Marijuana: Idaho High Court Rules Officials Can't Block Legalization Initiative Just Because They Don't Like It

Two years ago in Sun Valley, Idaho, Ryan Davidson wanted to begin petitioning for a municipal initiative that would have allowed Sun Valley residents to possess, grow, and sell marijuana within the city limits of the mountain resort community. But city officials, instead of merely confirming that Davidson's initial petition with 22 signatures was formatted correctly, as specified in the municipal code, rejected his proposed petition altogether, saying it contravened state and federal law and was thus outside the scope of the city's initiative process.

Davidson filed suit and lost in district court, then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. In a decision rendered September 27, the high court unanimously agreed with Davidson. "The City protests that if the Clerk cannot halt unconstitutional initiatives any group could submit petitions for any number of outlandish causes," wrote Justice Roger Burdick for the court. "While it is true that many such initiatives could be proposed, sorting through the substance of proposed initiatives to separate the wheat from the chaff is not the role of the City Clerk. The proper checks on the power of initiative are the voting public and the courts, and a city council retains the power to repeal or amend ill advised ordinances passed by direct legislation."

In addition to allowing for regulated marijuana use and commerce, Davidson's initiative would have directed local law enforcement to make the pot laws their lowest priority. It would also have directed the city to lobby state officials to change the state's marijuana laws.

The court did not rule on whether such an initiative would be constitutional under Idaho law, saying that decision could await the passage of such an initiative. In a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Gerald Shroeder argued that parts of it would violate state law and thus be invalid. "Time, effort and money will have been wasted, except to the extent that lawmakers will have the opinion of a small segment of the state's qualified electors," Schroeder wrote. "Nonetheless, the decision to allow the process to play itself out without judicial intervention is appropriate."

No word yet on whether Davidson will begin a new petition drive now, although it is reasonable to think that someone who has gone to the highest court in the state to win that right is likely to exercise it soon.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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GO RYAN!!!

If the city clerk hasn't felt their place yet then they should look and see where they're standing, I'd bet its not where they thought they were. Mr Davidson should repetition his cause and allow the process to run its course. If its anything like the turn out in Denver then God Bless Him!!!
GOOD LUCK RYAN!!!!!

Do we want to let the East coast control how we live our lives?

Everyone I know says that just won't work for Idaho. 

 As I grew up in Idaho, I was taught that here, we work hard, care about our neighbors and be an individual.

As long as your neighbor wasn't bothering or hurting you, then

"What business is it of mine?" 

I think maybe too many of our "good old boys" have been listening just too closely to Washington DC.

If logic and common sense are what it takes to get this type of law passed here, then I guess we will just have to be patient and VOTE!!!!!!

 

Onward through the fog. 

Right on Bro way to keep

Right on Bro way to keep going strong fight for what you stand behind... Puff puff brother

The Masters of the People

The master's of the people is what We the People have Created. The creatures of government are experiencing a population explosion. From Child Predators, Inside Traders, Alchoholics, and Hipocrites. These people elected into public office are out of control with regard to a persons civil liberties. Small town cronyism has in the recent past caused people to be incarcerated on the word of one (1) good-ole-boy.

Many times people like Mary Jane (fictional city clerk) have no control over their own lives. So in an effort to control other peoples actions, Mary Jane dictates whats good for the people and what is not good for the people.

Mary Jane is supported by all the other people that get their way in small town city government nation wide.

Mary Jane is most of the time the person at happy hour drunk at the bar looking for someone to go home with at the end of the night. And Mary Jane is pissed-off at the world because her life is so shitty. I.e. Her old man keeps going hunting,fishing,camping etc. on Broke-Back mountain.

Equity in this type of city government is rare. One must subscribe to the "cliques" form of rule. Most of the time it is called "Home Rule". In this type of government. One can quickly see how individuals with no constitutional ethics or ethics in general, will define home rule as meaning; "We can do what we want". You and I know that people like Mary Jane exist in American Government.
I leave you with this thought?

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.
—Clarence S. Darrow

New Petition Now!

Davidson, and any others promoting marijuana legalization... I will vote and help promote any way I can, and know plenty others who will participate as well. So let's all come together as one here in the state of Idaho, and repetition for the state law to make it legal as it should be for us all. My email is [email protected]

Let's all get together on this one and help the revolution.

P.S. Keep in mind that history repeats itself, think of the early 1900's when alcohol, a true killer and its prohibition days actually flew, and stand to this day. Let's reverse those effects and put something that saves lives into affect!

Email Me!

What needs to happen inorder to LEGALIZE IT

HELLO,
I am wondering what needs to happen in order for the state to legalize mj as medicine as other states have, I am understood that if we the people present the same cases that have been decided on by judges of other states that there is a win win situation because in the court of law they have to respect the rulings of the other judges, please help if you are in understanding of all the precedings and thank you for any considerations

Legalize Marijuana

I think it should be legalized in Idaho. It should be put under the same category as Alcohol. I think it is hypocritical to keep Alcohol legal and not Marijuana. There are statistically more crimes done when under the influence of alcohol then under the influence of Marijuana. Statistically speaking the majority of crimes relating to Marijuanna are simply being in the possession of it. If it is regulated the way alcohol is the State could actually beneifit from it. The prison system would be given a relief. I don't use Marijuana, I vote to legalize it.

huh?

"Time, effort and money would be wasted"? Isn't the point of legalization to save all the time, effort and money poured into arresting citizens?

Response to HUH

Exactly!!!! So why hasnt our goverment figured that out already?

An end to foreign capital gains.

I favor legalized, regulated marijuana. I`ve indulged since the age of 19 on and off and have never once acted like I do when I`m drunk when I get high. While he`s at it, I suggest others take a shot at passing much harsher laws against corrupting minors with drugs and alcohol.
I find it very strange that people claiming to be conservatives fight harder for federal pork than they do for justice; or is our justice system afraid to step on the wrong toes in the black market drug trade? That`s right people, too many of those good ol` boys are moving product.

xCannabis is supporting this Idaho legalization campaign now!

Check out www.xCannabis.com, we have a page dedicated specifically to legalization of marijuana in Idaho!

Good luck appealing to logic

Good luck appealing to logic and reason in a country where 70% of the population believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Its difficult to have sensible policy when the vast majority just believes whatever is shoved in thier face and dont know how to think for themselves. Im hoping that the invention of the internet will eventually help wake some of those people up now that they can actually seek out more information than what is presented to them.

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