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House committee endorses medical marijuana repeal bill

House committee endorses medical marijuana repeal bill

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The House Human Services Committee voted 10-5 Friday to endorse a bill by House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, to repeal Montana's voter-passed 2004 medical marijuana law.

All of the committee's Republicans voted House Bill 161, while all of Democrats voted against it.

The bill now heads to the House floor for debate.

"This is an initiative that has gone horribly wrong," said Rep. Cary Smith, R-Billings. "This is not what the people voted for."

But Rep. Pat Noonan, D- Butte, opposed the bill.

"I have a rule that I don't vote against anything that's voted on by the voters," he said. "If we really want to repeal, I think the voters should do it."

Sixty-two percent of Montana voters passed a 2004 initiative by 62 percent to 38 percent.

There are two major medical marijuana bills still pending that would set up state licensing and regulation of medical marijuana. One would impose licensing fees to pay for the regulation, while the other would levy a tax.

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