Medical marijuana bill under construction
by Andrea Jackson, Idaho Times-News
September 27, 2008
Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Idaho will be proposed in Boise this January, said the man behind the movement, Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow.
Trail is drafting legislation modeled after bills from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and it will incorporate elements of statutes from Washington and Oregon, he said.
"I have a number of doctors up here who are very supportive of it," Trail said.
Thirty states had medical marijuana laws in 2007, with 12 - mostly in the west - protecting patients from criminal prosecution, according the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington D.C. non-profit organization, which promotes legalization of medical marijuana and other measures to regulate pot like alcohol.
Ryan Davidson, a marijuana activist and chairman of the Idaho Liberty Lobby, pushed for three marijuana legalization initiatives in Hailey in 2007 and 2008, which voters passed.
Davidson is suing the Marijuana Policy Project over a grant contract dispute. But he's also consulting people in Moscow on a marijuana policy campaign there, he said.
"The government's war on drugs is harmful and destructive public policy," said Davidson. "Thousands of law-abiding citizens are arrested and jailed for nothing other than marijuana."
Medical marijuana in Idaho could be a tough sell.
In June, delegates from a state GOP convention committee voted 21-9 for a resolution opposing relaxation of Idaho's pot stance, the Associated Press reported.
But the Marijuana Policy Project is undaunted.
"Seriously ill Idaho residents will continue to be treated as criminals for using their medicine - until legislators have the courage and compassion to act," according to the Marijuana Policy Project Web site.
Andrea Jackson may be reached at 208-735-3380.
Idaho medical marijuana bill under construction