Idaho
Last Update: January 30, 2014

Idaho session begins; no sensible reforms yet

When the Idaho Legislature convened this January, there was no sign of sensible reform for the Gem State. In 2011 and 2012, Idaho lawmakers considered legalizing medical marijuana, thanks to the leadership of former Rep. Tom Trail. Unfortunately, Rep. Trail retired, and no lawmaker has shown the compassion and leadership to take up his mantle. Instead, Idaho lawmakers spent precious legislative time on resolutions that will accomplish nothing, while opposing sensible reforms that would protect seriously ill patients.

Last year's Senate Concurrent Resolution 112 proclaimed that the current Idaho Legislature opposes marijuana legalization “for any purpose.” It passed both chambers of the Idaho Legislature. What a curious way to spend their time and your tax dollars, considering a February 2011 poll found that nearly three quarters of Idahoans favor allowing “terminally and seriously ill patients to use and purchase marijuana for medical purposes.”

The good news is this resolution can’t stop the will of the people from prevailing. In fact, the group Compassionate Idaho is working on a petition to place an initiative legalizing medical marijuana on the November 2014 ballot. If they gather enough signatures by April, the voters will be able to teach their lawmakers a thing or two about compassion.

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 state@mpp.org to see how you can be of special help.


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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