State Politics

Guess who wants to talk about changing Idaho’s marijuana laws? It’s not just NORML

Lori Harvey, of Ashland, smells marijuana before making a purchase at Breeze Botanicals, in 2015, in Ashland, Ore. when Oregon marijuana shops began selling marijuana.
Lori Harvey, of Ashland, smells marijuana before making a purchase at Breeze Botanicals, in 2015, in Ashland, Ore. when Oregon marijuana shops began selling marijuana. AP

Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman wrote Monday that Idaho lawmakers should revisit the state’s marijuana laws.

Hoffman’s column comes days after Nevada voters agreed to authorize the possession and sale of recreational marijuana, with the new law taking effect Jan. 1. Montana also expanded its medical marijuana law Tuesday.

Marijuana’s effects can vary from person to person, and scientists are not quite sure what to make of the common distinction users and growers make between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica.

Oregon and Washington voters had already legalized the possession and sale of cannabis products for medicinal and recreational purposes. California voters did the same Tuesday. Wyoming and Utah allow a legal non-mind-altering cannabis extract for medicinal reasons. Even British Columbia allows medical marijuana.

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.

Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director.

“We need to ask whether the prohibition against marijuana is worth the cost,” Hoffman said. “The main issue has to do with Idahoans making their own medical choices, and those choices being criminalized.”

He also said lawmakers should ask whether both non-hallucinogenic and hallucinogenic marijuana should continue to be treated the same, from a legal perspective, and wherein small amounts of any part of a cannabis plant should be a crime with a potential one year sentence and a $1,000 fine.”

The Idaho Freedom Foundation calls itself a conservative think tank, but it also spends a lot of time working on issues in the Idaho Legislature, opposing the state health exchanges and Medicaid expansion and promoting transfer of public lands to the state.

A close-up look at Forbidden Farms' marijuana growing operation in Shelton and the processing facility on the Tacoma Tideflats. Owned by the Balduff brothers Garrett and Taylor, the premium producer even supplies cannabis connoisseur Willie Nelson

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