© 2021 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
WebHeader_3.png
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
What is the single most important question about COVID-19 you think needs to be answered? Submit it for a special Idaho Matters Doctors Roundtable in English and Spanish.
Politics & Government

Idaho Group Aims To Get Medical Marijuana On Ballot

Marijuana01.jpg
Heath Druzin
/
Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho group is trying to get medical marijuana on the 2020 ballot - they've got 10 months to gather signatures from around the state.

 

The Idaho Cannabis Coalition is led by Nampa resident John Belville. He suffers from peripheral nueropathy, a chronic disorder that causes excruciating pain. He says the doctors in Idaho prescribe powerful narcotics that don’t work and are damaging his health.

The former addiction counselor has found one thing that works, though, while across the state in Oregon, where marijuana is legal.

So I took this little eye dropper and put it under my tongue and waited about 15 minutes and the pain went away. Now, I don’t know what anyone thinks about anything else but I’ll tell you right now this stuff works," Belville says. 

The eye dropper contained cannabis oil. It’s illegal in Idaho, along with every other marijuana product. On Tuesday, Belville and his son, Russ Belville, announced a signature-gathering campaign to get medical marijuana on the ballot.

 

Russ Belville, who lives in Ontario, Oregon, said the success of Idaho’s recent Medicaid expansion initiative gives them confidence.

 

“I’m excited about the Medicaid expansion passing just because it shows once again the people of Idaho being ahead of the politicians.”

 

Idaho is an island of strict prohibition in the Mountain West. Nearly every one of the six neighboring states has legalized marijuana to some extent and the exception, Wyoming, allows CBD oil and hemp. 

The Coalition has its work cut out for it. They will need to gather about 55,000 signatures spread out over a certain number of Idaho’s legislative districts by next May.

 

Find Heath Druzin on Twitter @HDruzin

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio