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Idaho Advances to Constitutionally Ban Recreational and Medical Marijuana - February 11, 2021

When the entire country is progressing to a more tolerant attitude towards medical marijuana, the State of Idaho decided to part ways with this mindset.

Recently, we have witnessed the increasing tolerance of states and nations towards medical marijuana. The UN rescheduled the herb, the MORE act awaits a vote in the Senate, France began their medical marijuana trials and more states of the US voted to legalize marijuana. But, while the world seems to be warming up to the idea of normalizing the use of marijuana as medication or for leisure, the state of Idaho doesn’t seem to have a similar opinion about the legalization of the green herb.

Idaho Moves Forward to Ban Psychoactive Drugs

On Friday, 29th January 2021, the Senate State Affairs Committee of Idaho won approval with a 6-2 majority over the decision of banning recreational and medical marijuana and other psychoactive drugs that are already illegal in the state.

The proposition was sponsored by Republican State Senator C. Scott Grow. As per the joint resolution, ‘production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession or use’ of marijuana or other psychoactive drugs will be prohibited and illegal under the state Constitution of Idaho. The list of illegal drugs in the joint resolution is based on the drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Senator has always made his opinions known about his support for not legalizing marijuana. In Grow’s words, the legalization of illegal drugs only ‘increases health care costs and crime.’ His proposition has won approval and hopes to ban the use of all psychoactive drugs which includes marijuana within the state borders.

The proposition now needs approval in the Senate, the House and a majority vote in 2020 general elections to become a final law in the State Constitution.

What Would The Ban Mean for Medical Marijuana Patients in Idaho?

Almost 44 states of the US already allow some form of marijuana (medical, recreational or CBD) or are looking into reforming the same. If we look into the current stand of Idaho in terms of marijuana legalization, it’s very absurd considering most of its neighboring states have already accepted medical or recreational marijuana. There’s Washington, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Nevada and California where marijuana is completely legal or legal for medical use.

In 2021, we are also looking into the possible legalization of marijuana at the federal level with the MORE Act. It is the closest that one has ever come to the federal legalization of marijuana.

With Idaho’s ban, there are many people who aren’t happy, especially those who use medical marijuana for chronic or debilitating medical conditions. Though this decision is aimed at a wider category of illegal drugs, it is undeniable that the ones who took the hardest hit are medical marijuana patients.

It seems that the State of Idaho isn’t considering the medical potential of marijuana that is backed by studies and used by millions across the globe. More than 4 million legal medical marijuana patients are estimated to be in the US alone.

Many have called the proposal for banning marijuana and other psychoactive drugs a ‘flawed legislation’. It raises the question of why the citizens of Idaho would support being charged criminally for something that’s legal across the borders.

A majority of the citizens of Idaho would want the legalization of marijuana whether medical or recreational. The current proposals put forward by Senator Scott Grow would make it difficult to happen.

Final Thoughts

The State of Idaho is going in a different direction than other states of the US. The proposed ban still has a long way to go but it’s also true that the approved joint resolution will not make it easy for marijuana legalization in the state. We can only wait to see which direction the proposal goes.

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