Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Idaho Senate Tries to Block Marijuana Legalization Efforts with Constitutional Amendment

It's not easy being a marijuana activist in Idaho. The only state in the country with no favorable cannabis laws - recreational, medical, CBD or hemp - Idaho appears to be heading in the wrong direction. 

The Republican legislature there is pushing a state Constitutional ban on legalizing "certain psychoactive drugs," such as marijuana. This would prevent medical or recreational legalization from happening in Idaho.

First the legislature has to pass Senate Joint Resolution 101. Then Idaho citizens would get to vote on the measure in the 2022 election. 

This is nothing new for Idaho. Former NORML outreach coordinator Russ Belville, who lives in nearby Ontario, Oregon, tells CelebStoner:

"In 2013, the Idaho Legislature voted in a resolution that medical marijuana, which was already illegal, should never be legal. In 2015, the governor vetoed a low-THC CBD oil bill for epileptic kids because of concerns for 'public safety.' In 2019, the legislature tried hiking the initiative petition gathering requirements from 6%-10% of last elections' voters in six months instead of 18, until conservative groups killed it. So, in 2021, their last gasp Hail Mary play is to put a ban on medical marijuana in the state constitution, so it's out of reach through an initiative. Our polls show 78% of Idahoans support."

Voters in neighboring state Montana recently passed recreational legalization by a 57% margin. In South Dakota, rec and medical measures passed by solid margins. But Idaho is just another place.

"My state has lost its mind," a CelebStoner reader who lives in Boise commented.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 6-2 to send the resolution for a floor vote. It needs to pass both chambers by 67% before being voted on by the public.

“The legislature should promote temperance and morality,” said the bill's sponsor Sen. C. Scott Grow

He added“When drugs are legalized that are currently illegal, it increases health care costs and crime. This is about money. It’s not about caring for people who might have pain or sickness.”

Hemp, which is federally legal, remains illegal in Idaho. Grow expects legislation to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho will pass this year. CBD containing any THC is prohibited in Idaho.

According to the MPP's Idaho page:

"Inspired by 2020 ballot victories in neighboring Montana and conservative South Dakota, Idaho activists have indicated they intend to support another medical marijuana measure alongside an initiative to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. 

"Idaho remains the only state in the country without any kind of law recognizing the medical or therapeutic value of cannabis."

Idaho in green

More Idaho Fun Facts

• nicknamed The Gem State

• capital: Boise

population: 1,787,065

• borders six states (Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) and British Columbia, Canada

• 91% Caucasian, 67% Christian

• is a red state: 50.7% Repubs, 34.2% unaffilated, 12.7% Dems

• grows one-third of the nation's potatoes

• has two National Parks: Yellowstone, Nez Pierce

• has no major league sports franchises 

• Famous Idahoans: Lana Turner, Aaron Paul, Sarah Palin, Martha Raddatz, Picabo Street, Josh Ritter, Harmon Killebrew, Victor Wooten

• home to several militias 

My Own Private Idaho partially filmed there

Napoleon Dynamite filmed in Prescott

 

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New York

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.