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Eye On Boise

Wed., Feb. 20, 2013, 7:39 a.m.

Another 50 people sign up to testify on anti-pot measures, most opposed

More than 50 additional people have now signed up to testify at this morning's hearing on two anti-marijuana measures, most of them opposed to the two resolutions. Among the testimony so far:

Gari DeBoard told the committee, “I am a terminally ill patient. I will die.” Her condition includes permanent nerve damage that flares up, causing paralysis from the neck down, she said, and a feeling that she’s “on fire.” DeBoard said, “Yes, I can take a heavy-duty amount of pain pills, but I will die from those pain pills, too. They will eventually kill me, they will shut my body down. … For marijuana there are no deaths. Never are you going to see someone in your emergency room because they have overdosed from marijuana.”

Dr. David McClusky of Twin Falls told the senators, “There’s no legitimacy for legalizing marijuana because it is very harmful from a medical standpoint. It is an addictive drug along with nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin and meth. It also will be another gateway drug for our youth along with tobacco and alcohol.” McCluskey said he doesn’t want to see “another politically correct law that’s going to cause harm and death to my patients;” he spoke in favor of the two resolutions. McClusky added, “I do use it on my cancer patients, but I use it as a pill. … there is a proper use for it, just like there is a proper use for all the drugs that I do use.”

Monica Hopkins, executive director of the Idaho ACLU, urged a no vote on both measures. “Idaho should be allowed to decide our own drug policy without interference from the federal government,” she said, “and we should focus on appropriate law enforcement priorities.” She said Prohibition didn’t succeed in doing away with drunkenness. "Enforcement of marijuana laws for low-level, non-violent offenders causes high incarceration rates ... and they break up families for no public safety risk."


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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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