BOISE, Idaho — As legal marijuana becomes a reality in every corner of the US, a cadre of prohibitionists in Idaho is putting up a fight.
72% of Idaho residents support medical marijuana legalization. Lawmakers in Boise are telling them they’re wrong.
State lawmakers last week moved forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar the legalization of cannabis in Idaho in an attempt to keep the growing nationwide acceptance of the drug from seeping across its borders.
Idaho is one of only three states without some sort of policy allowing residents to possess products with even low amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. Residents can cross the state border in nearly every direction and find themselves in a place where marijuana can be bought for recreational or medicinal purposes.
In fact, thousands of Idahoans already flock to legal cannabis stores across the state border in Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Marijuana is legal to possess and sell in those states, for all adults 21 and older.
72% of Idahoans support medical legalization
Support for medical marijuana use has grown among many residents, with a 2019 poll showing 72% support among Idaho voters for medical legalization. That tracks with similar levels of support in traditionally conservative states like South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed statewide legalization initiatives with overwhelming support last November.
Local legalization activists are currently working to get an initiative on the state ballot in 2022. That’s made some lawmakers in the deep-red state nervous. , particularly after voters in the neighboring state of Oregon decriminalized the personal possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine last November.
Idaho marijuana laws
Legislators disagree with their constituents
The joint resolution to ban all psychoactive drugs not already legal in Idaho won