Medical Marijuana

Idaho Freedom Foundation

Following last month’s election, some form of legal marijuana use is allowed in every state that borders Idaho. The Gem State’s strict prohibition of cannabis – even for medicinal purposes – goes against a national trend of increased access.

The libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation advocates legalizing a medical form of pot used to treat disorders like epilepsy. The group’s president, Wayne Hoffman, discussed their position with our Matt Guilhem.

Coleen Danger / Flickr Creative Commons

As of Tuesday, Idaho shares 77 percent of its border with pot-friendly states, making it an island of abstinence on the legal weed frontier.

The Spokesman-Review reports that with new laws to be enacted in Nevada and Montana and including British Columbia, where medical pot is legal, 80 percent of Idaho now borders legal marijuana.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Last year Idaho governor Butch Otter vetoed a bill that would have made it legal for children with severe epilepsy to use a treatment that comes from marijuana.

New Approach Idaho

Friday afternoon on the steps of Idaho’s Capitol a group of people plan to break the law. It’s a protest that could come with some serious repercussions for those involved.

Idaho has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. If Serra Frank is caught with an ounce, she could reasonably expect to pay a $1,000 fine and spend a year in jail. But Frank says she will be smoking pot at the Capitol on January 1 anyway. 

The era of ubiquitous green cross marijuana dispensaries in Washington state is about to come to an end.

Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has vetoed a bill that would have legalized a marijuana extract for patients with severe forms of epilepsy.

In his veto letter, Otter said his administration has strongly opposed the legislation because "there were too many questions and problems and too few answers and solutions in this bill to let it become law."

medical marijuana, pot
Audio Vision, Public Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

A pro-cannabis group has filed paperwork with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office to begin gathering signatures for a medical marijuana legalization initiative. The group New Approach Idaho was founded a few months ago. Its members hope Idaho voters will be able to decide on pot legalization in 2016. New Approach Idaho president William Esbensen says the initiative has three parts.

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Idaho’s Senate Tuesday will consider two bills about cannabis-based epilepsy treatments.

Clare Carey has been asking lawmakers to allow access to a certain kind of hemp oil for nearly two years. One of the two bills in the Senate is called Alexis’ Law after Carey’s daughter, who suffers from debilitating, life threatening epilepsy.

legislature.idaho.gov

This story was updated with content from the Associated Press at 11:45 A.M.

Idaho parents of epileptic children appear to be slowly swaying the Idaho Legislature to allow the use of cannabis oil to treat seizure disorders.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers will introduce a bill Wednesday that will allow people to use some oils extracted from cannabis plants. Idaho currently does not allow any form of medical marijuana.  But other states without medical pot have passed exemptions similar to this new bill.

Its aim is to allow people with epilepsy to use the extract. Certain strains of cannabis have shown great promise in reducing seizures in children with severe epilepsy.

Park Ranger / Flickr Creative Commons

Leaders of a marijuana advocacy group that was launched two weeks ago say they’ve attracted more than 200 volunteers. New Approach Idaho wants to put a ballot measure before Idaho voters in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana.

Alexodus / Flickr

A new group is kicking off a statewide campaign effort to legalize marijuana in Idaho by 2016.

New Approach Idaho is the latest pro-marijuana organization to emerge following a string of failed attempts by other groups over the years to legalize marijuana in Idaho.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that the new group is focused on allowing medical marijuana, but the long-term goal is full legalization.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a bill in Congress that would legalize a marijuana extract to treat children with severe epilepsy. We’ve reported previously on plans to introduce a similar bill in Idaho’s Legislature.

Utah will begin issuing registration cards Tuesday for its limited medical marijuana program targeting adults and children with severe epilepsy.

A new state law doesn't allow medical marijuana production or distribution but permits those meeting certain requirements to possess a marijuana extract oil.

The oil is believed to help with severe seizures.

The extract's Colorado-based producer has a long waiting list, so many families are expected to apply for their Utah registration cards later this year when there will be more supply of the oil.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Nine-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. She started having seizures when she was a couple months old. Her mom Clare says Alexis is a happy kid, but she can't speak or potty train.

“You have seizures that go on for over an hour and nothing stops them,” Clare says.

“It’s so hard to helplessly watch your kid seizing for an hour,” Alexis’ dad Michael Carey says. “You can’t describe how painful it is.”

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