Idaho Legislator Plans To Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill


Photo: Idaho Moms 4 Marijuana

‚ÄčIdaho Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow) is proposing a measure that would make Idaho the 15th station in the nation to legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with chronic illnesses.

The bill would allow patients with illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to have access to legal marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries, reports KLEW.
According to Trail, the legislation would be “the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the nation” because it would permit doctors to recommend it only for a list of serious chronic illnesses.
The law, in what unfortunately may become a trend after New Jersey’s Legislature passed a similar measure, would also forbid patients from growing their own marijuana. Patients would be limited to two ounces of dispensary-purchased pot per month.

Patients would be forbidden from using marijuana in public, and it would be regulated under the strict conditions used to track the distribution of prescribed opiates like Oxycontin and morphine.

Photo: Idaho Secretary of State
Rep. Tom Trail plans to hold a series of town meetings this summer on Idaho’s medical marijuana bill.

‚ÄčTrail said he was approached more than a year ago by several constituents who suffer from chronic health conditions including brain cancer and glaucoma. The patients said they receive medical marijuana recommendations from doctors in neighboring Washington state, which legalized medical cannabis in 1998.
Trail said he was spoken with many doctors who support this type of legislation.
The bill is modeled after New Jersey’s recently passed law, which is reported to be “by far the most restrictive” law of any of the 14 states that have legalized medical pot.
While other state laws have been criticized for containing loopholes, Trail said there are no such loopholes in his proposal.
Trail said there had been opposition from law enforcement with an earlier draft of the bill, and he decided when New Jersey passed their bill and it was signed by a Republican governor, that this approach offered the best avenue for success in Idaho.
The draft must be reviewed by the Department of Health and Welfare, law enforcement, the Idaho Medical Association and many other “stakeholders,” according to Trail.
According to Trail, the plan is to “start a dialog” and prepare to introduce the bill in the 2011 legislative session.
Rep. Trail, who plants to hold a series of town meetings this summer on the medical marijuana bill, can be contacted at [email protected].