The measure to constitutionally ban any legalization of non-pharmaceutical psychoactive drugs in Idaho passed the Senate by a single vote on Wednesday, Boise State Public Radio reports. The proposal would still have to pass the House by two-thirds before moving to voters via a ballot initiative next year.
Republican State Sen. Scott Grown, the bill sponsor, has oft referred to the state as the “last foxhole” in the region without any form of legalized cannabis. Idaho is bordered by Washington state, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana – which have legalized cannabis for adult-use – and Wyoming and Utah, which have both legalized cannabis for medical use, although Utah’s program is extremely limited after lawmakers replaced a voter-approved initiative with a program of their own.
Earlier this month, House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle announced a plan to legalize medical cannabis in the state as activists are simultaneously running a ballot initiative campaign to get the reforms on ballots next year.
Hemp also remains Illegal in Idaho as lawmakers blocked a bill to legalize the industrial crop last year. Although, Gov. Brad Little (R) signed an executive order to explicitly allow hemp to be transported through the state after police arrested several truck drivers for hauling hemp.
If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters, the cannabis restriction would also apply to the state’s “right to try” law which allows terminally ill patients to be prescribed experimental drugs.
Some GOP members opposed the bill citing concerns that it would complicate the state’s constitution.
TG joined Ganjapreneur in 2014 as a news writer and began hosting the Ganjapreneur podcast in 2016. He is based in upstate New York, where he also teaches media studies at a local university.