SJR 101, a constitutional amendment proposal in the Senate made it through the Senate State Affairs Committee last week.
The proposal had a total of 23 Senators signed onto the measure. Sen. Scott Grow (R-Eagle) was the primary sponsor and he had 22 other Senators signed on as co-sponsors.
In order to pass SJR 101, two-thirds of the Senate would need to approve in order to send the measure to the Idaho House. According to the Attorney General’s office, this means that 24 Idaho Senators would need to vote in favor of SJR 101.
Going into today’s vote, that meant that SJR 101 was one Senator short of its list of sponsors/cosponsors.
After a lengthy floor debate, SJR 101 was passed through the Idaho Senate on a 24-11 vote and will now move to the Idaho House.
Sen. C. Scott Grow (R-Eagle) said the measure was necessary to protect Idaho’s families. Grow listed off a number of reasons he is bringing the proposal forward.
Grow listed as one of the reasons,
This amendment will allow Idahoans to choose for themselves whether they want to live in a drug-free state, free from drug culture, or not.
Grow continued with seven total reasons and said that burdens and risks to law enforcement. Grow addressed a number of questions in his opening statement, including saying that having the FDA listed in the amendment is not a concern.
Grow also said that CBD oil would not be illegal under SJR 101 citing several attorneys he had spoken to.
In closing, Grow said,
This is our opportunity to cast a vote to protect and preserve Idaho, to promote the health and safety of our children, families, and communities.
After Grow completed his opening statement and opened the debate, a number of Idaho Senators spoke in favor of and against SJR 101.
Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum) said she opposed the measure. Stennett read a letter from a disabled veteran who has terminal cancer and that the veteran was severely damaged from the currently legal drugs he was taking. The letter states that the veteran’s doctors would give him medical cannabis but can’t because it is not legal in Idaho.
Sen. Ali Rabe (D-Boise) also spoke against the bill and said her constituents opposed the measure and felt it wasn’t right to put it in the constitution.
Sen. Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls) spoke in favor of SJR 101 and said he did not want to disappoint his local elected officials and law enforcement.
At least one Republican Senator, Christy Zito (Hammett), spoke against the measure. Zito said that the legislature can’t legislate temperance and morality but said she is personally against using recreational drugs.
Zito went on to say,
I just think that as we approach this, we need to be careful that we honor the choice of the individual, that we are careful not to combine policy with [the] constitution.
Of the other Senators who debated the measure, four Senators spoke in favor of it and one spoke against it. The other Senator that spoke against it was also a Republican, Sen. Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens).
SJR 101 will now go to the Idaho House. It is unclear at this time how many House members are in favor of the measure or opposed to it.
Two-thirds of the Idaho House must also agree to pass this as well which is 47 Idaho House members.
A hearing in the House State Affairs Committee has not yet been set.
Tags: Ali Rabe, C. Scott Grow, Federal Drug Agency, Lee Heider, SJR 101