BILLINGS - Marijuana is a big issue on the June 7 ballot for voters in Yellowstone County, and some big names are rallying in the area in support of legal recreational weed.
Actor Jim Belushi headlined a pro-marijuana event at Henry’s Garage in south Billings over the weekend.
Belushi owns and operates Belushi Farms, a cannabis-based business. It's something he calls a gateway to healing.
"I believe everybody needs medicine. There’s people screaming inside from some trauma in their life. And they reach for a medicine, and all I’m saying is cannabis is a beautiful medicine," Belushi told MTN News in an interview.
Besides working on his farm and filming “Growing Belushi”- a new show documenting his life on his southwest Oregon cannabis farm- on Discovery Plus, Belushi is currently working with Montana-based edible company, Bhang Chocolate, to bring his brands to the Treasure State.
"We’re doing Blues Brothers Chocolate. We’re very curious about Montana and bringing the Belushi brands and Blues Brothers brands here to Montana. It’s just a beautiful state, and the people are very beautiful," he said.
But despite this business venture, pot supporters are worried about what may happen if recreational marijuana gets overturned in Yellowstone County.
Montana voters approved recreational marijuana sales statewide in the 2020 election, but a provision of the law gave county commissioners the right to put the issue on a local ballot. Yellowstone County commissioners did just that in December 2021, less than two months after voters defeated a similar measure allowing recreational marijuana inside city limits.
"I am in fear that there are hundreds of people that will be affected if this goes away," said Jason Smith, treasurer of Better for Montana, a group that supports legalized recreational marijuana.
On June 7, voters will be asked if the county should overturn the approval of recreational marijuana in Yellowstone County. In other words, voting "for" means you're against recreational pot, and voting "against" means you want recreational pot shops to be able to operate in the county.
Recreational marijuana supporters say the county could gain millions in tax dollars from recreational sales, while opponents say they worry that more recreational marijuana will lead to more crime and substance abuse.
Watch the full interview below: