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Two Medical Marijuana Proposals Compete in Idaho
On Monday, the Idaho House Health & Welfare Committee agreed to introduce the Sgt. Jeremy Kitzhaber Medical Marijuana Act, written by the eponymous 22-year Air Force veteran who is battling terminal cancer.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the State Capitol, the Secretary of State approved the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act Initiative for 2022 to gather signatures.
The two proposed laws could not be more different. The Kitzhaber Bill is a police-friendly act that forever bans marijuana growing in Idaho, forcing patients to illegally smuggle in marijuana from neighboring states until the United States allows interstate sales. Minors could not qualify, and flower is limited to 22% THC, sold only in 1 gram opaque blister packs.
The Idaho Medical Marijuana Act, on the other hand, is a patient-friendly act modeled after the successful program in Montana, allowing for limited home grow, in-state production, and no limits on medicine choice.
And both acts still face the threat of Sen. C. Scott Grow’s proposed amendment to forever ban medical marijuana.
Judge Voids South Dakota’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Finding Voter-Approved Measure Was Unconstitutional
A South Dakota state judge has ruled that last year’s voter-approved initiative to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over is unconstitutional and cannot go forward, though advocates plan to appeal.
Judge Christina Klinger of the state’s Sixth Judicial Circuit Court ruled Monday that the measure, Amendment A, includes multiple subjects rather than a single issue as required by the state constitution. She also wrote that because the measure “has far reaching effects on the basic nature of South Dakota’s governmental system,” it should have been referred to voters through the constitutional convention process instead of as a simple amendment.
Brendan Johnson, sponsor of Amendment A and an attorney for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, told Marijuana Moment after the ruling that reform advocates will appeal Klinger’s ruling to the state’s highest court.
Major Marijuana Coalition Forms to Coordinate Legalization Push, But Some Key Advocacy Players Are Not Involved
As Congress moves to legalize marijuana under the new Democratic majority, a large coalition of cannabis businesses and advocacy groups has formed in the hopes of advancing the issue this session.
The United States Cannabis Council (USCC), which is being headed on an interim basis by Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Executive Director Steven Hawkins, will advocate for federal legalization and promote social equity for the industry.
The new outfit says it will present a “unified voice advocating for the descheduling and legalization of cannabis,” but the prevalence of mostly businesses among its membership—and the absence of some key advocacy and industry groups such as NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) and National Cannabis Roundtable—has led some to wonder what specific policies USCC will be prioritizing and whether they will ultimately align with activists’ reform goals.
Kansas Governor’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Plan Involves ‘Enlisting’ Voters to Pressure Lawmakers
The governor of Kansas wants voters to put pressure on their representatives to get medical marijuana legalization passed this year.
The comments come one day after Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced a plan last week to enact the reform and use cannabis tax revenue to fund Medicaid expansion in the state.
But the policy change will not be simple in Kansas, one of the few remaining states without medical marijuana on the books and where Republicans control the legislature. While lawmakers introduced legalization bills in the last session, they stalled in committee without votes.
Asked why she feels this year will be different, Kelly told KMBZ radio that the political dynamics have shifted, and legislators are not going to “lose their jobs” by voting to advance the reform, given bipartisan support for the issue.
Wisconsin Governor Will Include Marijuana Legalization in Budget Proposal Next Week
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Sunday unveiled a plan to legalize marijuana as part of his forthcoming budget proposal, a policy change he said reflects the will of voters and would bring the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be used to fund schools and equity initiatives.
“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users,” the governor said in a statement, “and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state.”