Boise mom protests pot laws on Capitol steps

Serra Frank was arrested by Idaho State Police before she could light up a joint.

BOISE -- A Boise mom says her fight to legalize medical marijuana is about liberty and freedom for generations to come. Serra Frank took to the steps of the Idaho Capitol this afternoon to protest the Gem State's marijuana laws.

Her plan was to light a joint at the Statehouse and start a dialogue about the use of medicinal marijuana. Possession of the drug is a misdemeanor in Idaho, a conviction can lead to face jail time and fines. The mother of three heads a group called "Moms for Marijuana."

She was arrested Friday before she was able to light that joint but she did give a speech beforehand. Frank touched on how civil disobedience creates social change and why she strongly stands behind the issue.

"For all of our future generations and for each and every one of you and your families, I stand here today in front of my Capitol building obligated by conscience to demand the reform of Idaho's outdated and harmful marijuana laws, and willfully and civilly disobey," Frank said.

Frank suffers from a painful bladder condition called interstitial cystitis. She says she's been prescribed many different types of pain medication over the years, but the only thing that's worked for her is marijuana. But there's an obstacle to using it here in Idaho, it is against the law to consume and possess marijuana or have drug paraphernalia.

"She can get up to a year in jail or a thousand dollar fine," Idaho State Police Lt. Brad Doty said.

Idaho State Police was informed of Frank's planned protest at the Capitol on New Year's Day, so troopers were present to enforce the law.

"If we know that a crime is about to be committed or it's going to be imminent, then once troopers notice that there's a crime there, then we're not going to let you go ahead and light up," Doty said.

Frank was taken inside the Capitol and says she was booked, released and issued a citation for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

"I want the end of cannabis prohibition and a better future for our children," Frank announced.

There were several supporters rallying alongside her, urging the community to start thinking about the laws in place.

"We're doing this because it's time to talk about this," Frank added. "Why are we arresting our parents, people who are sick?"

She lived in Oregon and Washington, where medicinal marijuana is legal, but Idaho is home. Frank says after seeing the medical community and what marijuana has done for people there, she wants those suffering in Idaho to be able to have that freedom. She says she has court coming up this month and hopes that her civil disobedience will eventually cause some changes at the state level.


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