Hungry Horse News
Republican Congressional candidate Ryan Zinke stumped at the Blue Moon Nite Club on Friday.
Montana’s First Congressional District was added after the state gained a seat as its population grew to over 1 million in the 2020 census.
Zinke was formerly a Montana Congressman from 2015-2017 before becoming Secretary of Interior under the Trump Administration.
“The campaign is going great,” he said. “America is fixable.”
In a brief interview while shaking hands with folks, he said the U.S. needs to get back to energy independence and could shut down the southern border in three months to stop illegal immigration if need be.
He said he would support building the southern border wall on the Mexican border and would support empowering the Border Patrol to do its job.
On the war in Ukraine he said the U.S. should support them with advanced drone weaponry and he supported air dropping humanitarian aid to cities.
“This is the face of evil,” he said of Russian President Vladmir Putin.
“I stand for freedom,” Zinke, a former Navy SEAL added.
He also spoke to a question on recreational marijuana, which has been an issue in Columbia Falls. Because of federal law, recreational marijuana businesses, which are now legal in Flathead County, cannot have bank accounts, because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. So if a bank does business with a marijuana dealer, they could be charged with aiding and abetting a federal crime or money laundering.
As such, pot businesses pay taxes, like the Columbia Falls 3% city resort tax, in cash.
Zinke said he “respected the voice of Montanans” on the legalization of marijuana.
But he also noted that “big pot and big money doesn’t belong in Big Sky.”
On the other hand, he said he didn’t know what the answer was from the banking aspect.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester during an interview earlier this year that the marijuana quandary has been holding up federal banking legislation as of late.
Last year, Montana Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican, signaled support for the SAFE Act, which would allow marijuana businesses to bank legally.
The legislation passed the House, but stalled in the Senate.