A campaign to let Idaho voters decide on medical marijuana legalization next year cleared one of many legal hurdles, state elections division spokesman Chad Houck confirmed Wednesday.
Organizers and supporters can now begin gathering signatures from registered voters to get the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act on the November 2022 general election ballot.
To qualify for the ballot, the issue will need signatures from 6% of the roughly 880,000 Idahoans who voted last November as well as 6% of voters in half of Idaho’s 44 counties. The campaign’s leader, Jackee Winters, said it’ll take at least 68,000 signatures.
Getting there is far from sure. Record turnout creates a big challenge. Many initiatives — which, if passed, carry the power of law — haven’t gotten enough signatures. State lawmakers have tried to make the process more onerous in recent years.
But the move potentially sets up the midterm ballot to be a legal standoff between medical marijuana advocates and the Republican-led Legislature, where a constitutional amendment gaining steam aims to ban any future attempts at legalizing psychoactive drugs in Idaho.
Medical marijuana programs, in various forms, exist in 47 states, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. All states neighboring Idaho allow people to possess or cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nebraska, Kansas and Idaho are the three holdout states. [Read more at Idaho Press]
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