Idaho is one of the most staunchly anti-cannabis states in the country. Cannabis advocates have not been able to make much headway inside the generally very conservative state. With lawmakers now considering a new medical marijuana bill, things could be changing. But even if Idaho is getting closer to legalizing medical cannabis, will very much change on the ground for actual cannabis consumers?
Idaho’s Latest Medical Marijuana Bill
Lawmakers in Idaho are once again looking at a proposal to legalize medical marijuana. This most current bill would legalize certain types of CBD oil.
In particular, the bill would let people with qualifying health conditions use CBD oil that contains little to no THC if they received a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional.
As local news source KMVT 11 reported, the bill would also allow parents to legally possess CBD oil for their children.
So far, the bill has fared surprisingly well—especially given that Idaho has remained one of the states most adamantly opposed to any form of cannabis.
In fact, the bill just cleared the Idaho House of Representatives. Members of the House voted 59-11 in favor of the proposal yesterday.
The bill now moves on to the Senate. If it’s approved there, it will be sent to the governor’s desk where it will be either signed into law or vetoed.
A Veto Seems Likely
Unfortunately for patients in Idaho who want to use medicinal cannabis, it seems very unlikely that the bill will succeed. Even if it clears the Senate, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has made it very clear that he does not support cannabis at any level.
On the same day that the Idaho House approved the new medical marijuana bill, Otter spoke at a city hall meeting in Firth, Idaho. Somebody at the event brought up the bill and asked the governor about it.
“It’s never been my design to say I’m going to veto a bill or I’m going to sign a bill,” Otter said. But then, seemingly contradicting that statement, he commented on Idaho’s CBD oil bill by saying: “Well, I vetoed it once.”
From there, he claimed that legalizing CBD would open the door to a more robust medical marijuana program and possibly even full legalization, both of which he explicitly opposes.
“I think it could be just the beginning,” Otter said. “It’s the camel’s nose under the tent. We’ll find ourselves with a camel inside and you’re outside.”
Final Hit: Idaho Is Getting Closer To Legalizing Medical Cannabis
For the medical marijuana community in Idaho, it is certainly a good sign that this latest bill has so far cleared one legislative branch.
Unfortunately, it seems likely that the bill has a long uphill battle before it ever becomes law. Most alarming, Governor Otter has already vetoed at least one medical marijuana bill.
In 2015, Idaho lawmakers approved a proposal to make it legal for parents to possess CBD oil to treat kids with severe epilepsy.
But Otter rejected it. His comments at yesterday’s city hall meeting clearly hinted that he would repeat that veto. Even if this newest bill makes it past the Senate.