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Eye On Boise

CBD oil bill passes House on 59-11 vote

The House has passed HB 577, Rep. Dorothy Moon’s bill to legalize CBD oil for medical use, on a 59-11 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate side. Numerous representatives spoke out on the bill, with many citing people they know who use the oil, which is derived from marijuana, to treat severely ill children.

Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, told the House, “I am one of those mothers. I have a daughter … diagnosed with petit mal epilepsy when she was four years old. … At age 4, we put her tiny little body on some very serious drugs to control those seizures. … Had I had the option of choosing a natural way to address those, I absolutely would have,” she said, “and that’s why I encourage your support of this bill.”

Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, spoke out against the bill. “Well, ladies and gentlemen of the House, here’s the open door,” he said. “If we open this door, our successors five, seven, 10 years from now will be debating how to control legalized marijuana in our communities, OK? This is the pattern that’s been happening in other states.”

Moon, R-Stanley, said, “I really do believe it’s Idaho’s time.”

The bill still needs Senate passage and the governor’s signature to become law. Lawmakers passed legislation in 2015 to allow parents to use CBD oil to treat ill children, but Gov. Butch Otter vetoed it, citing concerns about expanding the use of illegal drugs in the state.

The 11 “no” votes today were from Reps. Armstrong, Bedke, Bell, Burtenshaw, Dayley, Harris, Hartgen, Holtzclaw, Kauffman, Malek, and Palmer.

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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