Idaho lawmaker introduces medical marijuana bill

BOISE, Idaho — A northern Idaho lawmaker has introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, sponsored the Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act earlier this week to establish a system for patients to legally obtain and use marijuana.

“This legislation provides another option for medically challenged citizens and provides protections for our citizens as a whole,” Trail said. “It gets down to a states rights issue: Should the use of medical marijuana be determined by the doctor-patient relationship, or by Congress and law enforcement?”

The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee. Chairman Rich Willis said he needed to poll members on the committee before deciding whether to give the bill a public hearing.

Trail said doctors have told him marijuana is less toxic, addictive or expensive than morphine and OxyContin.

“The question is, are we going to continue to treat folks with severe medical conditions this brutally?” Trail said.

If the bill passes, patients would need a certificate from a doctor to get medical marijuana. Patients or their caregivers would also have to register with the state before they could obtain marijuana.

Only treatment centers licensed by the state would be allowed to sell medical marijuana, and patients would be limited to 2 ounces in a 28-day period.

The bill will likely be defeated, said David Adler, director of the University of Idaho’s McClure Public Policy Center. But he added it’s still worth considering.

“The fact Idahoans have to travel to neighboring states to receive the kind of treatment necessary to allay their pain and discomfort speaks to an important public policy issue,” he said.

Trail said he is not interested in legalizing marijuana for other than medical use.

“I’ve stayed away from a lot of fringe groups on this,” he said. “Our focus is simply on providing the option for medical marijuana.”

via : Associated Press

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