Economy
4:40 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Medical Marijuana in Idaho?

BOISE, ID – A group called Compassionate Idaho wants to legalize medical marijuana.  Its members are gathering signatures to get the issue on the November 2012 ballot.

Compassionate Idaho needs more than 47,000 signatures from registered voters to get the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot.  Isaias Valdez is a member of the group.  He says prescription pain killers like vicodin and oxycontin sometimes don’t work for those with debilitating conditions.

Isaias Valdez:  "The purpose of our petition is to give Idahoans a safer alternative to those prescription medications to find what works for them."

Idaho is surrounded by states that allow medical marijuana including Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Nevada.  More than a dozen states have similar laws on the books.

Isaias Valdez:  "Just because it’s a conservative state doesn’t mean that Idahoans don’t have compassion enough to allow sick people a safe alternative to medicine."

A study released by Boise State’s Public Policy Center earlier this year finds that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed support allowing seriously ill patients to use marijuana.  But a broader question about selling and growing medical marijuana received about 40 percent support.  Compassionate Idaho has until the end of April to gather signatures.

Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio