A missed chance to inch toward compassionate marijuana policy


Last update: November 4, 2015


In April, the Idaho Legislature approved S1146 and sent it to Gov. Butch Otter. The bill would have protected some seriously ill Idahoans from being convicted for possessing medical marijuana oils with very low amounts of THC. It also would have allowed physicians to recommend certain medical cannabis oils to patients with one of several conditions. The bill would only have protected patients from a conviction, not an arrest, and would not have provided in-state access to the oils. Despite these serious limitations, S1146 would have been a step forward. Sadly, Gov. Otter vetoed the bill.

Hopefully, 2016 can bring reform to Idaho’s marijuana laws. Please write your state lawmakers in support of a comprehensive medical cannabis bill. If you are a medical professional or a patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, we would like to hear from you. Additionally, if you are a law enforcement official, member of the bar, clergy member, or local official who supports this issue, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit zip code so we can look up your state legislators.

Learn more about Idaho’s marijuana laws


Under current Idaho law, an individual charged with possession of up to an ounce of marijuana faces a year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. Unfortunately, this draconian law hits minority communities the hardest. According to the ACLU, black Idahoans are over two and half times more likely to be arrested for possession than their white neighbors. Ask your lawmakers to end marijuana prohibition today. To learn more about Idaho’s marijuana laws, arrests, and use, please see Dr. Jon Gettman, Ph.D.’s comprehensive report.

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