BOISE - Medical marijuana legislation was introduced in the Idaho House today, where Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, introduced HB 370 as a personal bill.
He proposed similar legislation last year; it got an informational hearing from the House Health & Welfare Committee, but didn’t proceed. HB 370 would permit patients with debilitating medical conditions to be dispensed up to 2 ounces of marijuana every 28 days; they’d have to get it from state-authorized “alternative treatment centers.”
The bill says, “Compassion dictates that a distinction be made between medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana. Hence, the purpose of this chapter is to protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal or other penalties those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary care givers and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.” Under the measure, only patients who’d registered with the state and received a registration card could legally possess medical marijuana.
An Idaho group currently is gathering signatures for a proposed initiative to legalize medical marijuana; Trail said last year that other states’ experience has shown that legislation with strict controls is preferable to a voter initiative.
In the Idaho Legislature, individual lawmakers can introduce legislation without a committee’s say-so within the opening weeks of the session; they then are assigned to committees for possible hearings.