Letters: Legalization of marijuana would provide state revenue for maintenance

The State of Montana is unique in that it provides countless opportunities for people to experience the outdoors. The maintenance of our wild and scenic areas is a required action, but remains a large and expensive hurtle.

Currently our public lands, waterways, and wildlife are underfunded by nearly $60 million. The legalization of cannabis will provide the state with millions of dollars in tax revenue, and a great deal of the proposed allocations of this tax send revenue straight to our public lands.

Nearly $18 million per year is estimated to be used to repair, maintain, and open access in the public domain. The major increase in traffic in our public lands catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic is straining the system, and agencies are struggling to keep these spaces usable.

As this trend continues, Montana needs a funding mechanism to address expanded maintenance needs. With the legalization and taxation of marijuana we have the opportunity to fill in the gaps, and maintain Montanas’ beauty.

In this next election, vote yes on 1-190 to legalize marijuana, and yes on CI-118 to set the legal age for consumption at 21 and provide for Montana’s public lands.