I would say public attitudes on marijuana and hemp are changing rapidly.  It wasn’t all that long ago when a truck driver hauling hemp was pulled over in Idaho and found himself in serious legal trouble.  Now the State Legislature is moving quickly toward legalizing hemp.  The farming community appears behind the change of heart.  Hemp is a cash crop and has multiple uses.  Especially in building and clothing manufacturing.  Some local farmers want a piece of the action.

A bill proposed in the State Senate would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment outlawing marijuana for good.  The vote would take place on Election Day in 2022.  I wrote last week I no longer have confidence voters would support a constitutional ban.  I base that on the overwhelming approval of Medicaid expansion a couple of years ago.  I also last week cited all the newcomers from other states.  Many could share some basic conservative values but younger conservatives see marijuana in a different light than their elders.

We could see dueling ballot measures in 2022.  The initiative to legalize medical marijuana could be the competition.  This is a showdown that could decide the state’s cultural makeup for generations to come.

A reporter at an East Idaho newspaper is tracking the story on medical marijuana.  It looks as if the proponents are going to begin collecting signatures.  The story explains they’ll need almost 70,000 signatures.  They’ll need good weather, an easing of pandemic restrictions and to troll the right communities.  There’s also a legislative proposal in the House for legalizing the drug for medicinal use but it could meet a buzz saw in the Senate.


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