The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), a conservative policy organization, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU), a liberal policy organization, have both come out in opposition to Senate Joint Resolution 101, a proposal by Sen. C. Scott Grow to enshrine the prohibitions on Schedule I & II drugs, like marijuana, in the Idaho Constitution.
“When you can get the left and the right to agree that proposed legislation is unwise and flawed, you know it’s a bad bill,” said Russ Belville, spokesperson for the Idaho Citizens Coalition (ICC), the organization dedicated to passing a medical marijuana law for the state of Idaho.
The IFF has given SJR 101 a rating of “-5,” the lowest possible rating the IFF can give proposed legislation, and the lowest rating given to any senate legislation this session. See: http://rad-r.us/IFFonSJR101
The ACLU has listed its position on SJR 101 as “oppose.” See: http://rad-r.us/ACLUonSJR101
The IFF’s rating reflects the organization’s disdain for SJR 101 owes to the fact it “gives government greater power to prohibit or restrict activities in the free market now and in the future.” IFF believes that SJR 101’s references to statute are inappropriate language for the constitution, arguing, “[i]f state statutes cannot exist without constitutional authority to exist, it would be almost paradoxical, then, for state statutes to be written into the constitution.”
The ACLU agrees with the IFF on the overreach of government authority. “After an election year where numerous states legalized marijuana, or in some cases decriminalized drugs via ballot initiative, this amendment attempts to cleverly stifle citizens’ ability to pursue that objective here in Idaho.”
The IFF also rejects SJR 101 for its ceding of state authority to the federal government by making Idaho’s drug laws dependent on federal law. “Using FDA approval as a standard,” writes the IFF, “outsources the determination of Idaho’s destiny, law, and concept of justice to a federal agency run by political appointees subject to the vagaries of partisan administrations.”
SJR 101 heads to the Senate this morning, where it is expected to face a close vote on the 2/3 majority it needs to pass. “Our polling shows that three-quarters of Idahoans support creating a medical marijuana program in Idaho,” said ICC’s Belville, “with well over 60% support among Republicans, LDS Churchgoers, and people over age 65. Literally, the only demographic in the State of Idaho that opposes our medical marijuana initiative are legislators. Their desperation to ban marijuana in the constitution to stop us proves that.” See: https://IdahoCann.co/facts