Updated on June 15, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana qualifications in Idaho are largely moot since the state is only one of six in the country that basically have no medicinal cannabis program. Even though legislators passed a bill in 2015 that would allow a select few Idahoans to be able to access cannabidiol (CBD) oil that was low in THC, the governor of the state vetoed the bill. No bills were proposed in the 2016 legislative session that even addressed the issue, much less offered any hope for those suffering from serious illnesses.
* Please note: Idaho is still pending legislative vote, however, the state has outlined several key factors for the medical marijuana program in Idaho but it has not been legally enacted as of this time.
The department shall establish a registry of qualifying patients and their primary caregivers and shall issue a registry identification card that shall be valid for two (2) years to a qualifying patient and primary caregiver, if applicable, who submits the following, in accordance with rules adopted by the department:
Qualifying conditions include:
Before issuing a registry identification card, the department shall verify the information contained in the application or renewal form submitted pursuant to this section. In the case of a primary caregiver, the department shall provisionally approve an application pending the results of a criminal history record background check, if the caregiver otherwise meets the requirements of this chapter.
The department shall approve or deny an application or renewal within thirty (30) days of receipt of the completed application or renewal and shall issue a registry identification card within five (5) days of approving the application or renewal. The department may deny an application or renewal only if the applicant fails to provide the information required pursuant to this section, or if the department determines that the information was incorrect or falsified or does not meet the requirements of this chapter. Denial of an application shall be a final agency decision, subject to review pursuant to the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
But these regulations are basically worthless as long as the state government maintains its zealous opposition to medical marijuana. Even though people may meet Idaho medical marijuana qualifications, it doesn’t mean anything because they can’t access medicinal cannabis.
The problem starts at the top, with Governor Butch Otter. Not only did he veto the low-TCH CBD bill in 2015, but he has gone so far as to encourage President Trump to involve himself in state marijuana laws. He wants the federal government to crack down on any use of weed, even in states where voters have chosen to legalize the drug for both medical and recreational use.
As the law stands in Idaho now, merely possessing three ounces or less of pot could result in a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The state’s laws are so draconian that simply possessing a bong or other weed-related paraphernalia could result in the same penalties. If you are caught trying to sell or manufacture paraphernalia, that could result in an incredibly harsh sentence of up to nine years in prison and a fine of as much as $30,000.