Last fall, Nevada legalized recreational marijuana, becoming the third state bordering Idaho to do so and opening the possibility that pot will soon be sold legally a short drive from Twin Falls.
So far, Idaho has stood fast against the trend of liberalizing marijuana laws sweeping statehouses and ballots across the country. Neither recreational nor medical marijuana use is legal in Idaho. Possession is a misdemeanor up to 3 ounces, and a felony for possession of more. In 2015, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter vetoed a bill that would have made it easier to use non-psychoactive cannabidiol oil to treat seizures, but created state-controlled CBD oil experiment treating three dozen children with severe seizures. The state Department of Health and Welfare is asking lawmakers to approve $26,800 during next year’s legislative session to fund the tests for another year, as the drug is taking longer than expected to be approved for wider use federally.
Attempts in Idaho to get ballot initiatives to liberalize marijuana laws, which have worked in many states to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana, have so far fizzled. There have been three attempts in recent years to gather signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot — two didn’t get enough signatures and the organizers withdrew one early over problems with its wording.
In 2013, as Colorado and Washington were becoming the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, Idaho legislators voted to go on record opposing marijuana legalization in any form.
Now, some on both the left and right in Idaho support relaxing penalties for possession and expanding limited medical use of cannabis-containing products, but there isn’t much reason to think the larger dynamic has changed.
“Recreational marijuana, the sentiment has not changed