The State of Idaho is surrounded. To the west and southwest lie Washington, Oregon, and Nevada, where marijuana is legal. To the east and north lie Montana and Canada, where medical marijuana is legal. To the southeast lie Wyoming and Utah, where cannabidiol oil is legal.
With the soon-to-be-signed legislation in West Virginia legalizing medical use of pharmaceuticalized cannabinoids, Idaho remains in a shrinking pool of just five absolute prohibition states*.
Idaho’s Senate in 2013 infamously passed a resolution declaring that marijuana shall never be legal for any purpose. In 2015, they reversed themselves in passing a cannabidiol oil law, only to have Republican governor and adorable gay sea mammal Butch Otter become the only governor to veto healing epileptic kids with a non-psychoactive marijuana derivative.
I’m headed to Idaho this weekend to speak at the Boise Hempfest. I’ve written before about how Idaho is one of only four states that punishes marijuana consumers even if they aren’t possessing any marijuana. In Idaho, marijuana is considered so dangerous that merely being under the influence of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor for which the maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and six months in jail [Idaho Code Ann. § 37-2732C(b)]. Get caught high in public three times within five years and you get 120 days in jail, mandatory minimum, with a one-year maximum [§ 37-2732C(c)].
Here are some other Class B misdemeanors like being high in public that Idaho punishes with a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail:
- First time driving under the influence [§ 18-8005];
- Punching somebody in the face [§ 18-904];
- Hazing incoming freshmen [§ 18-917(4)];
- Altering a key to gain access to a locked room [§ 18-1406];
- Hacking into somebody’s computer [§ 18-2202(3)];
- Voter fraud [§ 18-2304];
- Intimidating a witness [§ 18-2604(1-2)];
- First time driving without a license [§ 18-8001(3a-b)];
As you can see, Idaho finds being high on marijuana to be such a danger that the governor dared not allow epileptic kids to use a form of marijuana that doesn’t get them high. Meanwhile, the governor has signed on to or accepts all sorts of laws to allow Idahoans to legally perform the following actions considered to be less harmful than being high in public:
- Adults concealed-carrying firearms with no training and no permits required anywhere but a prison or school;
- Passing vehicles at 94mph on an 80mph freeway while riding a motorcycle without a helmet;
- Allowing the federal government to place cyanide bombs on public lands to eradicate wolves;
- Untrained, unlicensed 19-year-old bartenders (working in “strip clubs” where bare breasts are banned);
- Buy any kind of explosive fireworks you like (but use them out of state *wink wink*);
- Bungee jumping off a 486 foot bridge without a permit;
Since I will have smoked pot legally in Oregon the day before speaking in Idaho, there will still be active THC in my bloodstream. That means when I cross the Snake River into Idaho, I will be committing a misdemeanor, as will anybody who has smoked pot recently who comes out to see me speak.
* South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Indiana are the others, though I’d include Alabama, since its cannabidiol oil law requires a “prescription” that nobody can legally acquire.