[Vision2020] Idaho is sitting alone in the middle of the circle

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Fri Nov 18 01:16:48 PST 2016

Courtesy of today's (November 18, 2016) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Our View: Idaho is sitting alone in the middle of the circle

A lighter has been held to each end, and now it's a race to see which will burn quicker.

With the states legalizing medical and/or recreational use of marijuana continuing to increase, the fight between state and federal control is going to become even more strained.

The nation is split, and here in Idaho, that fight is beginning to creep in from the neighbors.

Following the Nov. 8 elections, Idaho now shares 77 percent of its borders with pot-friendly states. That number can be increased to 80 percent if you include British Columbia, where medical pot is legal and decriminalizing the drug altogether is forecast for 2017.

In Colorado, a law was passed on Election Day allowing businesses such as bars and yoga studios to apply for a permit that would allow customers to use marijuana on site, like consuming alcohol in a beer garden.

At this point it would be insane to believe there is no one using marijuana in Idaho despite its illegal status, especially in Moscow, where multiple pot shops are only 10 miles west.

It is also very unlikely Idaho is going to change its mind anytime soon, with attempts at initiatives failing this year and two years ago, and a resolution passed in 2013 by the Legislature against ever legalizing any form of marijuana for any purpose.

So while the nation waits to see what comes over the next four years with our new president-elect - who was reported by the Washington Post earlier this month as being all right with medical marijuana, but strongly against Colorado's legal marijuana - pressure to change will mount in Idaho.

Patrolling the state's borders for illegal pot transports, both commercially and individually, will have to be ramped up if law enforcement has any hope of keeping marijuana out.

There are more dangerous drugs that money and manpower could be going to, such as the heroin epidemic sweeping the nation.

Idaho will also have to watch as the neighbors continue to bring in tax revenues from the decriminalized sale of marijuana, while Idaho works to find enough money to meet all its needs for education, infrastructure and health care.

Sooner or later, Idaho must decide if it wants to wage a new war on pot or band together with the neighbors.



Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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