BOISE — The appearance of several marijuana-related billboards tagged “Keep Idaho” has sparked the interest of a number of people on social media in recent days.
Keep Idaho is a campaign run by Boise-based nonprofit DrugFree Idaho, Inc., created to educate Idahoans about the impact legalized marijuana has had on surrounding states, especially its effect on youth, according to Rob Stevenson, executive director of DrugFree Idaho.
“People need to know that marijuana is not a harmless substance,” Stevenson said. “It affects people.”
Nearly all of Idaho’s surrounding states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and Montana — have legalized marijuana in some form. Recreational marijuana is now legal in 10 states across the United States, and medical marijuana is legal in 33.
“Obviously we’re surrounded by states that have normalized marijuana,” Stevenson said. “We wanted to try to get those details out about some for the consequences that have come from that.”
Keep Idaho’s website shows a number of claims about marijuana use, mostly in Colorado, and the consequences it’s had on the states. Commercials laying out the claims about marijuana in schools and driving under the influence began popping up on televisions during the 2018 election season, and the billboards were put up shortly after, Stevenson said.
There are roughly 50 billboards across the state, Stevenson estimates.
Comments criticizing the sourcing behind Keep Idaho’s claims have circulated across various forms of social media.
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“I love how they’re concerned with the source, but there not concerned that the children and pets may be in harm — that’s very interesting,” Stevenson said. “Maybe they should be concerned