The Monday Memo

Quote for the day…

Wisdom accepts that all things have two sides – Carl Jung

Today’s independent commentary deals with these issues:

  • Reefer Madness
  • Justice Ingrid Gustafson
  • On the Road…


Just when you thought the issue was settled, the Great Falls Tribune reported this weekend that the Great Falls City Commission is asking voters to prohibit all types of marijuana businesses from operating within Great Falls city limits, an issue that many voters believe they’d already answered nearly two years ago when Cascade County voted by a margin of 54.7% to 45.3% to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana.

The Tribune added that the margin of approval was even higher in many of Great Falls’ city voting precincts.

That’s not the dumbest part. The Tribune says the language of the ballot issue is so confusing that many voters will have a hard time understanding exactly what they are voting for or against.

Here is what I believe is the proposal and the language (Source):

Proposal: The City Commission of the City of Great Falls has proposed an amendment to the Official Code of the City of Great Falls to specifically prohibit all types of marijuana business categories from operating within the City of Great Falls. These business categories include marijuana dispensaries (adult-use and medical), combined use, cultivation and manufacturing activities, testing laboratories and marijuana transportation facilities.

[ ] FOR amending the Official Code of the City of Great Falls to specifically prohibit all types of commercial marijuana business categories from operating within the City of Great Falls.

[ ] AGAINST amending the Official Code of the City of Great Falls to specifically prohibit all types of commercial marijuana business categories from operating within the City of Great Falls.

So, if I want all types of commercial marijuana businesses operating in the city of Great Falls, how do I vote? Read on…

The Tribune asked local attorney Raph Graybill his opinion about the language:

“What this technically is saying is that right now state law and Great Falls city code conflict,” explained Great Falls attorney Raph Graybill. “There are no marijuana businesses allowed in Great Falls under current city code. The city is saying, we’d like you to vote “for” amending the city code to prohibit marijuana businesses all over again. The “yes” vote is for a “change” to preserve the status quo. It’s worded in such a confusing way, that I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in either outcome being a real reflection of the voters’ will. ‘Yes’ is ‘no’ and ‘no’ is ‘yes.’ It’s an upside-down confusing question.

No matter how you spin this, what the city is doing is bullshit. We need better representation on the city commission and in positions of leadership on the city staff. We need people who abide by the will of the voters.

Read the complete Tribune story HERE.


It was good to see former Montana Governor Marc Racicot endorse Montana Supreme Court Justice Ingrid Gustafson for reelection.

Racicot talks about Gustafson’s experience – which she has much more of than her opponent:

“Justice Gustafson became a judge at the district court level a year before her opponent graduated from law school. On the district court bench, she heard over 15 000 cases and since becoming a Justice on the Montana Supreme Court she heard another thousand cases. She is a fine lawyer and a jurist that can be trusted.”

We have too many MAGA fruitcakes running for office this November. One report says that 60 percent of Americans will have an election denier on the ballot this fall. Vote against the MAGA people!

Watch the campaign ad from Gustafson HERE.


I watch the CBS Evening News and try to catch Friday’s “On the Road with Steve Hartman” segment each week.

Last Friday’s segment reminded me about how terrible the City of Great Falls treated the homeless people camping out at a local church. There was a lot of hatred toward them from citizens, business owners, and elected officials.

Homeless people are just like us – except they don’t have a home. That’s no reason to look down on them.

In the story, a local police officer in Richmond, Indiana, was killed in the line of duty. Reports say the whole community grieved deeply.

Then this happened:

The idea that anything good could ever come from her passing was unimaginable. Until one day a stranger walked into the department. He held in his hand a white envelope with a sliver of hope inside — eight crumpled up $1 bills and a note that read, “People from the street.”

That man collected money from his fellow homeless people, and they gave all they could to honor the slain police officer.

In the officer’s honor, donations for the homeless are pouring in.

God bless the officer’s family, friends, and co-workers. God bless the homeless people who gave all they had to honor her. May we all be that generous and kind.

Read/Watch the full story HERE.



9 thoughts on “The Monday Memo

  1. Neal Dubois, local attorney has a post slamming District Court candidate Levine.
    She posted a picture of Trebas & candidate judge Grubich.

    • Thanks! I wasn’t gonna vote for him anyway, but posing with a freaky far-right MAGA official doesn’t do him any good in my book. Grubich is part of that group or he would not have been appointed by Gianforte – IMHO. -JmB

  2. Great Falls homeless: They’re back on 2nd Ave N by the FUMC, just sticking to the median area between the church parking lot fence and the street. No official church-supported encampment.

    And the boats and RVs and other trailers are back parked on the streets of Great Falls, too.

    That Great Falls City Commission – When they solve a problem it stays solved.

  3. There is something even more BS about that City marijuana question than what is reported.

    The specific ordinance language the commission discussed made crystal clear that the City’s ban on activities illegal under federal law included marijuana. But we aren’t really being asked to approve that specific change. We’re just being asked to approve a generic change to City code.

    The actual code change they want is shown as Exhibit A in the link you provided, with the 2nd marijuana-specific sentence being what’s new:

    “No use of land shall be permitted by right or conditionally permitted within the incorporated City limits that is in violation of federal, state or local law. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, any use of land for the marijuana
    business categories otherwise authorized by Mont. Code Ann etc.”

    At one point commissioner Tryon asked attorney Hindoien the obvious: What happens if the federal government reclassifies marijuana so it’s not in violation of federal law anymore? The response was in essence that’s okay, this vote would still ban marijuana.

    And now it seems clear why: The actual ballot question doesn’t simply and clearly ask do you agree with these changes to the current code around the question of federal law, it just asks for carte blanche approval to amend code. So if the legs get cut out from under “in violation of federal, state or local law” in the two ordinances of the Exhibit, that’s okay, we’ll just find some other code to create or amend.

    All pretense is stripped away. This has nothing to do with being in violation of federal law, this is simply about Great Falls City government callously rejecting the will of the voters of Great Falls and Cascade County as expressed in the local I-190 results, and seeking to use their positions of power to impose their own will on the populace. The commissioners* and/or the City Manager who pulls their strings didn’t like the outcome of I-190 so screw those voters, we’ll find another way to deny them what they voted for themselves.

    * Note: IIRC Commissioner Hinebauch voted “no” against this deceptive abomination.

    • Terry – Thanks for the explanation. This is so much BS. I’m glad Hinebauch saw thru the BS. Too bad the others don’t follow the will of the people.
      This amendment will be ripe for a lawsuit- costing the taxpayers more money. -JmB

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