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The History of Marijuana in Montana

Montana has a history with marijuana that dates back to as early as 1929, when the state passed a bill prohibiting all forms of marijuana in the state. When the marijuana prohibition bill was first introduced, a meeting was held to vote, which was described as great fun, “There was fun in the House Health Committee during the week when the marihuana bill came up for consideration. Marijuana is Mexican opium, a plant used by Mexicans and cultivated for sale by Indians… Everybody laughed and the bill was recommended for passage.” A representative and the state of Montana justified the ban because of marijuana’s effect on Mexicans, according to Doctor Fred Fulsher , "When some beet field peon takes a few rares of this stuff, he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.”

This marijuana ban didn’t stop the Kurth family from growing cannabis in the 1980s though, because their cattle ranch was failing, leaving them in debt, so they turned to marijuana. By 1986, the Kurths were growing enough plants to sell small amounts, and by that fall, their debts had been reduced significantly.  They then informed their dealers that their business was closing, which only backfired because the dealers responded with extortion. By 2004, the state moved forward with cannabis legislation when it legalized medical marijuana, though many like the Kurth family, are still struggling under Montana’s harsh marijuana laws.  


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