Marijuana activists in Idaho are working to put a cannabis legalization initiative on the state ballot for the 2020 election, according to media reports. At a New Year’s Day rally at the state capitol in Boise, cannabis activists from groups including Legalize Idaho and Idaho Moms for Marijuana called for the legalization vote.
Serra Frank is a team director for Legalize Idaho, a coalition of activist groups. She told High Times that is time to reform the state’s cannabis laws.
“Currently, Idaho’s laws are based on Harry Anslinger’s lies from the 1930’s—specifically the lie that cannabis is dangerous—and as Idahoans, we are disturbed that our laws are based on lies,” Frank said. “We believe that our laws should be based on science and logic, not on racist words and fear-based lies.”
Frank said that the initiative petition is still being drafted at this time.
“Our groups will be working together in the coming year to circulate a new petition,” she said. “The details of the petition are still in the works, but it should be out in the next month or so. I know for certain there is a medical program and industrial hemp included.”
Cannabis Exile and Activist
Frank moved from Idaho to Oregon so she could legally use medical marijuana to treat a health condition. She traveled back to her home state to attend the rally.
“I drove an hour and a half to be here to protest because I want to come home,” Frank said.
At the rally, activists announced that they plan to have a legalization initiative on the 2020 ballot.
“In February we will be having a lobby day for Legalize Idaho. We have a lot in the works for the next two years as the petition comes out to really make our voices heard,” Frank said.
At the demonstration on Tuesday, activists displayed items including alcohol, tobacco, doughnuts, ibuprofen, and children’s cough syrup.
“Marijuana is safer than everything you see here,” Frank said. “These are all legal in Idaho, but marijuana is not.”
With the legalization of medical marijuana in Utah in November’s midterm elections, Idaho is now surrounded by states with some form of cannabis legalization.
“The rest of the country is passing us by and we are completely surrounded on our little island of prohibition,” Frank said.
“The people of Idaho want it, the politicians might not, we don’t care what they say,” Frank added. “We are the people, this is our Capitol building, we are going to make this happen.”
But not all Idahoans, including Rob Stevenson, the executive director of Drug Free Idaho, are ready for the legalization of cannabis.
“We’re an island of sanity in a sea of insanity,” Stevenson said. “We have a narrative right now of, there is zero bad things that happen when you have more marijuana, and we just don’t think that’s the case.”
Stevenson said that he wants to make sure people have all the facts about legal cannabis.
“The goal is to show people the other side of the fence,” Stevenson said. “What the narrative is, is that it brings in all kinds of taxes and there is absolutely no problems with it and that is just not the case. We want to educate our fellow Idahoans about what else comes with that.”