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Conservative Think Tank Calls for Idaho to Allow Medical Cannabis

Photo by Getty Images

The Idaho Freedom Foundation is your typical free-market think tank: It distrusts government on all levels, opposes taxes as well as government handouts to businesses, and thinks the state should be the next to reform its marijuana lawas.

Though the state is now surrounded on nearly all sides by states in which either adult-use or medical cannabis can be legally acquired, all marijuana is illegal in Idaho. Low- or no-THC oil, the kind used by epilepsy sufferers to alleviate their seizures, would have been allowed under a law that passed the state legislature, but that measure was vetoed by Gov. Butch Otter.

In a blog post published Monday, Wayne Hoffman, the group’s executive director, used typical small-government, free-market arguments to buoy his position that state lawmakers “should revisit the state’s marijuana laws.”

In short: Government needs to butt out of peoples’ business and stop wasting taxpayer money on chasing after a plant—a plant that sick kids and senior citizens in pain use.

“We need to ask whether the prohibition against marijuana is worth the cost,” he wrote. “We must ask whether cannabis crimes are worth requiring working men and women to give up their day jobs and sources of income to sit on a jury that will deliberate on a punishment where only the drug user was impacted and where, in many instances, the user is arguably helped through marijuana use.”

After all, it’s not as if Idaho residents aren’t buying or using weed—as the states around them liberalize their marijuana laws, they just have to drive shorter and shorter distances out of state.

“Increasingly, we need to understand: Is present policy really keeping marijuana at bay, or is it merely inviting Idahoans to visit neighboring states and break the law on their return?” Hoffman wrote. 

The answer is obvious, but “too obvious to deny” is often the first step toward tangible change.

As it happens, the Freedom Foundation produced a video about a former high-school wrestler suffering from epilepsy whose chance at accessing healing cannabis-derived oil was ruined by Otter’s veto. Hence the title, “Hope Vetoed.” 

Check out the trailer below, and read the rest of Hoffman’s argument here.

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

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