While other states are battening down the hatches, and trying to protect their medical marijuana systems from assaults by the Federal government, the state of Idaho has a movement to afoot to become the 16th state to legalize the drug for patients in need.
Specifically, there’s an aggressive movement by organizations like The Treasure Valley and Compassionate Idaho to get the legalization of medical marijuana onto the state ballot for the 2012 election.
One of the people pushing this drive is Compassionate Idaho member Isaias Valdez, who told the press, “I don’t have a reason for medical marijuana. I’m just doing this for the compassion of other people.”
Valdez believes that other Idahoans feel the same way. In fact, Boise State surveyed 525 households last February, and found that 74% of respondents were in favor of “…terminally and seriously ill patients to use and purchase marijuana for medical purposes.”
Lindsey Rinehart, who is working with Valdez, and trying to gather enough signatures (47,500 are required) to get the initiative on the ballot. According to Rinehart, this push is, “…about giving people the compassion they deserve. This is about caring about your neighbors, your church, your co-workers.”
Why Idaho? A national organization called the Marijuana Policy Project is working on state-by-state campaigns to legalize marijuana, and picked Idaho because it’s a state surrounded by other states that have already legalized MMJ in some fashion. Colorado, for example, has had legal medical marijuana since 2000.
If approved in next year’s vote, the Idaho Medical Choice Act would allow patients with “debilitating medical conditions” to possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana and to cultivate up to nine marijuana plants.