Montana, and the Montana Wildlife Federation were itching for an override poll and had their lawyers in tow.

The Argument Heats Up

The conservation organizations argued that the Constitution defines the legislature as both the Senate and the House of Representatives. So, they said, “Hey, Governor, the Senate adjourned, and you missed your chance.”

They also claimed that they had standing in this mess because they’re big players in the political game, and Gianforte and Jacobsen messed with their plans by not sending out an override .

The Governor’s Defense

Governor Gianforte’s attorney, Dale Schowengerdt, wasn’t having it. He argued that only the legislature could’ve been hurt by this veto, not the organizations. He even pointed out that there was no guarantee that an override would succeed.

Schowengerdt suggested that if the legislature wanted to override the veto, they could reconvene in a special session. “There’s always a way to override the governor’s veto,” he said.

The Secretary of State’s Stand

Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen’s representative, Austin James, had a simple argument: “She didn’t get the bill to send out an override poll, so this lawsuit is a dud.”

He emphasized that Jacobsen shouldn’t have to come up with a solution to this dispute. Instead, she should just stick to her constitutional duties. Fair point, I guess?

The Verdict?

So, where does this leave us, my fellow cannabis aficionados? Judge Menahan didn’t drop the gavel on this one just yet. He said this case could set a precedent for future governors and lawmakers.

One outcome could be governors exploiting loopholes in the Constitution, leading to years of “interbranch loophole wars.” On the flip side, it could ensure that lawmakers always have a shot at overriding a veto.

As of now, we’re waiting for Judge Menahan’s decision. This legal battle is far from being extinguished, and it’s keeping us on our toes. Stay tuned for more updates on this blazing hot Montana showdown.

In conclusion, I want to give a shout-out to Blair Miller of Daily Montanan for bringing us this intriguing legal saga. Thanks to him, we’re in the loop about the Legal Battle Unfolding in Montana’s marijuana world. Cheers to keeping it green and legal!

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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