Cannabis Oil Bill Passes Idaho Legislature, Heads To Gov. Otter

Apr 6, 2015

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers Monday passed a bill to allow parents to treat epileptic children with an oil extracted from cannabis. Idaho’s House approved the bill 39-30 after more than an hour of intense debate.

Opponents, such as Rep. Luke Malek, R- Coeur d’Alene, argued the bill legalizes marijuana because the oil has small amounts of the chemical that makes pot users high.

“This bill changes the approach Idaho has taken to drug policy and does so based on anecdote not scientific evidence,” Malek said.

Rep. Thomas Loertscher, R – Iona, said the bill was not about legalizing drug use but about easing children’s suffering.

“This is whether we want to measure what we do here with compassion, or whether we do what we do out of fear,” Loertscher said.

The bill now heads to Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter where he can sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without signing.

The governor has not said if he would veto the bill, but his chief drug policy advisor has been the main opponent throughout the legislative process.

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