Attempts by Republican leaders in Idaho to make it impossible to legalize drugs in the state through a voting initiative failed Thursday, missing the majority of support needed in the House of Representatives.
The proposed constitutional amendment would have required two-thirds of the House and Senate to approve the removal of the drug from Schedule I or Schedule II. Despite the 26 co-sponsors who signed the amendment, House Republican leaders failed to get the 47 votes needed to advance the bill to the Senate.
Congressmen cast 42-28 votes in favor of less than two-thirds of the amendments needed. The law divided Republicans, some of whom became emotional as they talked about the effects of drugs on their families. Many of them focused on medical cannabis and hemp.
Several lawmakers who supported the bill on Thursday argued that it would give the public an opinion on drug policy by submitting an amendment to the 2022 ballot. Had Congress approved the bill, it would have been voted in the 2022 general election.
If the amendment was passed in both chambers, voters could have faced both drug control and medical marijuana initiatives for which the group was trying to vote.
Republican Rep. Julian Young said he would like voters to have the option of supporting the constitutional amendment as he could vote for medical cannabis.
“I don’t want to be the one who robbed them of that choice,” said Julian Young, Congressman of R-Blackfoot. “Give them the opportunity to speak. Give them choices on ballots.”
Rep. Ben Adams of R-Nampa criticized that the action he said was essentially the same question offered by the medical marijuana initiative.
According to the bill’s accounting notes, putting a constitutional amendment on ballot can cost up to $ 200,000.
The bill is the second attempt by Republicans to contain the state’s current drug law, abolishing the previous bill sponsored by Senator C. Scott Glow of R-Eagle.
R-Meridian Rep. Joe Palmer held back tears on the house floor as he talked about how illegal drugs affected his family in Idaho. Palmer’s son was arrested on suspicion of drugs.
“You’ll lose in the end, but at least let’s do it now to do our best to slow it down,” Palmer said. “I don’t want other families to experience this.”
“I would be happy,” said Marco Ericsson, Congressman of R-Idaho Falls, if this measure was the only policy he could pass. He said it would involve Congress in the prevention of substance abuse.
“If you think about it, we could change the lives of many people,” Ericsson said.
Legalization of medical marijuana or other drugs
Republican Rep. Chad Christensen said marijuana is not a “big and nasty” villain. He criticized legislators for over-focusing on cannabis when he believed that painkiller abuse was a problem they should address.
“This is a marijuana bill. Let’s call it what it is,” Kristensen said. Despite references to other drugs, he said things like methamphetamine would never be legalized in Idaho.
“Here I’m worried about marijuana when the opioid crisis is a much bigger problem. Why don’t we deal with it?” He said.
Republican Rep. Mike Kingsley said medical marijuana helped patients with pain and was popular among Idaho residents.
Kingsley and D-Boise Rep. Ilana Rubel co-sponsored a bill to legalize medical cannabis with strict restrictions, but the committee stalled.The· Invoice was created by Jeremy Kitz Harbor, former US Air Force chief sergeant with stage 4 terminal cancer.
He has never overdose cannabis and could be a substitute for opioids, Kingsley said.
“We are making Aida Juan a criminal, a person in need of medicine,” Kingsley said. He talked about the members who get marijuana for her sick mother in Washington.
“People in Idaho overwhelmingly want medical marijuana, which is off the scale,” Kingsley said. “Listen to the people. Want to make this place blue? Against the people.”
Republicans Aidaho are afraid of more “Oregon-style” drug policies
Proponents of the bill opposed the legalization of drugs in border states, especially Oregon and Washington, and said the amendment would protect Idaho from the slippery slopes of drug legalization.
Idaho, with the exception of Wyoming, is surrounded by states that have legalized marijuana to some extent.
Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana have legalized recreational and medical cannabis, and Utah has allowed medical marijuana.More conservative state voters, such as: South dakota And ArizonaApproved for recreational use during the November elections. A 36 states in total We have approved the use of medical marijuana and 15 people have allowed it for recreational purposes.
In November, Oregon voters also approved measures to decriminalize a small number of voters. Range of street drugs Reduces a large amount of penalties.
R-Eagle Rep. Gayann De Mordaunt said he was afraid that “Oregon-style” drug policies could hurt Idaho. “When we look over Denver, Seattle, or Portland, do we next see Boise as Idaho?”
Despite legalizing cannabis production for licensed Idaho residents, the bill did not remove cannabis from the Idaho Schedule I drug list.
Rubel, a minority leader in the House of Representatives, said the usual bill to update the drug law in Idaho based on federal changes often fails to get two-thirds of the votes from the House of Representatives. Invoice for this session After the Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in the treatment of seizures, Epidiolex, a drug that is a CBD oil product, would have been removed from the Schedule I list. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives with 43-27 votes — less than two-thirds required.
Other lawmakers said they were worried that the bill would be overkill.
Pharmacist D-Boise lawmaker Suchu said the measure could jeopardize the patient’s “right to try.” This allows end-stage patients in Idaho to try experimental drugs as treatments.Some critics have changed the constitution of Idaho Right to attempt action with state code..
“This is a big overkill,” said Chu. “If you have a substance of concern, pass the law on that substance.”
Cancer survivor Judy Boyle of R-Midvale agreed with Chu. She said her mother was obsessed with opioids and “caused it to commit suicide.”
Republican Rep. Dorothy Moon said the amendment came from fear of marijuana, but the fact that drugs are still listed as Schedule I drugs in Idaho put the amendment on ballot. He said it should make the listing “totally unacceptable.” ..
“There are a lot of unintended consequences here,” Moon said.