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New Approach Idaho Seeks To Legalize Marijuana In 2016


new approach idaho marijuanaWhen it comes to marijuana policy, Idaho is a very, very scary place. I have a lot of family in the Middleton and Nampa area of Idaho, and some of the stories they have told me have frightened me. My cousin had to serve several months in jail simply because he had a used pipe in his pocket. Another cousin gave up using marijuana altogether because the risk of getting caught, and the punishment that goes with it, was just too much for him. Why marijuana is OK on one side of the Snake River, but considered to be one of the worst things on the planet on the other side of the Snake River, is beyond me.

A group is trying to change that. Per KSL.Com:

New Approach Idaho is the latest pro-marijuana organization to emerge after a string of failed attempts by other groups over the years to legalize marijuana in Idaho.

Idaho’s marijuana laws are archaic and illogical, New Approach member Bill Esbensen said. Idahoans suffering from medical ailments shouldn’t have to worry about being arrested for possession, he said.

“If we regulate it, then much of it will be off the streets,” Esbensen said. “Prohibition has failed.”

The battle to legalize in Idaho will not be hard. I often think of Idaho being one of the last states to end marijuana prohibition. However, if enough resources get pumped into the state, and there is enough organization on the ground, anything is possible. I will say that the signature requirement in Idaho is much lower than most other states (53,751), which requires much less money for a signature campaign, which will be helpful to Idaho’s efforts.


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Johnny Green


  1. It is going to pass the old united states of hurting someone’s feelings and banning everyone’s rights is over. The people are standing up and saying enough. Our sheriff’s office wants to expand our jail wich is full of Marijuana users. Legalization would release those poor people who are not criminals.

  2. Idaho should legalize Marijuana because our state could benifit from cultivation of pot on a large scale. Farmers would ditch potatoes to grow that wonderful crop.

  3. I suffered a head injury that was severe enough to detach my retina and left me with a permanent migraine type of headache. My doctor prescribed hydrocodone, problem is I’m allergic to it and all other opiates. I found that marijuana gave me relief from the pain. However since I live in Idaho seeking relief can get me in serious trouble. I don’t get what gives someone the right to force me to live in pain needlessly because of their moral values. They don’t like marijuana then that’s fine. I’m not forcing them to use it. Where is the equality here? I bet if I took away their alcohol, which they use only for their own enjoyment, they would scream their heads off. I don’t drink the stuff by the way. I would just like some relief from the constant pain, is that really too much to ask?

  4. I am so sorry that you’re going threw such a tough time I have no idea why idaho is not leaglized yet I honestly do think going to Oregon or washington would be the best idea for you because you never know when it will be legal, we all have no clue it might be to lait by the time it is do what you think is best for yourself stay strong I hope the best for you idaho is just not the place to stay at times like yours why take a bunch of meds that will give you other symptoms that might kill you. I am not trying to tell you what to do but do what you think is going to the best for your self I am so sorry this is happening to you I wish you luck

  5. I have a rare form of CRPS from brain damage. I’m a patient of one of the pain clinics in Boise. As of right now all pain clinics are following the CDC which is against pain meds, and want to be rid of them completely. I have followed the law and rules to try to have a life with less pain, but they keep taking more and more away and can’t offer another treatment like cannabis even though my doctor has said it would be the best for me. Even went far enough to say I should look into moving my family to Washington or Oregon. Honestly I believe that we should allow medical use in idaho. They can treat and heal so many things instead of using something addictive. But as all people who live in the idaho medical communities we know idaho is 5 to 10 yrs behind medical. And are people are behind with ideals almost 100 years. Prohibition never works, if people want something they will find away to get it, all it does is keeps criminals with the money and power. Our only hope is that people will wake up and see that it can help so many.

  6. Idaho is so freaking ignorant they can’t see an inch in front of their own face

  7. It’s really a no-brainer. Washington is expected to get 305 Million in taxes from legal MJ in 2016. Colorado is booming and tax dollars are rolling in…Idaho has one of the worst educational systems in the country, don’t you think Idaho could use a 300 million dollar a year boost in taxes? I’m trying to understand what ID is waiting for…

  8. Bill Esbensen…you are a snitch. This little faggot turned me in to the cops and got me busted for handing him a 1/4 pound of weed for painting my house only to get himself out of trouble he was in at that time

  9. If marijuana were legalized throughout the U.S., our country would be brought out of debt and continue to prosper further. Legalize it. I used to smoke it and don’t anymore, but it is way better than alcohol. Smoke a little herb and be happy. Alcohol ruins families and relationships. To have marijuana as a schedule one drug, right along with opiates, meth and cocaine, is simply illogical. Cannabis is far healthier than pharmaceuticals and the side effects that come with them, whether you inhale our ingest it.

  10. I am a everyday user in the state of Idaho I wish it would become legal medically because no other reason other then to help others I have chronic back pain plus ADD (Ritalin and adderall are both man made and addictive Ritalin is just a simple form of crack and adderall is legal amphetamines) it helps me focus on my every day plus it helps with my pain am I going stop because legal issues no but I would love to not have to look over my shoulder all the time plus think of all the things it can prevent like cancer etc!!! And just think it ain’t man made like all the other drugs its a natural plant that has been here for more time then man himself so I leave my self wondering if the can sell legal speed and amphetamines why not the use of legal natural plants

  11. I have been clean since 1988, when I was busted for sale and possession, that year I was in college and was a 4.0 student, smoking a little bit between classes helped me concentrate and maintain my GPA. After getting out of Jail I went back to school to get a degree in a different field because the field I was in was no longer a class choice. SO I went into Computer Technologies, I barely maintained a 2.9 GPA but did graduate with a Associates degree. I feel I did better in school with the use of Marijuana than without because it was harder for me to concentrate on the tasks at hand and trying to control my ADHD. I used to help me mellow out and maintain my thought processes. Doctors put me on Ritalin to help and it did, but the side effects were so bad I could not function, Had headaches, and stomach was always upset. So I had to quit taking it. I do not like the high feeling of the THC but the medical CBD effect I thing would help me in several aspects of my life. I look forward to a day I can use, and possibly cure my CANCER that I currently am fighting, I know from my past it would bring a better quality to my everyday life. A cup or two of CDB tea a day, would definitely help my mind set, so I could function better in my every day tasks.

  12. Yes, it’s a no brainer. Should absolutely be legal recreationally on a federal level. Way better for you than alcohol with many amaizing benefits.

  13. Look at what is happening in Oregon and Washington …. Legalization trumped medical marijuana in Washington and Oregon medical marijuana is In jeopardy… Be careful what you wish for .. These activists are PAID to be pro legalization .. Legalization = government control ….

  14. Kristipher Cordingley on

    I dont use cannabis myself (i used to a few years ago), but i have first hand experience as to its medical benefits via my buddy in Portland, OR and his epileptic daughter. Amazing results with the right strain after 15 minutes of initial dosing. Brought tears to my eyes. I have much growing knowledge that i would love to share with the good people of Idaho ( I live in Twin Falls) to help with thier medical needs. This needs to happen.

  15. I think medical marijuana should be aloud in Idaho Cuz for one proscription drugs that you get from the docs are way bad for you I’m a paranoid schizophrenic,bipolar, ADHD, when I was younger I used marijuana so I would go in to a schizophrenic atack and it dose calm the voices I hear in my head so I could eat sleep and live my life with out having to worrie about freaking out on the people I love some times it gets so bad I have blacked out wake up in the snow freazeing Cuz the voices I’ve scared my wife so bad that she hid from me Cuz I blacked out and I’m not like I’m a vary nice person that has a problem and marijuana fixed it completely then in 2010 I got arrested for having marijuana and I got 5 years felony probation and 5 years over my head in prison it bull shit a person shouldn’t have to go threw so much stress over something that was hear be for we wear marijuana was put hear for a reason and that was to help the people get better since I stopped smoking I hear voices all the time and I can’t sleep because of it it 6 o clock in the morning and I haven’t went to bed I’m tired but I can’t sleep and if they legalized marijuana it would decrease all the people shooting each other cuz they drunk or high off of man made drugs and the government wonders why people die all the time over man made drugs they should treat it just like alcoholic and who knows the government could tax marijuana and pull the united States out of det but do u think they help use people in Idaho get better almost every state around Idaho is medical Cuz they care about there people and marijuana can help people who want to quit drinking and stop killing there liver and them self’s people say its a gate way drug no its not people make there own distions in life to try new things just how people try new food or try new eventchers and marijuana could help people stop smoking sigs and better there lungs Cuz you can eat marijuana and still have it help The people like me that are sick

  16. I recommend everyone who has Netflix to watch the documentary called The Culture High. This is why it needs to be legalized. Do we need to go out holding signs resembling hippies? “NO” We need to keep it professional. We don’t need to go out acting a certain way because of the typical stereotypes.
    I don’t take in marijuana myself it doesn’t do me any good. I do know several people who need it to function in life. To me it’s better than going to the doctors paying that huge bill, seeing a therapist to tell you what you already know, and then taking in damaging life threatening prescription drugs. It helps with nausea in the early stages of pregnancy where there are now law suits for the anti nausea prescribed medicine that caused birth defects. It helps with depression when the prescription pills cause addictions that lead to death from overdose. Seizures it relaxes the muscles in the brain that cause seizures with out any other damaging side effects. I know this from my own brother who was born with cerebral palsy and gets punished shed for using when with out and on prescriptions could mean his life.

    Now this goes back to before religion Native Americans used this natural remedy to heal. Religion is a joke to me so many sinners in one room to drink the blood of Christ that damages your liver and causes alcohol induced hepatitis. To preach that you can only love in a certain way with certain people and that’s the only way life can be. There are so many reasons I won’t practice religions. I live to love life and everything life brings. Life carries seeds and those seeds grow to nourish life.

    How does chemicals in a lab help nourish life? I’ve seen it destroy so many. Chemicals now in our food, cleaners, medications, skin products and hygienic needs that once was not there causing cancer, diabetes, obesity, and hormonal changes…. The list of those effects can go on forever.

    I don’t understand where the wires got crossed in thinking that marijuana is so bad. There are so many like me who need to stand up. It doesn’t matter if you use it or not. It’s the facts of the benefits it brings to those who are suffering from life threatening diseases that this can benefit.

    I’m not going to agree to only medical usage signed by a doctor because not everyone can afford a doctor bill. And if you can go in the store and buy a pack of life threatening cigarettes or beer, then why can’t you buy marijuana the same way? People afraid that there children will grow up to use. Well why aren’t you worried that you child will grow up to possibly become an alcoholic? Because they have access to that.

    I have hopes of this world becoming a broader better world. I don’t see the wrong in legalizing marijuana nationwide, but I really hope that this nation can wake up and realize it’s for the better in so many ways. I stand firm on legalizing marijuana.

  17. I think marijuana should be legal nation wide. I think alcohol should be illegal nation wide but that’s not going to happen because all the alcoholics are governing this country God forbid they not be able to go home to their cold one after a hard long days work of sitting on their asses.

  18. My Bible says, ” God put ALL seed baring plants on this earth for my use. No matter how I consume Marijuana it has the same affect. My religious beliefs are being violated, because some person in government has a control issue, and wants to regulate what makes me feel better. When my anxiety, and pain becomes more than I can bare, I’ll at least know who to visit. Willing to help legalize if needed.

  19. Mel Schumacher on

    Chronic Pain person since 1995 I am knock kneed ( my right knee wants to move in with my left knee). I have bone on bone disc problems. My left hip is, well the bone is disintegrating. I have been on every kind of pain meds including liquid morphine. This has caused gastrointestinal intestinal problems (severe constipation) I will say my pain management Doc has taken me of of Fentanyl patches and all oral meds as I have a pain pump which delivers a semi adequate relief , the pump- has dilaudid and morphine and some numbing stuff.I could go on but this looks like a good place to stop. I have smoked and it makes my pain easier to handle and it does a lot for my depression. There has to be a solution. I feel Idaho should get off of their a.. and Legalize Medical Marijuana. God Bless You all!!!!

  20. Richard McDonough on

    I have a web site: initiativepetitionsidaho.com The purpose is to put a printable version of the signature page on the web site and a copy of the proposed initiative that anybody can print from their home computer. Web sites like weed blog will direct people to the web site. Signatures gathered in a public place are few and far between. The person wants to sign, but thinks what if somebody sees me that I know signing this petition. For this issue it does not work. This is for any initiative petition such as restore the right to vote to felons who have served their sentence. Who wouldn’t sign this one? Anybody want to get on the band wagon and start this petition will be doing the state a favor I know…Idaho sucks…why should I do anything for idaho? Because in 2018 there will be a federal law on the ballot in every state. Odds are good it will pass and we need every voter in this of year election. There is also a site initiativepetetionsnevada.com same program. well you get the idea. It is called government by the people. If the initiative passes and the republicrats wont get out of the way of the peoples will, vote that face out nest election. They will get the message. I do need help with the web sites and wordpress. I am pretty green when it comes to wordpress. However I am not green when it comes to the green and the press. I probably will have my hand out for money someday…My HP 600 office jet printer is getting a little ratty and WOW is this eating up a bunch of time. I have only been working on this for a week and the crap has yet to hit the fan. When Idaho site is functional it will be very interesting. There is a web site called thepetitionsite.com. Go there and search Medical marijuana Idaho. Sign the petition AND make a comment about the thugs in Idaho. I mean BISINESS. If you can help email me at ohc6rus@gmail.com or call me at 775 727 0881

  21. Agreed.. if you are going to show up at a marijuana rally, at least look and act like a respectable human being with some intelligence. If all you can say is “legalize it dude”.. and behave like Cheech and Chong then please do us all a favor and stay home.. You should also register to vote. I am not registered but will be if any marijuana legislation comes up.

  22. Dave, separation of church and state is not in the constitution. You will find that the case law is a 1947 federal case that used an 1803 letter from Jefferson to a church as their basis for separation of church and state. The only thing in the constitution is that the government can’t set up or endorse and particular religion or prohibit the practice of any religion. Since I have cancer, I would like to see it used at least for medical usage. However, I have not used it in 25 years. That doesn’t mean I have a problem with others using it. So get it passed please.

  23. I agree, totally, that the Bob Marley shirts and the behaviors of those who act like idiots due to their pot smoking is causing more problems then helping. If they continue this insane behavior it will make it, next to, impossible to get it legalized. I’ve used it for years. I’ve self medicated with alcohol, I’ve followed doctors instructions with medications. All I ever managed to do was abuse both, alcohol and the prescriptions. On top of that the side effects can be awful. With marijuana I’ve not struggled with side effects. It’s never made me mean like alcohol does. My marriage is better with it, whereas, alcohol and pills helped contribute to divorce. Marijuana has helped me through 3 bouts of cancer, gun shot wounds, back pain, (10 back surgeries), neck pain, chronic stomach problems due to a chemical spill I was exposed to. The list of health issues that it has been beneficial for me could go on and on. My wife use to work in the mental health field and, where she was once opposed to anything connected to the use of Marijuana, she is now convinced of its medicinal attributes. I was able to maintain my own business for over 20 years, raised all of my kids, maintained a house, cars, traveled…you name it, I could do it all while using Marijuana. So, I know, first hand, that Marijuana doesn’t always make people lazy and forgetful, stupid or irresponsible. I’m living proof that Marijuana should be made legal for those individuals who, truly, need it. I would like to find a ballot or petition somewhere that, both, my wife and I could sign. Anything I could do to help, I would, happily do. Thank you.

  24. well said healTHCare. I feel we need to take adult look at the economic value of the legalization of marijuana. why is this the poverty state? no money to improve roads. no money to pay workers ( mine have left the state. same craft, different state, twice or more money.) not to mention hind tit in education and education is the key. by the way our potatoes are not that famous any more ask the UK. How about being the leading producer of hemp and their products. ie marijuana. hell, spend a little on schools maybe improve teaching skills, open new ideas for young minds.
    what about our most abundant resource the outdoors. nobody wants to ” go to Idaho on vacation, leave on probation ” cant have a puff and enjoy the beauty. or to relieve any ailment.
    Any way,got me going. the laws are made by the people for the people not votes counted behind closed doors.
    It’s time for the government to here the people and lose this police state attitude. I think there are enough minds to formulate our own policies to create a beneficial program that effects all, consumers and non and NO. kids should not smoke pot !! Gotta go

  25. Idaho fails to separate church and state is why its evil. it is 6% of all counties in favor not 53,751

  26. ThankTheLordForThatBurningBush on

    The name “Marijuana” is a slang term the Government and Anti-Cannabis lobbyists gave ALL forms of Cannabis to make it sound more “Foreign” during the Anti-Cannabis Propaganda of the early 1900s. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis are all “Marijuana” by their definition. However the proper name(s) for the plant has and always will be Hemp or Cannabis. The name “Marijuana” was a made up by our deceitful government to scare ignorant & racist people away from using the plant. :)

  27. Winona Anderson on

    I agree. With all the promising research and data that is coming in about the use of oils in patients with seizures, children firstly, this is the angle to use to push the legalization. Cancer, bowel, digestive, mental issues….all need to be used as evidence to get the “bill” rolling. I am living around Sandpoint and you KNOW there are many up here that would benefit from using the oils and other forms. I also believe there needs to be a lot more research into the uses and refining of the source of the medicine. I am just beginning to research what we as individuals can do to aid in the passage of a law that will allow the use of medical marijuana here in Idaho. Maybe you have some insight?

  28. It’s good that Idaho wants to legalize Marijuana but how about they legalize Cannabis Indica as well? “Marijuana” is a slang term for Cannabis Sativa which is hemp.

  29. I moved from Sandpoint Idaho, and now own the only medical marijuana shop in Billings Montana, Montana Advanced Caregivers.

  30. The most digestible approach for swaying public opinion and the politicians to even address the idea of allowing marijuana in Idaho is through compassion. Compassion for the sick and terminal, young and old, your neighbors child, your own grandparents. Politicians won’t do anything that doesn’t benefit their better interests.

  31. Good for you:) While Oregon becomes a better state, Idaho will raise taxes and throw every citizen in jail. Idaho is all about low wages and no money for schools, roads or recreation, where is the petition, where is it??

  32. We have to get it legalized as soon as possible, the drug war has damaged to many lives, It needs to be legal and not just for medical purposes. When will our elected officials dare to do the right thing? When we insist they do!

  33. We need to speak out, group together, sign petitions and get our government to realize that we do want legalization.
    It’s time to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling, lets get this pushed on and get it passed!

  34. One thing that I think hurts the legalization effort in Idaho is at every rally there is a large group of people hooting and hollering dressing up and Bob Marley shirts acting weirdand shouting f*** yeah. don’t show up to the rallies acting like a goof take a shower clean yourself up get some facts about marijuana use as a medicine and be prepared to face someone who opposes the idea them into your belief share with them how would have helped you in the past. learn some statistics about how the states that have legalized it now see if you were drinking and driving deaths how less children have been arrested for marijuana possession and usage learn something useful and share with people let them see you as a clean intelligent functioning and necessary part of society talk with them and let them see that not everyone that uses marijuana is someone scary your dangerous or as a face full of nose rings a lip rings and anything else that would make you seem threatening to the average Idahoan. perception is the issue here if somebody that comes to fight against legalization seems everyone normal and peaceful and seamless in you blend in with them they will start to listen to the statistics and the fact that you give them so give yourself the best chance for legalization and show them you are just like they are that you have a job that you have ambition that you have desire to function in society that’s what’s keeping legalization out of Idaho the average person who hasn’t used believes marijuana in any form will make u turn into a spastic idiot that can’t hold a job that is unhealthy or sickly so let’s work together and change that

  35. Idaho should allow marijuana but finds it easier to make criminals out of it’s citizens. Illegal it creates jobs for the arresting officer, defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, probation officer, drug courts, treatment centers, etc. Now money will have to be generated for lobbyist, politicians, and ads to sway the public. Idaho should pass a medical program out of compassion. Regulation and education are the tools needed to create a viable program. The difference between recreational and medical is like anything, the way it is used. Recreational can be taxed, where as medical is a tax deduction, as most medical patients have exhausted all finances and are in debt. Idaho may change it’s perspectives after it ruins the futures of those that end up with police records for a victimless crime.

  36. Me TOO!! I LOVE the Rogue River. I grow and fish from her streams. Most peaceful place on earth.
    I moved from Oregon to Texas and was trapped in Tx. for too long. If you think pot laws are screwed up in Idaho, move to Texas. The whole entire south is run by Baptists and I have yet to meet one with a green thumb. Southerners are hard core drinkers because marijuana law’s are very strict. When I moved there in 88, it was legal to drink and drive. There was no “breathalyzer” and the drinking age was 18. And a joint would get you 5-10 for a simple possession. Now, a DUI will cost you big money and loss of your licence for a year and you can now get 10-20 years for an oz. of shwag Mexican dirt weed. (That’s all they have in Tx.,La.& Ok.)

  37. go to the meet and greet.Boise.. december…or send donations…the New Approach Idaho has a web site….

  38. We need this guy in idaho to legalize medical marijuana stop wasting my money good job dude who pushing this I would love to help u if needed

  39. Thank you for the beautiful sour grape…wonderful medicine…

    Just a little old lady, growing the best around…nothing to do but walk the dog and tend the girls…Nice job, if you can get it….

  40. believe that is “amiga”… :>)

    however..if you want hounded by the local LEO in the land of I”don’t”know it is your choice. The standard “I smell marijuana” and the drug dog lurks at every “pretense” traffic stop. In addition, the threat of having your property confiscated, your children removed and spending some serious money on lawyers and probably serious time in jail, with a record that will follow you like a shadow, by all means stay in Idaho.

  41. How about you move there and do the same…..we can’t all afford to be activist. If your poor and the cops target you sitting in jail is all you can afford to do….no thanks.

  42. Thanks. At this point, I’d be thrilled if Idaho even passed simple decriminalization… my pessimism is really deep on this one. I mean, last year the Idaho legislature went our of their way to pass a bill which was nothing more than “never, never, never will we accept marijuana in any way”. They even mocked the idea of medical use by putting “medical” in quotes in the bill itself.

    Have a look: http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/SCR112.pdf

    Crazy stuff.

  43. We here in Oregon will be praying/dancing/rooting/meditating/cheering you on, hoping for another win against prohibition.

  44. Glad to have you aboard there amigo =D However, don’t they need you there for your vote and support right now?

  45. Dorothy Burrows on

    I moved across the snake river to Oregon because of scary Idaho Marijuana laws. Its much more peaceful here.

  46. The final paragraph reads “will not be hard”. I know you meant just the opposite.

    Wish us luck here in Idaho…

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