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Testimony: ‘Out of hands of criminals,’ ‘An impairing substance,’ ‘Ecology is economy’

In testimony on the anti-marijuana resolutions this morning:

Coty Ternes of Compassionate Idaho told the committee that drug dealers don’t ask kids for I.D. when they sell them marijuana. “Get this out of the black markets,” he said, “get the money out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of legitimate businesses. … Let’s use this money that is going toward fighting it to help out the struggling schools.”

Cpl. Casey Hancuff of the Boise Police Department told the senators, “I come from a viewpoint, a perspective of trying to keep the incidence of impaired driving to a minimum and pushed down as far as can be possibly achieved. Marijuana itself, as everybody I think in this room understands, is an intoxicant. It’s an impairing substance.” He said California saw a jump in fatal rashes after legalizing medical marijuana. “There is going to be a long-term detriment to our roadway safety if marijuana is legalized,” Hancuff said. He said marijuana still can affect people even three weeks after use.

Christine Taylor, owner of Indie HempWorks, said cannabis plants including marijuana and hemp are a valuable resource. “The proposed policies stand in the way of freedom, progress, innovation, welfare and prosperity of the people of this state,” she said. “As a native Idahoan I have founded a business on the principles that ecology is economy.”

Derek Atchison told the senators, “I don’t smoke marijuana.” He said he opposes the measures because a young relative is seriously ill and he believes medical marijuana could help her. “She’s 12 years old, she weighs 63 pounds, she’s dying,” he said. “It’s her future too. She should be allowed to live. She shouldn’t have to die at 15.”

Peyton Rebholz, a 17-year-old member of Drug-Free Idaho and Idaho Drug-Free Youth, said, “Idaho does not need another thing to impair drivers. … Marijuana is already an issue for the youth of Idaho. … Why make it more accessible?”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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