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House votes 63-7 in favor of anti-marijuana resolution

The House has voted 63-7 in favor of SCR 112, the resolution stating that it’s the position of the Idaho Legislature that marijuana should never be legalized in the state for any purpose. “It doesn’t do anything other than just state our position that we’re against it,” Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, told the House. Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, told Monks, “I happen to share your opinion about use of marijuana and medical marijuana. However, I have a question, good gentleman: What are we trying to do with this resolution?” Monks responded by reading from the resolution, including the “therefore be it resolved” part. “So this just states that we support the laws of the state of Idaho the way they are now, correct?” Rusche asked. “I suppose that’s one way you could look at the resolution,” Monks said.

Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, a former deputy Kootenai County prosecutor, said the resolution was in order because unlike other crimes already outlawed in Idaho, marijuana offenses “are being legalized en masse around the nation, and medical marijuana in my opinion is a pretty farcical predatory scheme that’s getting worse.”

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, said, “I’m afraid I would be remiss if I didn’t speak up for certain individuals I know that are suffering from debilitating disease that is painful, and they tell me they do get some relief from using this product on a medicinal basis. That’s not to say maybe that they couldn’t find something else, but I think they’re very grateful for the relief that they can get.”

Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, a retired state trooper, said he’s spent much time in the summers the last 10 years trekking through the Idaho mountains, searching out marijuana grows as part of law-enforcement operations. “This gives me a great warm feeling,” Wills told the House. “Law enforcement officers all over the state of Idaho are grateful” for the anti-marijuana resolution, he said. The resolution earlier passed the Senate 29-5; today’s House vote marks its final passage.


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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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