Tag: C. Scott Grow

Reefer Madness Prevails in the Idaho Senate by 1 Vote

Even in states with legal cannabis, there are plenty of complaints one can levy against various laws and regulations. Well, probably not matter what state you live in, you can be thankful that it isn’t Idaho, a beautiful place that has been so infected by Reefer Madness that their Senate has actually voted to make it constitutionally prohibited to legalize cannabis and other psychoactive drugs. Spurred by lead Reefer Madness prohibitionist C. Scott Grow, the undemocratic constitution proposal passed by just one vote, despite the best efforts of hardworking, dedicated activists, as Boise State Public radio reported:

“Let Idahoans choose whether they want to live in a drug-free state – free from drug culture – or not,” he said.

Idaho is one of 14 states in the country where medical marijuana isn’t legal. It’s also one of just three states in the U.S. that outlaws products, like CBD oil, with trace amounts of THC, the plant’s main psychoactive compound. No amount of THC is legal here.

Grow also called tax revenue from marijuana sales in neighboring states “insignificant,” even though it amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars a year in some cases.

It’s rather amazing how out of touch Senator Grow is. Too think that Idaho is “drug free” is so naive and to deem revenue generated by cannabis as insignificant is insulting to his constituents. I’m guessing that there are plenty of Idaho residents that would love to have tens of millions of dollars every year going towards schools, healthcare, and veterans programs. Idaho deserves better. Please join the Idaho Cannabis Coalition in fighting for freedom, equality and common sense.

As someone that grew up in Missouri, I can sympathize with advocates that are willing to speak out in a state with draconian cannabis laws and conservative culture. It takes a lot of courage to speak truth to power about cannabis laws in Idaho, and they should all be commended. Thankfully, the fight isn’t over as common sense can still prevail in the House or, if necessary, at the ballot box.

Idaho Cannabis Community Needs to Rise Up to Stop Constitutional Ban

Now, it’s getting serious. What seemed like a desperate ploy from a bygone era, a constitutional amendment to prohibit cannabis legalization in Idaho is gaining legislative steam. Republican State Senator C. Scott Grow’s Reefer Madness-inspired bill passed out of Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee on a party line vote and will now go before the full committee. If passed by the House and Idaho voters, all psychoactive drugs would forever be illegal in the Gem State unless approved by the FDA. To signify how ridiculous this constitutional amendment is, even if the federal government repealed federal prohibition by removing cannabis from the list of controlled substances, cannabis would still remain constitutionally prohibited in Idaho.

While proponents like Senator Grow spouted debunked lies like cannabis legalization leading to crime, opponents wisely pushed back with science and common sense, as ABC News reported:

Those opposed said medical marijuana is needed for Idaho residents suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. Dan Zuckerman, medical director of St. Luke’s Cancer Institute, said dealing with over a thousand cancer patients over more than a decade convinced him of the efficacy of medical marijuana in helping with pain and nausea.

“I’ve seen it myself with my own eyes,” he said. “The data is clear that patients benefit from this.”

Sen. Michelle Stennett, a Democrat from Ketchum, also noted that the amendment would prohibit doctors from providing terminally ill patients access to experimental or investigational drugs that are normally illegal but can still be prescribed in certain circumstances when other treatments have failed.

While a constitutional ban on cannabis will keep Idahoans coming to Oregon (the road trip to Pendleton to visit Kind Leaf IS worth the trek), helping create jobs and generate revenue for the Beaver State, this proposed constitutional ban is just wrong and sets a dangerous precedent for other states to follow. If Senator Grow gets his way, then other Reefer Madness prohibitionists will consider similar constitutional bans in other states, leading to more unnecessary arrests and the continuation of a domestic war that has already harmed too many nonviolent Americans.

Idaho Senator Doubles Down on Reefer Madness Nonsense

While the rest of the nation is following both science and the will of the voters, America’s last prohibition state is doubling down on the Reefer Madness delusion that cannabis is a scourge that can only be eradicated by arresting and jailing people for utilizing a substance that is much less addictive and harmful than alcohol. While a supermajority of folks now understand that cannabis prohibition should be swept into the dustbin of history as alcohol prohibition once was, Idaho State Senator C. Scott Grow, is calling for a constitutional amendment to forever ban cannabis and other “psychoactive drugs” from being legalized within the borders of the Gem State.

My friend and activist colleague, Russ Belville, an Idaho native working on ending cannabis prohibition in the state, provided his take:

Idaho is the last state in America with absolute marijuana prohibition. Not only are adult-use and medical marijuana illegal here, even the low-THC CBD oil that was legalized federally under the 2018 Farm Bill is still illegal in Idaho. It’s so absurd that Idaho State Police declared a 6,700lb load of industrial hemp being trucked through the state was “the biggest drug bust in state history.

This amendment is just the latest anti-marijuana salvo from prohibitionist state legislators who are out-of-touch with their constituents on the issue of marijuana.

And as the Idaho Statesman noted, Idaho’s Reefer Madness policies don’t prevent Idahoans from using cannabis, it merely increases the coffers of the great state of Oregon, as Idaho’s cannabis community just makes purchases across the border:

Idaho — which does not allow medical marijuana — is now surrounded by border states that have legalized the drug in some capacity, with the exception of Wyoming. Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana have legalized recreational pot, while Utah allows medical marijuana. A total of 36 states have approved medical marijuana use, while 15 have allowed recreational use.

Banning pot hasn’t stopped Idaho residents from buying it. An economic analysis released by Oregon last year showed marijuana sales along the Idaho border were up 420% the statewide average.

Idahoans, contact your legislators and urge them to oppose this constitutional amendment. Regardless of one’s political position, they should be extremely wary about tinkering with the constitution to prohibit the rights of people. Opinions, statutory code, and scientific knowledge changes over time. If this constitutional ban does make this ballot, I imagine that the ironically named C. Scott Grow will rue the day.

The ballot box is where cannabis policy reform thrives. While reforms are tough to pass in legislatures, places where big money interests have too much power, cannabis measures do great when put before the people. Placing cannabis at the ballot box is coming onto our home turf. Our record winning elections is better than the best sports dynasties, probably only eclipsed by the Harlem Globetrotters. With positive cannabis passing in conservative states like South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, I like cannabis’ chances.

Idaho residents thinking of traveling to Oregon should venture into beautiful Pendleton for a great road trip getaway. Don’t just settle for any Oregon dispensary. Come to Kind Leaf, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique, and enjoy the best selection in the state, if not the entire Great Northwest. Order online via Leafly to save time, or come on in and marvel at what the future holds, regardless of the futile attempts of Reefer Madness prohibitionists like Senator Grow.