On Jan. 17, Republican Tom Trail introduced HB 370 in the Idaho House of Representatives. This marks Trail’s second attempt to address the needs of medical marijuana patients in as many years.
“Representative Trail is a conservative who gets it. He sees that it’s all about compassion. In essence the heart of this bill is true conservatism.” Robert Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington D.C. said.
HB370 would provide for alternative treatment centers where very ill patients could obtain cannabis medication to ease their suffering. It is not a legalization bill, but it does contain some interesting statements regarding the relationship between the States and their central government:
“According to the U.S. sentencing commission and the federal bureau of investigation, 99 out of every 100 marijuana arrests in the country are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana.”
Although federal law currently prohibits the use of marijuana, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington all permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Idaho joins this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.
Federal agents could still potentially arrest and charge medicinal cannabis users, but states are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law; therefore, compliance with the provisions of this chapter does not put the state of Idaho in violation of federal law.
Trail’s previous attempt to represent his cannabis patient constituents never made it out of the House Health & Welfare Committee, HB370’s first hurdle. Chair Janice K. McGeachin, Vice Chair Carlos Bilbao, Thomas F. Loertscher, Paul E. Shepherd, Steven P. Thayn, Fred Wood, Jim Guthrie & Ken A. Roberts- all Republican- sit on the committee with Democrats John Rusche & Susan B. Chew. Supporters of this bill can contact any of the above and make that known to them.
To track state marijuana legislation across the U.S., click HERE: