Idaho’s medical marijuana policy remains stagnant
Last update: February 28, 2017
Idaho lags far behind other states when it comes to sensible marijuana policies. While voters in three of its neighboring states have chosen to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use, and Montana voters legalized medical cannabis, Idaho hasn’t taken any of those steps forward.
In 2015, the Idaho Legislature approved S1146, an extremely limited bill that would have protected some seriously ill Idahoans from being convicted for possessing medical marijuana oils with very low amounts of THC. Sadly, Gov. Butch Otter vetoed the bill. Now, the Gem State is one of only six that lacks even a low-THC law.
Gov. Otter has not only blocked progress within Idaho, he is also trying to undermine other states’ more thoughtful approaches, even though he once supported legalization. In a January 2017 letter, Gov. Otter called on the Trump administration to interfere with states’ marijuana regulation laws!
Gov. Otter is not the only one who’s behind the times. Although the legislature has been in session since January 9, 2017, no lawmaker has stepped forward to propose a bill to improve marijuana policies in the state. Please write your state lawmakers to ask them to propose a comprehensive medical cannabis bill or ask them to replace possible jail time with a civil fine for individuals who possess marijuana.
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.
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