Idaho Bills Would Keep State From Following Neighbors On Pot

Feb 20, 2013

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