Last Update: September 23, 2014
Another year without sensible reform for Idaho
Another legislative session has come and gone with 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, in 2013, 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.”
While the current legislature has been blind to the folly of marijuana prohibition and to the needs of patients who can benefit from medical cannabis, this year voters will have the chance to consider new voices to represent them in Boise. Primary elections will be held on May 20, with the general election on November 4. Take some time to learn about the candidates and to make sure they realize that 74%of voters support protecting the seriously ill. You can also ask your current legislators to support medical marijuanaprotections or legalizing and regulating marijuanafor adults.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Thank you for supporting MPP. To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Idaho, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service, if you haven't done so already.