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Law Idaho

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I didn't even know that Idaho was even contemplating legalization. Wow.

Idaho Suspends Marijuana Legalization amid Coronavirus

Marijuana legalization efforts seem to be struggling in the US amid the coronavirus outbreak. In 2020, many US states planned to put legalization proposals on the November ballot. However, many states have canceled public gatherings and large events amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Malls, stores, and other public places have shut down. As a result, marijuana activists struggle to gather signatures for their campaigns. Idaho has suspended its marijuana legalization campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Idaho suspends marijuana legalization
Medical and recreational marijuana are both illegal in Idaho. The state planned to put medical marijuana legalization on the November 2020 ballot. A volunteer group called the ICC (Idaho Cannabis Coalition) submitted the proposal for medical cannabis legalization in the state. In August, Idaho officials gave the group permission to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot.
However, medical marijuana legalization won’t happen in Idaho in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since many states are locked down, ICC couldn’t gather the required signatures. A Marijuana Moment article discussed that the group had to collect 55,057 signatures by May 1 to qualify. So far, the group has collected 40,000 signatures. Although the difference isn’t substantial, the lockdown makes it difficult to obtain the signatures before the deadline. No one knows when the lockdown will end. Also, the group had to collect signatures from 6% of registered voters from a majority of legislative districts. Now, the group plans to put the legalization initiative on the 2022 ballot.

What’s happening in other states?

Like Idaho, New York’s legalization plan also failed. The state decided that handling the pandemic has to be its main priority. On Thursday, I discussed how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks that marijuana legalization is a complicated issue. He thinks that legalization might need more time. To learn more, read Marijuana Legalization Won’t Happen in New York in 2020.
Meanwhile, South Dakota has successfully qualified its medical and recreational cannabis legalization proposals for the ballot. Arizona and Mississipi also have collected the required signatures for the ballot, while Missouri continues to struggle.
Marijuana sales are still rising along with marijuana stocks’ performance. Hexo (TSE:HEXO) and Cronos Group’s (NASDAQ:CRON) earnings results impacted the stocks and the sector for a while. However, cannabis stocks are trading in the green again due to the huge demand for cannabis amid the pandemic. Marijuana has drawn interest from lawmakers in many states. Cannabis is considered to be an essential item in many states, which could impact the legalization decision. Hexo closed with a gain of 5.3%, while Cronos Group gained 3.4% on Thursday. Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Canopy Growth, and Aphria (NYSE:APHA) gained 3.05%, 1.6%, and 1.0% yesterday.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I though Oklahoma legalizing MMJ was shocking, if Idaho does it I'll be gobsmacked. My sister lives in North Idaho. North Idaho is the part that sticks up from the larger block of southern Idaho. People who live there are very careful to say that they are from North Idaho as they don't want to be confused with the liberals (in their view) in southern Idaho. haha

Its easy...if your representatives to state government are in fact not representing your desires and positions on issues, 86 them and get new ones who will.


Idahoans' support for medical marijuana has grown, but it might not be reflected in the Legislature

Ten years ago, when Bill Esbensen first began working with activists to push for some form of legal marijuana in Idaho, someone threatened to beat him up for it.
He was at a Willie Nelson concert in Boise, trying to collect signatures to get an initiative to legalize marijuana on the ballot. As he remembered it, the man who wanted to attack him for collecting signatures was probably older than 80.

“That was the attitude of people back then,” he said.

Esbensen has worked on multiple attempts to legalize medical marijuana in the decade since. Public opinion on the topic in Idaho has shifted during that time, he said on Aug. 4, citing a poll from the firm FM3 Research that shows 72% of Idahoans are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. The poll took place in April 2019 and included 400 Idahoans.

“Now you’re standing in line at Albertsons and the 75-year-old grandmother in front of you is talking about it,” he said.

Once again this year, Esbensen worked with the Idaho Citizens Coalition to gain enough signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot to legalize medical marijuana. This time they worked with John Belville, 78, of Nampa, a retired drug and alcohol counselor who uses marijuana for pain in his legs and feet due to an underlying health condition. He and his son, Russ Belville, traveled to every county in Idaho to gather signatures. Still, the coronavirus outbreak waylaid their efforts, as key signature-gathering events — such as Treefort Music Fest and Boise HempFest — were canceled.

Coalition members believe the initiative would have passed if they could have gotten it on the ballot. They say the Idaho Legislature, whose inability to fully legalize hemp set it at odds with every other state in the country and cast it as an anti-cannabis body, is out of touch with the constituency on the topic of medical marijuana.
“Marijuana is a weird issue where the people and the leadership are on completely different pages,” Russ Belville said.

Some Idaho lawmakers agree.

IN THE LEGISLATURE
House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, said she “absolutely” agrees the Legislature is on a different page from Idaho voters when it comes to medical marijuana. It’s a common topic in her conversations with constituents, she said.

Ideally, she said, the state’s residents shouldn’t have to achieve medical marijuana through a ballot initiative at all — it should be something lawmakers should do for the people if there is strong support for it, she said.

“This seems like something that the Legislature should just be able to take care of,” she said. “But they haven’t been and I don’t know that they are any time soon.”
Last session Rubel wanted to introduce a bill to legalize medical marijuana, she said, but chose not to after Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee indicated he wouldn’t give it a hearing.

Wood did not return calls from the Idaho Press seeking comment.

Feelings about medical marijuana don’t break strictly along party lines. Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City, said he’d consider supporting a medical marijuana bill now, but he probably wouldn’t have in 2014 when he took office; his shift is based on the support for medical marijuana he sees among his constituents.

“At least in my district, there has been support for, at least, medical marijuana, if not full recreational use,” McCrostie, who represents District 16, said last week.
House Speaker Scott Bedkey, R-Oakley, said he felt “medical marijuana would be a great thing when it’s prescribed to you by a doctor.”

He pointed out opioids are legal, but they’ve been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. He said he would want to see similar action taken for marijuana products before he could allow them in Idaho.

Some of the top leadership in Idaho’s Republican Party oppose legalizing marijuana. Gov. Brad Little, for instance, has said he opposes it — he even cautioned the legalization of hemp as possible camouflage for marijuana trafficking.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, led the 2013 charge for the successful passage of a resolution by the Legislature declaring the state should never legalize marijuana for any use.

“You talk to anybody that’s become a drug addict, you ask them what they got started (on), they’ll usually tell you it was on marijuana,” Winder said last week. “To me it’s detrimental to the individual, it’s detrimental to families, and the community in general.”

He said he didn’t think the Legislature was out of touch with its constituents on the topic.

“The polls are written in such a way that they give a mis-indication of what the real understanding of it is, and when you talk to people just out on the street or in a business situation or church or wherever you might be, people don’t want to see marijuana come to Idaho,” he said. “They see what’s happened in other places.”

SENIORS AND RURAL RESIDENTS
What surprised Rubel most in conversations with constituents at senior living centers in December was how often medical marijuana came up.
“It’s not something I hear from wild kids looking to party,” she said. “It’s something I hear from senior citizens who have chronic pain.”

That’s the reason John Belville started using marijuana. On a trip to visit his son, Russ Belville, in Portland three years ago, the elder Belville tried some of his son’s marijuana. It eased his chronic pain, he said. It wasn’t enough to get high, but it did relieve the pain, he said. Using the drug now, he’s been able to lower the amount of morphine he takes for the pain from 60 milligrams per dose to 15 milligrams.

He called Idaho’s stance on medical marijuana “backwards” and said it reminded him of views of marijuana from his days as a drug and alcohol counselor.
“In my day marijuana was a gateway drug,” he said. “You smoke marijuana and you’re going to do heroin.”

Support for medical marijuana isn’t confined to the Treasure Valley, say the members of the Idaho Citizens’ Coalition. In his signature-gathering voyage across the state, John Belville said he found people who support medical marijuana in rural Idaho as well. Other times, though, the Belvilles felt watched by police, who sometimes parked near where the organizers were gathering signature-gatherers.

“There’s a lot of people out there who still think it’s Reefer Madness,” John Belville said, but later added, “Even in places like Driggs, Idaho, there’s people who realize there’s a benefit to it.”

Sometimes he was surprised — in Wallace in North Idaho, for instance, people lined up to sign the petition, despite snowy weather.

“We’ve had a great deal of support no matter where we were,” Russ Belville said.

The Idaho Citizens Coalition gathered a gross total of roughly 40,000 signatures before calling off signature-gathering events when the governor issued a stay-home order on March 25. They needed over 55,000 signatures by April 30 to get the initiative on the November ballot.

The coalition has cut its losses this year, and is regrouping to make an effort to get an initiative on the ballot in November 2022. John Belville said he won’t be the chief petitioner — he’s getting too old and his health isn’t good enough for treks across the state — but he still believes the bid will be successful.
“2022 will be the year,” he said.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Idaho Activists Want Recreational Marijuana Legalization On 2022 Ballot, In Addition To Medical Cannabis


Activists are gearing up for a push to qualify an adult-use marijuana legalization measure for Idaho’s 2022 ballot following victories in similarly conservative states like Montana and South Dakota last month. The new move comes amid a separate push to put a more limited medical cannabis initiative before voters during the upcoming midterm election.

There are few details available about the recreational measure’s provisions and how the campaign will proceed at this point, but leaders are confident that Idaho is ready for the broad policy change. And as it stands, the state is already mostly surrounded by neighbors that have legalization on the books—with Montana voters approving the reform just a few weeks ago.

An attempt to put medical cannabis reform on the state’s ballot this year was abandoned due to signature gathering complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In October, the Idaho Citizens Coalition resubmitted a petition to get the more modest reform done in 2022, but that effort is now being transitioned to another group, Kind Idaho.

Russ Belville, who previously served as a campaign spokesperson for the medical cannabis measure through the Idaho Citizens Coalition, announced last week that he will be the chief petitioner of the newly proposed Idaho Marijuana Legalization Act.

“We’re excited about the prospects for recreational marijuana legalization in Idaho for 2022,” he told Marijuana Moment. “With South Dakota’s passage of [recreational], we now know a red state can do it. With Montana’s legalization passing, we know it’s popular in this region.”

Pursuing medical and recreational marijuana legalization simultaneously is becoming a bit of a trend lately, with South Dakota voters having approved both reforms on Election Day this year. Until then, all states moving to legalize marijuana for adults had previously had an existing medical cannabis law on the books.

Belville noted that advocates in Nebraska are also now seeking to put both medical and adult-use cannabis on that state’s 2022 ballot.

There’s an economic argument to enacting the policy change, he added, given that Idaho is effectively surrounded by other states where adults can legally purchase cannabis and “over half the population [is] living within an hour’s drive of a legal pot shop.”

“The little border town of Ontario, Oregon has sold over $50 million of marijuana in the past six months, and we know most of that money is coming from the Boise Metro Area, and they’re not smoking it all before they come back to Idaho,” he said. “That’s going to work out to about $6 million Idaho could’ve made on sales tax alone, every year.”

“The demand is there and it’s now just a question of organizing the fundraising necessary for the professional signature gathering required in a state like Idaho,” he said.

Meanwhile, the medical cannabis legalization campaign will still be going strong under. Activist Jackee Winters will lead the effort as chief petitioner of Kind Idaho. They will be using the same language as the proposed 2020 reform initiative.


The plan for the adult-use measure is to get signature gathering firms hired and “ready to collect” by March 1, 2021, if not sooner.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Idaho Senator Pushes Back on Legalization with Proposed Psychoactive Drug Ban

Senator C. Scott Grow is seeking to amend the state’s constitution to prevent cannabis reform.

Despite the fact that legal cannabis is shaping the nation, one senator in Idaho is still trying to push back against possible legalization in his state by proposing a constitutional ban at the state level on psychoactive drugs.

The amendment, proposed by Senator C. Scott Grow, a Republican based in Eagle, would officially amend the constitution, making it more difficult for advocates to legalize at the state level.

This amendment would ban “the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of a psychoactive drug.” The only exceptions would be drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Grow is adamant about why he did this—to prevent what he sees as the “erosion” of Idaho drug laws. He worries that if his state follows the lead of other, legal states in the nation, things would change for the worse. He is backed by other conservative senators, including Senate President Pro-Tem Chuck Winder.


“Neighboring states have legalized controlled substances to the detriment of their children, families and communities,” Grow said.

While state-level legalization initially took place in historically blue states like Colorado and California, more conservative states like Montana and Arizona have recently followed suit and legalized. Even South Dakota has come on board with legalization, and Oregon has gone so far as to decriminalize other drugs besides cannabis. These liberal changes make Grow and his constituents nervous.

Cannabis Laws in Idaho

Currently, Idaho does not even allow for medical cannabis, despite the fact that nearby states Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana all have recreational cannabis, and Utah has medical cannabis. The only remaining neighbor to Idaho that is equally strict on cannabis is Wyoming.

As may be expected, despite the strict laws in Idaho, residents are still getting their hands on product. An Oregon survey released last year revealed that sales along the Idaho border were, ironically, up 420 percent above the average in the state.

Currently, the amendment is not a done deal. It needs approval of at least two-thirds in favor from both the state House and Senate. Then, if it gains the support it needs, it will move on to the ballot to be voted on in the 2022 election.

And this support may not happen. In addition to those who are more liberal and support cannabis, even those who aren’t necessarily in favor of cannabis are wary of changing the constitution.

“Generally, I’m in favor of debating almost everything … but this is not one of them,” Senator Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, said in regards to the amendment, which he claims to “reluctantly” oppose. He believes that codes are meant to change over time, not be fixed by wording in the constitution.

Others, specifically those who openly support legal cannabis, are quick to criticize this move.

“It’s a ‘Hail Mary’ pass by the Idaho Legislature to stop the changes in marijuana laws they know are inevitable,” said Russ Belville, spokesperson for The Idaho Citizens Coalition for Cannabis. “It’s not just desperate legislation, it’s also flawed legislation.”

Even if this measure does manage to make it onto the ballot and get voted into law, it would not be able to stop federal legalization, nor the momentum behind the legal cannabis movement.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Idaho Lawmakers Approve Resolution That Would Quash 2022 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives


A resolution to amend the Idaho Constitution in a way that would prevent marijuana or other drugs from being legalized in the state advanced through a Senate committee on Friday, creating complications for activists who are seeking to put cannabis reform measures on the 2022 ballot.

The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the resolution along party lines in a 6-2 vote, moving it to the full chamber for consideration.

It stipulates that “the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of a psychoactive drug shall not be permitted in the state of Idaho.”

It would make an exception for substances that are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it would effectively kneecap efforts to establish a medical cannabis program that looks anything like those implemented in other legal states.

Part of the complication is that, should the legislature approve the resolution, sponsored by Sen. C. Scott Grow (R), it would put a constitutional initiative on the state’s 2022 ballot that would take precedence over any statutory legalization measures that appear alongside it, regardless of the margin that any measure ultimately gets approved by.

Activists are dealing with this development as they work to collect signatures on an initiative to legalize medical cannabis and while a separate group is preparing to place adult-use legalization before voters.

The committee-approved resolution says that the “normalization of illicit drug use is having a profound negative impact on Idaho citizens” and, therefore, it is “reasonable and necessary” to enact the constitutional change.

But to advocates, the request is anything but reasonable and is intended to undermine the democratic process, misleading voters by neglecting to directly explain how the measure would impact medical cannabis reform efforts and instead referring broadly to “psychoactive drugs.”

Here’s the language of the constitutional amendment that the lawmakers hope to place before voters:

“Shall Article III of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a new Section 30 to provide that the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of certain psychoactive drugs shall not be lawful in the State of Idaho unless such drugs are: (a) approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and permitted by the state; (b) lawfully prescribed; and (c) lawfully dispensed?”

If approved, that would mean that Kind Idaho’s medical cannabis legalization measure and another initiative in the works to legalize for recreational purposes would be rendered null and void, regardless of whether a majority of Idahoans passed either of them.

Beyond opposition from activists, Grow’s resolution is also facing personal pushback from a relative of his who moved to neighboring Oregon so that she could treat symptoms of her multiple sclerosis with cannabis.

In a letter shared by the Idaho Citizens Coalition (ICC) on Friday, the husband of the senator’s sister-in-law, Keith Detro, said that few people “have had the opportunity to witness firsthand, investigate and discover for them-self the potential benefits of medical marijuana than Mr. Grow.”

“Mr. Grow’s sister-in-law no longer needs to muffle her agony. She no longer suffers from intense constipation, ‘picking’ at her skin, insomnia addiction, rebound headaches and other opioid side-effects. She no longer needs to face the risk of overdose,” he wrote. “But to receive this treatment, she must leave the State of Idaho. She must escape the tired rhetoric of those who will oppose a thing without exploring a thing, even when it exists within their own family.”

Russ Belville, who previously served as a campaign spokesperson for ICC and is now the chief petitioner of the recently proposed Idaho Marijuana Legalization Act, explained the political dynamics at play in a Facebook video on Friday, following the committee vote.

He said that supporters of the resolution will attempt to put forward a narrative that misleadingly suggests that it would prevent the legalization of drugs like cocaine and meth. The committee gave a preview of that argument in the hearing, where much conversation was dedicated to Oregon’s voter-approved drug decriminalization initiative.

“When this goes before the voters, you know they’re gonna sell it as, ‘Oh, this makes drugs illegal. We don’t want legal cocaine, we don’t legal meth, we don’t want legal heroin. We don’t want to do like Oregon does and have legal drugs’—which Oregon doesn’t, but they’re gonna say it that way,” Belville said. “A lot of people who don’t pay attention might be fooled into thinking, ‘Oh yeah, we want to ban illegal drugs, we don’t like cocaine and meth,’ and not realize that it bans medical marijuana forever.”

But it’s not just the resolution that could derail reform efforts. A Republican lawmaker also plans to introduce a bill this session that advocates say would create a seriously limited medical marijuana program.

If the legislation is enacted, advocates worry that it would undermine any measures that may go before voters next year, giving the impression that the state already has an effective medical cannabis system in place and raising questions about why they would need to approve an additional reform.

As it stands, the state is already mostly surrounded by neighbors that have legalization on the books—with Montana voters approving the police change in November.

An attempt to put medical cannabis reform on Idaho’s 2020 ballot was abandoned due to signature gathering complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Advocates briefly had hope that a federal court ruling on an unrelated campaign’s request for electronic petitioning could help them qualify last November, but that was overturned by an appeals court.

Meanwhile, activists in Nebraska are also seeking to put both medical and adult-use cannabis on that state’s 2022 ballot. They also attempted to have voters decide on a medical marijuana legalization measure last year, but the state Supreme Court rejected the bid following a technical challenge.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Idaho Lawmakers Approve Resolution That Would Quash 2022 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives


A resolution to amend the Idaho Constitution in a way that would prevent marijuana or other drugs from being legalized in the state advanced through a Senate committee on Friday, creating complications for activists who are seeking to put cannabis reform measures on the 2022 ballot.

The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the resolution along party lines in a 6-2 vote, moving it to the full chamber for consideration.

It stipulates that “the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of a psychoactive drug shall not be permitted in the state of Idaho.”

It would make an exception for substances that are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it would effectively kneecap efforts to establish a medical cannabis program that looks anything like those implemented in other legal states.

Part of the complication is that, should the legislature approve the resolution, sponsored by Sen. C. Scott Grow (R), it would put a constitutional initiative on the state’s 2022 ballot that would take precedence over any statutory legalization measures that appear alongside it, regardless of the margin that any measure ultimately gets approved by.

Activists are dealing with this development as they work to collect signatures on an initiative to legalize medical cannabis and while a separate group is preparing to place adult-use legalization before voters.

The committee-approved resolution says that the “normalization of illicit drug use is having a profound negative impact on Idaho citizens” and, therefore, it is “reasonable and necessary” to enact the constitutional change.

But to advocates, the request is anything but reasonable and is intended to undermine the democratic process, misleading voters by neglecting to directly explain how the measure would impact medical cannabis reform efforts and instead referring broadly to “psychoactive drugs.”

Here’s the language of the constitutional amendment that the lawmakers hope to place before voters:

“Shall Article III of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a new Section 30 to provide that the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of certain psychoactive drugs shall not be lawful in the State of Idaho unless such drugs are: (a) approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and permitted by the state; (b) lawfully prescribed; and (c) lawfully dispensed?”

If approved, that would mean that Kind Idaho’s medical cannabis legalization measure and another initiative in the works to legalize for recreational purposes would be rendered null and void, regardless of whether a majority of Idahoans passed either of them.

Beyond opposition from activists, Grow’s resolution is also facing personal pushback from a relative of his who moved to neighboring Oregon so that she could treat symptoms of her multiple sclerosis with cannabis.

In a letter shared by the Idaho Citizens Coalition (ICC) on Friday, the husband of the senator’s sister-in-law, Keith Detro, said that few people “have had the opportunity to witness firsthand, investigate and discover for them-self the potential benefits of medical marijuana than Mr. Grow.”

“Mr. Grow’s sister-in-law no longer needs to muffle her agony. She no longer suffers from intense constipation, ‘picking’ at her skin, insomnia addiction, rebound headaches and other opioid side-effects. She no longer needs to face the risk of overdose,” he wrote. “But to receive this treatment, she must leave the State of Idaho. She must escape the tired rhetoric of those who will oppose a thing without exploring a thing, even when it exists within their own family.”

Russ Belville, who previously served as a campaign spokesperson for ICC and is now the chief petitioner of the recently proposed Idaho Marijuana Legalization Act, explained the political dynamics at play in a Facebook video on Friday, following the committee vote.

He said that supporters of the resolution will attempt to put forward a narrative that misleadingly suggests that it would prevent the legalization of drugs like cocaine and meth. The committee gave a preview of that argument in the hearing, where much conversation was dedicated to Oregon’s voter-approved drug decriminalization initiative.

“When this goes before the voters, you know they’re gonna sell it as, ‘Oh, this makes drugs illegal. We don’t want legal cocaine, we don’t legal meth, we don’t want legal heroin. We don’t want to do like Oregon does and have legal drugs’—which Oregon doesn’t, but they’re gonna say it that way,” Belville said. “A lot of people who don’t pay attention might be fooled into thinking, ‘Oh yeah, we want to ban illegal drugs, we don’t like cocaine and meth,’ and not realize that it bans medical marijuana forever.”

But it’s not just the resolution that could derail reform efforts. A Republican lawmaker also plans to introduce a bill this session that advocates say would create a seriously limited medical marijuana program.

If the legislation is enacted, advocates worry that it would undermine any measures that may go before voters next year, giving the impression that the state already has an effective medical cannabis system in place and raising questions about why they would need to approve an additional reform.

As it stands, the state is already mostly surrounded by neighbors that have legalization on the books—with Montana voters approving the police change in November.

An attempt to put medical cannabis reform on Idaho’s 2020 ballot was abandoned due to signature gathering complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Advocates briefly had hope that a federal court ruling on an unrelated campaign’s request for electronic petitioning could help them qualify last November, but that was overturned by an appeals court.

Meanwhile, activists in Nebraska are also seeking to put both medical and adult-use cannabis on that state’s 2022 ballot. They also attempted to have voters decide on a medical marijuana legalization measure last year, but the state Supreme Court rejected the bid following a technical challenge.
What a complete and utter lack of support for the principles of democracy.

Senators who vote for knee capping their citizen's ability to exercise democracy directly thru referendum without interference should be 86'd.....firmly 86'd.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Idaho Senate Advances Proposal To Constitutionally Ban Cannabis In The State

Idaho state senators have approved a bill that would essentially prevent cannabis law reform.

A proposal to constitutionally ban marijuana in Idaho narrowly passed out of the state Senate on Wednesday, setting the stage for legislators in the state House to decide.

The proposed amendment to the state’s constitution passed by a vote of 24-11, barely eclipsing the two-thirds threshold necessary for such a proposal. The ban would apply to “all psychoactive drugs not already legal in the state,” according to the Associated Press.

The AP noted that supporters of the constitutional amendment were motivated to act given that prohibition on recreational pot use has been lifted in neighboring states. To the west of Idaho’s border are Washington and Oregon, where marijuana has been legal for years; to the east is Montana, where voters approved a legalization measure in November’s election.

“Senators, we have a duty to protect our children, our families, our communities from the scourge of drugs and the drug culture which we have seen go clear across this nation,” state Sen. Scott Grow, a Republican who co-sponsored the legislation, said when debate on the proposed amendment began, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Republicans have large majorities in both of Idaho’s legislative chambers. The state’s GOP governor, Brad Little, has also made it abundantly clear that he is no fan of legalization.

If Idaho voters were expecting legal pot to come to their state, Little said months after taking office in 2019, “they elected the wrong guy as governor.”

Democratic Pushback

The AP said that all seven Democratic state senators “voted against the legislation, citing the need to keep medical options open for marijuana and new and experimental drugs that could help patients,” and they were joined by “four Republicans who said they were troubled by altering the state’s constitution, or felt banning marijuana would impinge on personal freedoms.”

“Having lost three close family members in less than four years, I know what writhing in pain looks like,” state Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, a Democrat, said, according to the Associated Press. “And I know when pain becomes too intense, and all hope has fallen off the cliff, people seek a small amount of relief and a single ray of hope. And I believe medical cannabis is a humanitarian issue, not a substance abuse issue.”

The implications on medical marijuana in the state are potentially significant, given that there is an effort in the state House to legalize the treatment there. A Republican and Democratic member of the House intend to introduce the medical cannabis measure in their chamber next week, according to the Idaho Press, which said that under the proposal marijuana “would only be available by prescription…[and] would be packaged like any other medicinal drug, and would be dispensed by pharmacies.”

Edibles and joints would be a no-go, according to the Idaho Press. The Republican co-sponsor of the bill, state House Rep. Mike Kingsley, the “whole goal is to keep it from becoming recreational.”

Medical marijuana is legal in nearly 40 other states. A poll in 2019 found that more than 70 percent of Idahoans supported legalizing medical cannabis.
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Idaho makes a lot of money from tourism. It’s a beautiful state. Maybe they don’t need the extra money that cannabis can bring to their state. There are only a little less than 2 million people that live in the ID. I guess they feel they don’t owe the citizens of Idaho to make their own decisions. Time to vote the assholes out of office! People sometimes don’t realize the power that they have - just my opinion.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"“Let Idahoans choose whether they want to live in a drug-free state – free from drug culture – or not,” Grow added."

Well, yes you moron. THAT is EXACTLY why this ID constitutional amendment, thus precluding any sort of direct democratic referendum, is a terrible idea and completely counter to any sort of concept of democracy, IMO.

Yes, people in ID are quite independent individualists and libertarian and for these reasons should give these jerk-offs in their Senate their walking papers.

Idaho Senate Passes Constitutional Ban On Legal Marijuana



The Idaho Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would amend the state’s constitution to prevent the legalization of marijuana and other drugs not approved by the federal government. The proposed constitutional amendment was approved in the GOP-led Senate with a vote of 24 to 11, just one vote more than the two-thirds majority required to advance the measure.

If the constitutional amendment succeeds, it would prohibit the legalization of marijuana or any other psychoactive drug not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The measure (Senate Joint Resolution 101) was proposed in response to the wave of cannabis legalization measures that continues to spread across the United States.

“Senators, we have a duty to protect our children, our families, our communities from the scourge of drugs and the drug culture which we have seen go clear across this nation,” said Republican Sen. Scott Grow, the sponsor of the legislation, at the beginning of Wednesday’s debate in the Senate. He characterized Idaho as the “last foxhole” surrounded by neighbors with some form of legalized marijuana.
“Let Idahoans choose whether they want to live in a drug-free state – free from drug culture – or not,” Grow added.

Debate on the proposed amendment became emotional at times. Republican Sen. Van Burtenshaw reportedly choked up for half a minute as he beseeched his fellow lawmakers to approve the proposal.

“Good senators, I beg you: we have to keep this state clean,” he implored.

Democratic Senators Reject Measure
The amendment would prohibit legalization of unapproved psychoactive drugs for any purpose, including medical uses. All seven of the state’s Democratic senators voted against the amendment. Democratic Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking cited the desire to keep the potential legalization of medical cannabis on the table in Idaho.
“I do not want to take even a small ray of hope or a small amount of relief away from anyone,” she said.

“Having lost three close family members in less than four years, I know what writhing in pain looks like,” Ward-Engelking said. “And I know when pain becomes too intense, and all hope has fallen off the cliff, people seek a small amount of relief and a single ray of hope. And I believe medical cannabis is a humanitarian issue, not a substance abuse issue.”

Serra Frank, a medical marijuana activist and the director of Legalize Idaho, is a leader in the effort to qualify a medicinal cannabis legalization initiative for the state ballot and a petition drive against Grow’s amendment. She said in an email that it is important to preserve the option of legalizing medical marijuana for the thousands of suffering people who “could benefit from this amazing medicine.”
“Idaho is completely surrounded by some sort of reform of cannabis, and our little island of prohibition is the last state in the nation to have compassion for our citizens,” writes Frank. “Our neighbors deserve better. Our children deserve better. Idaho is better than that. If this amendment passes, it would prevent us from providing this compassion to anyone in Idaho, now and in the future - to the detriment of our future generations.”

With the approval of the constitutional amendment in the Senate, the measure will next be considered by the Idaho House of Representatives, where Republicans also hold a strong majority. If the measure receives the two-thirds majority support it needs in the House, the amendment will be placed on the 2022 ballot, with a simple majority of voters needed for approval.

The move by Republican Senators in Idaho continues the efforts by GOP leaders to thwart marijuana legalization via the ballot box. Cannabis reform initiatives that succeeded in two states in November’s election are being challenged by prominent Republicans, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

‘It’s time’: Medical marijuana activists in Idaho fight uphill battle for 2022 initiative

n April 1990, Jackee Winters and her 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, were driving in their new black Mitsubishi truck when they got hit by a car.


Autumn died that day. Winters was in a coma for a few days and needed to relearn how to speak and walk. Doctors reconstructed her chest after the steering wheel damaged it and bruised her heart.


Winters, who now lives in Idaho City, was eventually diagnosed with depression, and the accident left her with disabilities, pain and nightmares that she has battled since then. She takes a variety of medications for her mental health and traumatic brain injury, according to medical documents.


On a vacation to Oregon several years ago, Winters said she tried marijuana. She said she slept soundly that night. And when her teenage daughter was battling brain cancer, she took her to Oregon to let her also try cannabis. Winters said it relieved her daughter’s pain.


Winters’ daughter is now in remission. Winters said she thought about moving out of the state to access medical cannabis, but she grew up in Boise and loves the area. If her daughter’s cancer ever returned, Winters said she’d likely want to move.


“I was just disgusted,” Winters said over the phone last week. “Can you imagine not being able to treat yourself the way you would like, suffering?”


Winters is now the chief petitioner for a petition to put a medical marijuana initiative on the statewide ballot in November 2022.


Organizers with Kind Idaho, a cannabis advocacy group, will need to gather at least about 65,000 signatures by April 30, 2022. With about 10-20% of signatures usually rejected, the target number of signatures would be closer to 75,000, said Chad Houck, Idaho chief deputy Secretary of State. Election officials gave activists approval to start gathering signatures for the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act last month.


Kind Idaho hopes to gather enough signatures across Idaho for a petition to place the legalization of medical marijuana on the general election ballot in 2022. Idaho legislators are in the process of making that initiative process harder by requiring that they gather signatures from 6% of voters in all legislative districts.

The initiative, if passed by a simple majority of Idaho voters, would allow patients 21 years or older, with a debilitating medical condition and a practitioner’s recommendation, to register for a medical cannabis card issued by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The card would allow someone to carry up to 4 ounces of marijuana.


The measure would also allow someone with a “hardship cultivation designation” — a financial hardship or physical limitation to accessing a marijuana dispensary — to grow up to six marijuana plants in a locked and enclosed facility.


Idaho is surrounded by border states that have legalized the drug in some capacity, with the exception of Wyoming.


Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana have legalized recreational and medical pot, while Utah allows only medical marijuana. Voters in more conservative states, such as South Dakota and Arizona, approved recreational use during the November election. A total of 36 states have approved medical marijuana use, while 15 allow recreational use.


Winters said she would never bring pot from another state back to Idaho if it wasn’t legal. She said she believes people need choices.


“I’m not a lawbreaker,” Winters said. “Idaho makes you a criminal if you have medical issues and you want some other choices. The people need to have choices.”


Tracie Carlson, a 60-year-old Hailey resident and a volunteer for the initiative, has battled painful migraines ever since she can remember. Her first memory of the condition was when she was 3.


She said she tried everything — she had sinus surgery and a tooth pulled, thinking maybe those caused the pain. She shared medical records of the doctor’s notes outlining her condition. She had spent thousands of dollars, she said, over decades of her life trying to alleviate her suffering. Of all the prescription medications her doctors suggested, Demerol was the most helpful. But it changed her, she said, and put her in a fog.


She would lose weeks of work a year because of her migraines. At times, she said, the pain was so intense, it drove her to the brink of suicide. Several years ago, she began to search online resources on how to kill herself. She recalled a moment, several years ago, when she drove by a hospital as she suffered from another intense migraine.


“I remember thinking, ‘God please take me,’ ” Carlson said. “ ’Just please take me. I’m ready.’ ”


Now, Carlson is off all prescription medication. She said she gets her marijuana in Ontario, Oregon, less than a one-hour drive from Meridian, where her daughter lives.


“The answer was always right there,” Carlson said. “I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.”


BELVILLE JOINS LATEST EFFORT AFTER 2020 INITIATIVE ATTEMPT


Russ Belville, a prominent marijuana activist in Idaho, said he left the state in 2003 and moved to Portland when his wife needed access to medical cannabis.


He returned to Idaho in 2018 to advocate for pot for his father, now a 79-year-old cancer patient in Nampa, who became the chief petitioner of an initiative attempt in 2019 and 2020.


With marijuana advocacy group Idaho Citizens Coalition — also known as the Idaho Cannabis Coalition — Belville said activists gathered more than 40,000 signatures early last year. They needed a little over 55,000 signatures, from at least 18 legislative districts, by April 30, 2020. And then the pandemic hit.


Belville considered an attempt for a recreational marijuana bill in Idaho for the 2022 ballot but decided to focus efforts on medical cannabis. He’s helping Winters try to get enough signatures before the deadline.


MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL STALLS IN IDAHO LEGISLATURE


Jeremy Kitzhaber, a retired senior master sergeant of the U.S. Air Force with Stage 4 terminal cancer, crafted a medical marijuana bill with a Republican sponsor.






The bill has been stalled in committee, and supporters of the bill believe it won’t get a public hearing.


Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, and House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, sponsored the bill. It would have legalized medical marijuana with strict limitations on the amount and doctor. Sponsors said the bill would have been the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the country.




Kingsley pushed the bill as an opiate alternative for patients who are struggling to manage their pain.


Kitzhaber was an example of that. He showed lawmakers last month the medication he needed every day — hydrocodone, oxycodone, pills to help with the bowel obstruction caused by the opioids, and a cancer inhibitor drug, to name a few. The opioids caused bowel obstructions for Kitzhaber, and those obstructions can become painful, even deadly.


But the Idaho Citizens Coalition wouldn’t support the bill because it was too restrictive, Kingsley said, while several conservative Republicans wouldn’t back the bill, either.


Kingsley said by phone Friday he was hoping the bill could pass this year for Kitzhaber.


“It’s just really hard to get through that bias that people have about the drug,” Kingsley said. “To me this is a no-brainer. … This is the right thing to do, and I’m going to keep fighting for it.”


But Kingsley said he’s not sure whether he would support a broader medical marijuana initiative. He said he wanted a more restrictive law that wouldn’t make it easily accessible for others who don’t get a doctor’s prescription.


REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS STONEWALL EFFORTS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVE, BILL


Idaho’s Republican legislative leaders have put up a series of roadblocks to consider medical marijuana legalization.


Kitzhaber’s bill was rebuffed. Meanwhile, one bill would place more logistical challenges on anyone who wants to put an initiative on the ballot. And a constitutional amendment to prohibit the legalization of currently illicit drugs — including pot — has been backed by Senate Republican leaders.


An earlier version passed the Senate with a two-thirds majority. The constitutional amendment, if it passes the House, would also get placed on the 2022 general election ballot.


Jeffrey Lyons, assistant professor of political science at Boise State University, said having both a medical marijuana initiative and a constitutional amendment on illicit drugs could be confusing to voters.


Together, the two measures on opposing sides could draw attention to each other, Lyons said. The initiative could draw attention to the fact that the constitutional amendment would specifically ban weed.


“Advocates of the constitutional amendment probably would rather not have this medical marijuana (initiative) on the ballot at the same time,” Lyons said by phone Friday. “I don’t think it helps their cause.”


Republican legislators are also considering more restrictions on initiatives. If Senate Bill 1110 garners enough support in the House, placing an initiative on the 2022 ballot will become more difficult. Idaho senators already approved the bill in a 26-9 vote.


The Senate bill would require that a petition to place an initiative on the ballot include 6% of registered voters from each of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. The state currently requires that signatures come from 6% of voters in at least 18 districts and 6% of voters statewide. The bill contains an emergency clause and would take effect immediately if it’s passed.


Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, denied that the bill had to do with efforts for a marijuana initiative specifically.


“To me it just has more to do with the increase in overall initiative activity than any specific initiative,” Vick said in an interview earlier this month about the bill.


Only two citizen-led initiatives have made it on an Idaho general election ballot in the past 10 years, both in 2018.


Idaho would be the second state to require every legislative district to sign onto a petition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. For initiatives that propose constitutional amendments, Colorado requires signatures from at least 2% of registered voters in each of its 35 state senate districts.


Gov. Brad Little vetoed a similar bill in 2019, citing concerns over legal challenges that would leave “the liberal” Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to decide. In a letter to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in April 2019, Little wrote that “a lone federal judge” could define the initiative process.


Colorado’s initiative process faced a lawsuit that was appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the state in August 2019. The appeals court concluded that “no equal protection problem exists” since the requirement is based on geographic legislative districts drawn up by U.S. Census data.


But lawmakers generally consider the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to be more liberal in its rulings. In an interview Friday, Little said state legislators know about his earlier concerns. When asked whether he’s been in discussions with senators about it, Little said he didn’t have input on the drafting of the bill but will keep an open mind.


“We are going to have a dialogue about it,” Little said by phone Friday. “We’ll look at the current makeup of the Ninth and what the ramifications of it are. That’ll all be a part of our calculations.”


‘WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP,’ MARIJUANA ACTIVIST SAYS


Marijuana activists fear state legislators could pass more restrictions on the initiative process, putting more logistical challenges for their signature collections.


Idaho’s Republican state laws could also remain at odds with federal policy if President Joe Biden decriminalizes marijuana, something he said he supports throughout his presidential campaign.


The latest Gallup national poll in November 2020 showed that Americans have been the most supportive that they’ve ever been on legalizing marijuana. But Republicans remain skeptical — 48% of Republicans support legalization, compared to 72% of independent voters and 83% of Democrats. A roughly 50-50 split can be seen among those who attend weekly religious services.


Lyons believes that with two-thirds of Idaho voters identifying as conservative, a legalization initiative is likely to pass if there’s good voter turnout, he said.


But he said the language of the initiative will be a determining factor in whether it can be successful in Idaho.


“Marijuana legalization, especially medical marijuana, is really pretty popular, and there’s just a pile of evidence of that,” Lyons said by phone Friday. “It’s not just a deep blue state phenomenon at this point.”


Carlson said she hopes legislators don’t make the initiative process more difficult. But she said the volunteers will do whatever necessary to get the initiative on the ballot, whether that means spending weekends in a county to gather signatures or canvassing on street corners. They won’t stop until they get the signatures, she said.


“We are not going to give up,” Carlson said. “We’re gonna do what we have to do to get this to pass. It’s just — it’s time. It’s time to bring Idaho into the present.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I just find it hilarious how people from either end of the political and philosophical spectrum are vehement advocates for individual freedom of choice....well, until they aren't. :uhoh::rofl:


Idaho Republicans tried to block any future marijuana legalization. How’d it turn out?


An attempt by Idaho Republican leaders to make it impossible to legalize drugs in the state through a ballot initiative failed on Thursday, missing the supermajority support it needed in the House.


The proposed constitutional amendment would have required two-thirds of the House and Senate to approve the removal of a drug from Schedule I or Schedule II. Despite 26 co-sponsors who signed on to the amendment, House GOP leaders failed to garner the 47 votes needed to advance the measure to the Senate.


House members voted 42-28 in favor of the amendment, just short of the two-thirds required. The legislation divided Republicans, several of whom grew emotional as they spoke on the impact of drugs in their families. Many of them centered their debates around medical cannabis or hemp.


Several lawmakers who supported the measure on Thursday argued that putting the amendment on the 2022 ballot would give the public a voice on drug policy. Had the Legislature approved the measure, it would have been up for a vote in the 2022 general election.

If the amendment had passed in both chambers, voters potentially could have faced both the anti-drug measure and a medical marijuana initiative that groups are trying to get on the ballot.


Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, said she wanted voters to have the option to support the constitutional amendment, since they might be voting on support of medical cannabis.


“I do not want to be the one that took that choice away from them,” said Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot. “Let’s give them the opportunity to have a voice. Let’s give them a choice on the ballot.”


Rep. Ben Adams, R-Nampa, criticized the measure for what he said was essentially the same question that a medical marijuana initiative would provide.


Placing the constitutional amendment on the ballot would have cost up to $200,000, according to the measure’s fiscal note.


The measure was a second attempt by House Republicans to lock in the state’s current drug laws after a previous version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle, was scrapped.


Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, fought back tears on the House floor as he talked about how his family has been affected by drugs that are illegal in Idaho. Palmer’s son has been arrested on drug charges.


“We’re going to lose in the end, but let’s try right now to do our best to at least slow it down,” Palmer said. “I don’t want another family to go through this.”


Rep. Marco Erickson, R-Idaho Falls, said that if this measure were to be the only policy he’s able to pass, “I’d be happy.” He said it would make the Legislature involved in preventing substance abuse.


“We could change a lot of people’s lives if you think about it,” Erickson said.


Legalizing medical marijuana or other drugs


Rep. Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Iona, said marijuana isn’t the “big, nasty” villain legislators make it out to be. He criticized lawmakers for focusing too much on cannabis when he believes painkiller abuse is the problem they should tackle.


“This is a marijuana bill. Let’s call it what it is,” Christensen said. Despite mentions of other drugs, something like methamphetamine would never be legalized in Idaho, he said.


“Here we are worried about marijuana when the opioid crisis is a much bigger issue. Why aren’t we dealing with that?” he said.


Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, said medical marijuana helps patients in pain and is popular among Idaho residents.


Kingsley and Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, co-sponsored a bill to legalize medical cannabis with strict limitations, but it stalled in committee. The bill was crafted by Jeremy Kitzhaber, a retired senior master sergeant of the U.S. Air Force with Stage 4 terminal cancer.


Nobody has ever overdosed on cannabis, Kingsley said, which could provide an alternative to opioids.


“We’re causing Idahoans to be criminals, people who need the medicine,” Kingsley said. He spoke of a constituent who gets marijuana for her sick mother in Washington state.


“The people of Idaho overwhelmingly would like medical marijuana. It’s off the scales,” Kingsley said. “Let’s listen to the people. You want to turn this place blue? Go against the people.”


Idaho Republicans fear more ‘Oregon-style’ drug policies


Proponents of the bill railed against drug legalization in bordering states, specifically Oregon and Washington, and have said the amendment would protect Idaho from the slippery slope of legalizing drugs beyond pot.


Idaho is surrounded by states that have legalized marijuana in some capacity, with the exception of Wyoming.


Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana have legalized recreational and medical pot, while Utah allows medical marijuana. Voters in more conservative states, such as South Dakota and Arizona, approved recreational use during the November election. A total of 36 states have approved medical marijuana use, while 15 allow recreational use.


Oregon voters in November also approved a measure that decriminalizes having small amounts of a range of street drugs and reduces penalties for larger amounts.


Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, said she fears that “Oregon-style” drug policies could hit Idaho. “When we look over at Denver, or Seattle, or Portland, do we as Idahoans see Boise next?”


Despite legalizing the production of hemp for Idaho residents who obtain a license, the bill did not remove hemp off Idaho’s list of Schedule I drugs.


Rubel, the House minority leader, said routine bills that update Idaho drug laws based on federal changes often don’t get a two-thirds vote from the House. A bill this session would have removed Epidiolex — a drug that’s a CBD oil product — off the Schedule I list after the Food and Drug Administration approved it to be used to treat seizures. That bill passed with a 43-27 vote in the House — short of the two-thirds needed.


Other lawmakers said they worried the measure would go too far.


Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise, who’s a pharmacist, said the measure could jeopardize patients’ “right to try” — which in Idaho allows terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs as treatments. Some critics expressed concern that a change in Idaho’s Constitution would trump the Right to Try Act in the state’s code.


“This is a big overreach,” Chew said. “If there is a substance you’re concerned about, let’s pass legislation about that substance.”


Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, who’s a cancer survivor, agreed with Chew. She said her mother got hooked on opioids and “ended up killing herself because of it.”


Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, said the amendment was brought over fears of marijuana — but she said the fact that hemp is still listed as a Schedule I drug in Idaho should make the amendment “totally unacceptable” to be put on the ballot.


“There’s a lot of unintended consequences here,” Moon said.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Idaho Senate Passes Bill (SB 1218) To Ban Marijuana Advertising


SB 1218 would ban cannabis advertising, presenting hurdles for activists who need to promote reform initiatives.

In a move that could limit the options of advocates promoting cannabis legalization initiatives, the Idaho Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would ban advertising for marijuana in the state. The Senate passed the measure, SB 1218, with a vote of 21 to 14, sending the legislation to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

During debate on the bill, Sen. Scott Grow, the sponsor of the measure, said that billboards in western Idaho advertise cannabis businesses just over the border in Oregon, where recreational marijuana is legal for adults.

“People are being encouraged to violate the law,” Grow said. “They’re being encouraged to go over and get something they know is illegal in Idaho.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the bill had been placed on a fast track for approval, receiving a committee hearing with little notice for the public to participate. Nonetheless, four citizens appeared at the meeting to oppose the measure, while no one showed up to speak in favor of the bill. Their efforts were in vain, however, with the panel’s Republican majority approving the bill with a vote of 7 to 2 along party lines.

Serra Frank, a cannabis activist and the organizer of Boise Hempfest, told High Timesthat anti-cannabis lawmakers are going to extreme measures to thwart reform.

“They introduced this bill late in the evening, without even posting it online for the citizens of Idaho to have a chance to read and respond. Then passed it the next morning, despite unanimous opposition in the audience,” Frank wrote in an email. “Their shady tactics and immoral attacks on the rights of Idaho citizens simply continues to expose them for what they really are– terrified of the inevitability of the legalization of marijuana in Idaho.”

“The Idaho prohibitionists are fighting tooth and nail this session to pass anything they can that will make it almost impossible to reform Idaho’s harmful marijuana laws; from choking the life out of our initiative process to a proposed amendment to the constitution that would have forever banned the legalization of any drug that is currently illegal in Idaho,” she added.

SB 1218 Could Limit Legalization Efforts

Frank and other activists are worried that the rushed legislation will do more than prevent the advertising of marijuana businesses and could be used to quash efforts to promote cannabis reform in Idaho.

“The latest attack on Idaho citizens is an affront to the 1st Amendment protections of freedom of speech, of the press, and of the ability of all Idahoans to petition the government for a redress of our grievances,” Frank said. “The words of SB 1218 are so vague and poorly crafted that it would essentially punish anyone in Idaho for promoting even the legalization of marijuana through a t-shirt, a flyer, an initiative such as the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act, or even through an event like Boise Hempfest.”

After the committee meeting, Grow said that he did not know how SB 1218 would affect attempts to gather signatures for cannabis legalization initiatives.

“That would take a legal opinion,” Grow said.

Republican Sen. Regina Bayer expressed reservations about the measure, saying that she receives health supplement magazines with advertisements for CBD oil that contains THC, which is illegal in Idaho. She wondered if the bill would subject people who have such materials to a misdemeanor criminal charge.

“It’s in my mailbox. It’s on my front door. It’s on my kitchen counter. It’s advertising,” she said. “I really wonder how this bill addresses that and if there are any concerns to be had there.”

Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne opposed the bill, noting that the state’s residents have already been subject to advertising for activities illegal in Idaho without action from the legislature.

“There’s been a casino in Jackpot, Nevada that has been wanting me to ride a fun bus to Nevada to do something in Nevada that I can’t do here in Idaho except on an Indian reservation because it is illegal to do it in Idaho,” Burgoyne said. “That’s gambling.”

With Wednesday’s approval of SB 1218 in the Idaho Senate, the measure heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
 

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