Compassionate Idaho, a non-profit, grassroots reform group, has been attempting to legalize medical marijuana in Idaho for several years now. Having built up their base, learned from past efforts, and attempting to harness growing momentum, the group has announced that they’ll soon begin collecting signatures on a new initiative aiming for the 2014 ballot.
We had the chance to speak with Lindsey Rinehart, Executive Director of Compassionate Idaho, regarding this upcoming effort.
According to Lindsay, the intent of the measure is simple, “We are seeking to legalize medical marijuana for seriously ill and terminally ill patients.”
We asked Lindsay to explain the details of this particular measure, and she let us know that there would be production centers, safety centers, and dispensaries which would fill the regulatory chain from production, to patient. Caregivers would be allowed to take care of up to 5 patients as once, as long as they don’t grow over 30 plants.
Individual patients will be allowed to grow their own at home – 12 plants – as long as they’re over 15 miles from the closest dispensary. The possession limit would be 2.5 ounces, although patients and caregivers may surpass this limit if their grow-operation produces more; as long as it doesn’t leave the premises.
According to Lindsey, the petition “will be in our gatherers hands Friday“.
As for their volunteer base, “We already have a good base of volunteers from our last petition, but we are needing many more; we are recruiting‘.
This makes it vital for supporters to get in contact with Compassionate Idaho, getting involved in getting this measure on the ballot.
Lindsey tells us that they have confidence in their volunteer base, but are more than open to the idea of professional signature gatherers to assure themselves on the ballot, if the funding becomes available, “We think that we can get it [on the ballot] as all volunteers, however being able to pay our gatherers would be very helpful. That would speed the process up for sure. We are always accepting donations and if a large donation or sponsorship was made we would accept it.”
On whether or not the state is ready for such a move, Lindsey has no doubt,
“Our residents are ready and supportive. BSU Public Policy Poll reports that 74% of Idahoans support medical marijuana for seriously ill and terminally ill patients. Unfortunately the people that represent us aren’t listening to what their constituents want, and intentionally introduced anti-cannabis legislation as “statement pieces.” The survivor of those that were submitted is SCR 112, which we are watching. No matter what the people in the Statehouse vote, it’s not law, and doesn’t reflect how most feel. Once ours is passed it’s law, by our citizens, and that is what matters.
[Correction: Lindsey let us know that they’ll actually begin collecting signatures Friday, March 15th, not Friday, March 8th.]