January 14, 2019

April 24, 2018, Idaho

Idaho is one of the few states where both medical and recreational cannabis are illegal. From the political landscape of the state, it seems like the situation will persist for years to come. Idaho’s gubernatorial elections are approaching and the debate between two Democratic candidates is not giving any hope to cannabis advocates of the state either.

House Representative Paulette Jordon and business tycoon A.J. Balukoff are two frontrunner Democratic candidates for Idaho’s Governor Office. Jordon’s candidacy is hitting the headlines, because if she gets elected, it would be the first time in the history of the country that a native female will hold the governor’s office. On the other hand, Balukoff is a seasoned business and hasn’t held any public office.

In their first televised debate, both democratic candidates were in agreement on a majority of the ongoing issues faced by Idaho. However, they shared dissimilar thoughts on how marijuana policy of the state should be devised.

Idaho’s gubernatorial elections giving any hope to cannabis advocates of the state
Idaho’s gubernatorial elections are not giving hope to cannabis advocates – Image powered by Boisestatepublicradio.org

On the burning issue of gun laws and mass shootings, both of them have dismissed the ridiculous proposal of Trump administration to arm teachers. They have also signed a statewide petition to add the proposition of Medicaid expansion in the next ballot, going to be held in November. They also believe that instead of introducing new taxes to increase education budget, the state should revise its criteria for sales tax exemption.

Even though Jordon has served two terms in the state’s House of Representatives, she hasn’t gotten any support from her Democratic colleagues. Balukoff is enjoying the support of both former and incumbent Democratic legislators despite the fact that he is an ‘outsider’. National groups and celebrities, however, are announcing their support for Jordan.

Regarding cannabis reforms, both candidates are apparently not on the same page. Jordan, for instance, wants the decriminalization of cannabis possession and endorses the legalization of medical marijuana and CBD with little or no traces of THC.

Flag of Idaho
Flag of Idaho – Image powered by 420intel.com

On the other hand, Balukoff talked about marijuana in a diplomatic tone. On recreational cannabis, he said it would be very unlikely that the issue would end up at the governor’s table because the state legislature is in control of anti-cannabis Republicans. On medical marijuana, he put the ball in the federal court. He thinks that cannabis should be declassified to be studied for its therapeutic benefits on the federal level. On marijuana decriminalization, Balukoff brought the issue of opioids. He has admitted that marijuana is not dangerous like it’s classified in the federal legislation. However, he doesn’t support the idea of marijuana legalization to tackle the nationwide opioid epidemic.

All three neighboring states of Idaho have legalized adult-use cannabis, but Idaho is still unyielding on its anti-cannabis stance. Jordan and Balukoff are eyeing the next month’s Democratic primaries. It’s worth mentioning that the state hasn’t elected a Democratic governor for more than 25 years. With Idaho’s strong identity as a Blue state, cannabis proponents might have to wait for many more years to get anything close to legalization.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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