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Government and Politics
In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Idaho Bills Would Keep State From Following Neighbors On Pot

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National Institute on Drug Abuse

Idaho is now hemmed in by four states where marijuana is legal in some form, and a panel of state lawmakers fears Idaho could be next. A state Senate committee approved a pair of measures against marijuana, including one asking the federal government to crack down on Idaho’s neighbors.

Oregon, Montana and Nevada allow medical marijuana, while Washington legalized it for recreational use.

The joint memorial in the Idaho legislature would call on the President, Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice to uphold federal drug laws outlawing marijuana. Meanwhile, a separate resolution would affirm Idaho's opposition to legalizing marijuana -- medical and recreational.

But public testimony during the committee hearing showed divisions in Idaho over pot.

On one side of the argument Coty Ternes of Compassionate Idaho said, "We need to do the opposite of these bills and decriminalize, if not legalize, cannabis.”

The ACLU's Monica Hopkins added, “The state of Idaho should not have to march in lockstep with the federal government.”

And on the other side, Marianne King from Drug Free Idaho argued, “Imagine a workplace where employees show up to work high on marijuana and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And Dr. Dave McClusky of Twin Falls said, “There’s no legitimacy for legalizing marijuana.”

At least one group is working to get a medical marijuana ballot initiative before Idaho voters.

On the Web:

Senate Concurrent Resolution 112: Opposition to marijuana legalization - Idaho Legislature
Senate Joint Memorial 101: Call to uphold federal drug-free policy in all states - Idaho Legislature