Senate Passes Amended Bill to Ban Signature Gathering at Pot Shops

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As expected, the Idaho Senate has passed the amended version of SB 1150, the bill intended to prevent us from gathering signatures for marijuana initiatives at the nine marijuana shops in Ontario that serve hundreds of Idahoans per day.

The Idaho Senate on Wednesday passed SB 1150a, legislation designed to prevent those backing an Idaho medical marijuana initiative from collecting signatures in the parking lots of legal pot shops in neighboring states. The bill would require initiative petition signers to be physically present in the state when they sign.

Last week, the House passed the bill in a relatively close vote, 35-25, after it was amended to provide narrow exemptions for military members and missionaries.

The Senate voted, 25-7, Wednesday to pass the bill, with no debate.

Take a moment to fully appreciate exactly how much the Idaho Legislature hates the idea of us legalizing marijuana. When first proposed, its proponents explained it was all about the integrity of the initiative process. They denied that it was an abridgment of constitutional petitioning rights by explaining how the signature gathering period is eighteen months, giving people plenty of time to return to Idaho to sign a petition.

Those explanations fell flat for supporters of the military and religion, who could clearly see how this would disenfranchise servicemembers and missionaries overseas.

But upon this admission that yes, indeed, SB 1150 was about curtailing Idahoans’ constitutional rights, it was cynically amended to provide exceptions for the military and missionaries. There are apparently, some Idahoans whose constitutional rights matter and some Idahoans whose rights do not matter. If you travel thousands of miles to serve the country or your God for two years, you get to keep your rights. But if you cross the Snake River for twenty minutes to purchase legal marijuana, you lose your rights.

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