Breaking News
More () »

The signature campaign continues for Idaho medical marijuana act

One of two citizen campaigns aimed for 2024, Kind Idaho aims to legalize marijuana for limited medical use in Idaho.

BOISE, Idaho — Depending on what side of the Idaho/Oregon border you are on, the marijuana laws are very different. Idaho is one of very few states with no legal marijuana in any way, neighbors to the West, like Oregon, allow for marijuana purchases.  

Recreational marijuana is one thing, but an Idaho group says they are focused on marijuana as a medicine.

“Patient choice in medicine through the legalization of medical marijuana,” said Joe Evans, Treasurer for Kind Idaho, a political action committee and 501(c)(4) nonprofit started in 2021.  

Evans says to be clear; they are solely focused on medical cannabis.  

“Nor are we really looking at a full decriminalization, or let's, you know, give people medicine, medical cannabis for headaches,” Evans said.

Evans, Kind Idaho, and their supporters noticed late session legislation pitched by Rep. John Vander Woude, the “IDAHO MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT.” The act was pitched late to generate conversations heading into 2024. It is a narrow proposal that only allows “ingestible cannabis processed to a tablet, chewable, droplet, or pill containing up to ten (10) milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol.”

“My problem with regards to the way that was arranged was it is extremely limited. There was only specific ways you could access it,” Evans said.  

The citizen initiative spells out a different path to medical marijuana. The pitch: to protect Idahoans from arrest, criminal and civil sanctions, if they have chronic diseases, conditions or, terminally ill.

“Legalizes medical cannabis for cardholders in the state of Idaho. This gives them the opportunity to go in, sit down with a doctor, determine whether or not the diagnosis warrants medical cannabis to support recovery and healing. And then they receive the card. And that allows them to go to a dispensary to receive it,” Evans said.  

Kind Idaho is working to gather signatures on their petitions, they have until April 14 next year to get about 63,000 signatures from registered voters to make the ballot. It’s a major task to take on, adding in the fact that Idaho is one of five states where there is no legal cannabis on any level. 

“Idaho is the last state. And because of that, we have the advantage of lessons learned of every other state. And in addition to that, the big crisis for an awful lot of people is, well, that'll bring the drugs in Idaho, that'll bring the abuse, that'll bring the use. And my primary statement with your response to that is Idaho spends $3 million a week in border town dispensaries,” Evans said.  

Evans makes the point in advocating that there are people with medical problems who are in major pain, and looking to take a medicine that is not an addictive pill.

“Going through the cancer treatment. They're going through chemo. They're handling their pain management, and their pain management could very well kill them. So, this is an alternative. It's, in a lot of ways, it's a right to try because this gives them the option. This creates viable alternatives to known, dangerous pain management programs,” Evans said.  

He added, Idahoans who simply want recreational marijuana will continue to hop over the border to get their fix, their campaign isn’t concerned about that. Rather, Kind Idaho is focused on helping those in need.

“I just know too many people in my life that absolutely need this as an alternative as opposed to what they've been prescribed year after year, because the thing that works best for them isn't illegal in the state of Idaho yet,” Evans said.  

Join 'The 208' conversation:


Download the KTVB News Mobile App

Apple iOS:  Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Watch news reports for FREE on YouTube: KTVB YouTube channel

Stream Live for FREE on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching 'KTVB'.

Stream Live for FREE on FIRE TV: Search ‘KTVB’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out