On Wednesday, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee approved two anti-marijuana resolutions.
Senator Chuck Winder explained, “We are making a statement that we as a legislature, at this time, do not support the legalization of marijuana because of the impact we’ve seen in the other states around us.”
One of the measures urges the government to enforce existing drug laws along borders with states that continue to relax marijuana statutes. The other measure is a resolution affirming Idaho’s position against any use of marijuana, medical or otherwise.
Both resolutions are symbolic policy gestures, but they are headed to the Senate for debate.
At a public hearing on the measures Wednesday, more than 150 people — including more than a dozen teens wearing red “Don’t let Idaho go to pot” t-shirts — packed a Capitol auditorium to debate marijuana use.
Some people said they have considered moving out of Idaho due to its strict marijuana laws. Others argued for the medical benefits of marijuana. But law enforcement and anti-drug groups made their presence known and backed the measure against marijuana, “a gateway drug.”
Idaho neighbors marijuana-friendly states, including Oregon and Montana.