Last Friday saw Idaho lawmakers make an unprecedented move towards banning all psychoactive substances within the state. They’re going against the trend in the rest of the US. Unfortunately, this proposed amendment would also include the ban of medical and recreational marijuana use. The state has already written into law that all hemp plants and products are illegal despite the USDA passing the Farm Bill in 2018. However, according to the USDA, interstate commerce of hemp and its products would be necessary. This amendment looks to change this. Idaho lawmakers are now looking to approve an amendment to ban cannabis
The amendment was first proposed by Senator C. Scott Grow (R) and has garnered approval across the board for party members. It’s interesting to learn that Senator Grow’s sister-in-law suffers from MS (multiple sclerosis) and has been using conventional drugs for years. She recently moved to Oregon to legally take medical cannabis. Now, she no longer suffers through her symptoms with medication that doesn’t work for her. Senator Grow has seen the benefits of medical cannabis at work and still wants to ban it within the state. He states that it’s a liability to his citizens.
Many activist groups, like Kind Idaho, are currently going door to door to collect signatures to put cannabis reform on the 2022 ballot. They had tried to collect enough signatures for the 2020 ballot, but with the Covid-19 lockdown, that made it impossible. If this amendment is passed, then the work of activists will be null and void. Many activists are speaking out against this amendment and have taken to social media to express their concerns.
A previous campaign spokesperson for two different legalization groups within Idaho, Russ Belville, posted a video on Facebook after the vote was announced in favor of the amendment. “When this goes before the voters, you know they’re gonna sell it as, ‘Oh, this makes drugs illegal. We don’t want legal cocaine, we don’t legal meth, we don’t want legal heroin,” he said. “A lot of people who don’t pay attention might be fooled into thinking, ‘Oh yeah, we want to ban illegal drugs, we don’t like cocaine and meth,’ and not realize that it bans medical marijuana forever.”
This is the concern of many as citizens have stated that they would be in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. Idaho lawmakers say otherwise. The committee approved the amendment in a 6-2 vote. However, it still needs to go to the Senate chamber for a final vote. There has not been a time posted for this final vote, but we will update you as more information becomes available. If Idaho lawmakers approve this amendment, it will make changing the law in the future much more difficult for citizens and activists alike.
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