Having cleared Idaho’s senate earlier this year in February, a constitutional amendment designed to stop any future plans for cannabis legalization was shut down in Idaho’s House of representatives.
In a vote that happened yesterday, the amendment failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority of votes in the House, as the final count ended with 42 votes in favor and 28 against. Lacking the 5 votes needed to secure the two-thirds majority, the amendment will not go onto the 2022 ballot, where it would have been decided on by Idaho voters, requiring only a simple majority of votes to be passed.
Among 28 votes against the bill included all of the chamber’s Democrats, as well as a group of conservative Republicans.
Constitutional Amendment a Reaction to Surrounding States’ Changes in Cannabis Laws
One of the reasons this constitutional amendment received much support was in part a reaction to the legalization of recreational cannabis in neighboring states, such as Oregon, California, Colorado and Washington, with concerns that Idaho would follow the direction of such states.
“When we look over at Denver or Seattle or Portland, do we as Idahoans see Boise next? Is that what we want to see our cities, our towns, our communities become? Or do the people want us to raise that bar when we consider legalizing (drugs)?” asked representative Gauyann DeMordaunt during the hearing for the constitutional amendment.
Support for Medical Marijuana Growing in Idaho
Idaho is one of three that has yet to begin decriminalizing cannabis, even products with limited THC content. Despite the attempt at amending the state constitution, public opinion towards the legalization of medical cannabis has been growing.
This growth in popularity has spurred activists to try pushing a ballot initiative for the matter of cannabis legality to be determined by the popular vote in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.
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