The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

When you truly don’t care what anyone thinks of you, you have reached a dangerously awesome level of freedom. – Anonymous

Today’s independent commentary deals with these people/issues:

  • Vaccine Status Bill
  • Recreational Marijuana
  • Three Abortion Bills
  • The Western Word Poll


The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Montana’s Legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment. The bill makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for a person or governmental entity to deny services, goods, privileges, licensing, educational opportunities or employment opportunities based on vaccination status or whether someone has an immunity passport.

I am against this bill. It seems some in this country have forgotten that freedom is not always free. This bill is a classic from the conspiracy theory lunatics in the Republican Party.

I imagine this bill will end up being debated in the courts and hopefully overturned.

Read the full story from the AP by clicking HERE.


It was an amazing turnaround. The bill to implement recreational use of marijuana in Montana died a few times but was ultimately passed by the state House on Tuesday.

Lee Newspapers is reporting that Montana’s marijuana implementation bill survived intense scrutiny from a legalization-hesitant Republican majority to pass the Legislature on Tuesday. House Bill 701 from Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, cleared the House on a 67-32 vote and now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, where he is expected to sign it.

They are also reporting that if all goes well recreational weed would hit retail shelves in January 2022.

The state now must write the rules and that can be a game-changer.

Read the full report from Lee Newspapers by clicking HERE.

Party on…


The Associated Press (AP) reported that Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed three bills Monday restricting abortion access in the state, celebrating it as a success after several attempts to pass similar measures in previous years were vetoed by former Democratic governors. The bills ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, require health care providers to give pregnant women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before performing an abortion, and place several restrictions on abortion pills, including requiring that they be administered in-person rather than through telehealth.

Although these bills were signed into law by Gianforte, they will ultimately be decided in court – and will probably be thrown out.

The AP also reported Gianforte signed the measures in the presence of a jubilant crowd of Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion activists. One of the lawmakers, Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R-Great Falls, looked to be wearing a MAGA sign or pin.

You can see the photos from the event, including Sheldon-Galloway’s hat and MAGA pin, and read the story from the AP by clicking HERE.


Don’t forget to participate in this week’s poll that asks, “What Grade Will You Give President Joe Biden for His First 100 Days?”

Click HERE to participate. The results will be posted Thursday.


6 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. john McNaught on April 19, 2021, at 10:54 am said:
    good blog. I wish cannabis use was more accurately defined as personal-use or legal-use or, adult-use (ha, ha). Anyway, many people use cannabis for things other than recreation. Think about it. How many people would say, “let’s smoke some dope then recreate”?
    All legislators from either party have to do is study the scientific literature on cannabis. Is it a good habit? NO: Is it a crime? NO: Did the people of Montana vote for it YES. What is so difficult? We could have an industry just supplying growing materials for the personal-use of those who want cannabis. After all, it is about as difficult to grow as tomatoes and not as susceptible to the cold. Oh yes, and once you grow a supply, you can store it pretty much indefinitely, though a little variety is nice.:)

  2. Maybe GG will appoint Lola to the Supreme Court. Until then, she’s gonna be one disappointed MAGA. Far be it for MAGA to defend the indefensible, right?

    ”Shy of a compelling state interest, the court wrote, “the legislature has neither a legitimate presence nor voice in the patient/health care provider relationship superior to the patient’s right of personal autonomy.” Even less defensible, it said, is when “the legislature thrusts itself into this protected zone of individual privacy … because of prevailing political ideology and the unrelenting pressure from individuals and organizations promoting their own beliefs and values.” In those scenarios, the court wrote, “the state’s infringement of personal autonomy is not only constitutionally impermissible, it is, as well, intellectually and morally indefensible.”

    • Larry – Thanks. I think Lola is probably one of GG’s biggest supporters! -JmB

  3. I watched the House debate on HB 701 yesterday. I thought almost all reps, pro and con, expressed their positions well.

    There was one exception, Rep. Reksten from Lake County, who rose to say she was opposed because such-and-such a law states Native tribal governments will not pay state and federal taxes, and this would invite in the cartels. Apparently cartels love selling their marijuana through legal State-regulated outlets but only so long as there is no tax on it. And other local government units in Montana pay heavy taxes to the state and feds.

    Based on the reaction provoked by Rep. Reksten bringing up tribes not paying taxes, there might be some history there with her.

    The bill’s sponsor Rep. Hopkins eventually spoke and explained that there would be no outlets on the reservations by Federal (?) law anyhow and any off-reservation outlets owned by the tribes would be subject to the same 20% (or more) tax as all others. Rep. Reksten voted no just the same.

    It was an interesting investment of time.

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