The state and all stakeholders would do well to prepare for marijuana legalization of some sort, considering the way all surrounding states, in Utah, have gone.
One thing was made very clear in Idaho from the midterm elections: It is only a matter of time before medical marijuana is coming to Idaho.
Voters in neighboring Utah passed a voter-initiated proposition to legalize medicinal cannabis for chronically ill patients. Voters in Ontario, less than an hour from Boise, chose to legalize the sale of recreational cannabis. At this point, more than 80 percent of Idahoans live within an hour and a half from a state that has legalized some form of cannabis. Even Idaho’s international neighbor, Canada, legalized general recreational use in October.
It is important that policymakers begin the discussion over the right medicinal cannabis policy for Idaho before this wave of legalization crashes over the border. And this discussion can’t come too soon — law enforcement resources are strained across the state and Idahoans are in need of healthier alternatives to manufactured pharmaceuticals.