|Photo: Idaho Moms 4 Marijuana|
|Idaho patients have already fought long and hard to legally use the medicine which works best for them.|
A northern Idaho lawmaker has once again introduced a bill which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow) earlier this week sponsored the Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to establish a system for patients to legally obtain and use marijuana with a doctor’s approval, reports The Associated Press.
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.
It’s time for legislators to help reduce the suffering of seriously ill citizens, according to Trail.
If the bill passes, patients would need authorization from a doctor to get medical marijuana. Patients or their caregivers would also have to register with the state.
Only dispensaries licensed by the state would be allowed to sell medical marijuana, and patients would be limited to two ounces for a 28-day period.
|Photo: Idaho Secretary of State|
|Rep. Tom Trail: It’s time for lawmakers to help reduce the suffering of seriously ill patients in Idaho.|
The law, in what unfortunately may become a trend after New Jersey’s Legislature last year 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.
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.
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.
The bill will probably be defeated, according to David Adler, director of the University of Idaho’s McClure Public Policy Center. But it’s an idea worth considering, Adler added.
“The fact Idahoans have been known to travel to neighboring states to receive the kind of treatment necessary to allay their pain and discomfort speaks to an important public policy issue,” Adler said.
Rep. Trail said he is not interested in legalizing marijuana for other than medicinal use.
“I’ve stayed away from a lot of fringe groups on this,” he said. “Our focus is simply on providing the option for medical marijuana.”
Trail, who said he had spoken with many doctors who support medical marijuana, sponsored a similar bill in last year’s legislative session.