Coeur d'Alene Press – Coeur d'Alene Press

Marijuana legislation is on both sides of the Idaho Statehouse this week, one asking for medical permission, the other’s a constitutional ban. 

Passing on a party-line 6-2 vote in the Senate State Affairs Committee Jan. 29, Senate Joint Resolution 101 would ban all psychoactive drugs not already permitted in the state. While the legislation would include heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, the main concern during public hearings was marijuana. 

Neighboring states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada all have legalized recreational and medical marijuana. Others like Utah allow for medicinal prescriptions, and Wyoming permits low-level THC, predominantly CBD based products. CBD (Cannabidiol) is an active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana) but is also derived from hemp plants and commonly used for medicinal purposes. 

Presently, Idahoans can purchase CBD products in the state, but they cannot contain THC trace. 

“People do need to understand that we’re not trying to make anything illegal with the amendment that isn’t already illegal,” Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, said. “I’m a supporter of the amendment for keeping our drug laws as they are. We’re not changing anything. We’re keeping the status quo.”

The joint resolution just had its first reading on the Senate floor, where it would need a two-thirds majority vote before heading into House committees. Rep. Paul Amador, R-Coeur d’Alene, said that he doesn’t support SJR 101 and doubts it will make it past the house. 

“SJR 101 does not just ban the legalization of marijuana in Idaho,” Amador said. “It inserts a federal agency, the Food and Drug Administration, directly into the Idaho constitution and prevents any future changes to our drug laws, including possible changes to medical treatments.”

If approved by both, the resolution would become a constitutional amendment that Idahoans would vote on in the November 2022 general election. 

Support for CBD

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