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Marijuana: Three of Four Reform Initiatives Pass in Hailey, Idaho

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #509)
Consequences of Prohibition
Politics & Advocacy

Voters in small-town Hailey, Idaho, Tuesday approved three out four marijuana initiatives placed on the ballot over the objections of town officials. Initiatives to legalize the medical use of marijuana, make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, and legalize industrial hemp all passed. A fourth measure, which would have mandated the city to tax and regulate marijuana sales, failed.

Some 1,288 eligible voters went to the polls in Hailey, with medical marijuana gaining the most votes (687), followed by hemp (683) and lowest priority (637). Taxation and regulation lost by a margin of 573-674.

The initiatives were the brainchild of Ryan Davidson, chairman of the Idaho Liberty Lobby, who three years ago began efforts to put marijuana on the ballot in the Wood River Valley towns of Hailey, Sun Valley, and Ketchum. Local authorities in all three communities denied his petitions, and a series of court battles ensued, out of which Davidson emerged victorious. Davidson is working on initiatives for Sun Valley and Ketchum.

The initiatives require the city of Hailey to create a Community Oversight Committee to oversee implementation. They also require the city of Hailey to lobby other branches of government for reform of the marijuana laws.

State and local officials are likely not happy. The Idaho Attorney General's Office issued a statement last week reminding voters that marijuana possession is a crime under both state and federal law, and Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson predicted before the vote that the city could be the subject of expensive litigation at taxpayer expense if voters approved the measures.

But now the voters have spoken, and it is up to city officials to heed their will.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, the voters are still fighting off 70 years of negative indoctrination by the government. Re-legalizing, taxing and regulation of marijuana is the right way to go. Make it the same as alcohol, sell it in liquor stores and pay the farmers to grow it for all of its many uses. Quit wasting money on prohibition, it failed for alcohol in the early 1900's it has failed for marijuana for the last 70 years. We need to quit wasting billions of dollars on fighting it and also release all of the people who are in prison only because they were convicted of possession.

"It seems like the voters are more intelligent than the sponsor of the initiatives.
Taxation (and regulation) of marijuana is a singularly BAD idea."

Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:25am Permalink
Giordano (not verified)

Victories over the forces of old and evil continue.  Voting results favoring marijuana decriminalization within the reddest of red states, Idaho, is certain to have a favorable ripple effect across the U.S. and beyond. Its significance should not be overlooked.

Blaine County, Idaho, contains Ketchum, Hailey and the Sun Valley ski resort complex.  The county is like some big refugee camp for Idaho-based Democrats, liberals, long-haired hippy freaks, celebrities, and people with an IQ above room temperature.  Outside Blaine Country, snapping at the gates, are the snarling, drooling, neo-fascist mutants who claw and spit on the Constitution in a frenzied effort to destroy those who do not share their delusions concerning pinkos, druggies, and bon vivant.  It is not a pretty sight.  

It is only fitting that pot smoking enjoys an inseparable bond with skiing.  Or with anything else, for that matter.  But for ski resorts throughout the country and the world, the 2007 Idaho measures presage a new level of competition and commitment for the almighty tourist dollar.

Who is going to want to visit a ski resort where testosterone-poisoned cops rove the countryside seeking fresh meat to bust for smoking herb?  Certainly, one has better things to do with one’s life than deal with gristle-headed authoritarians. Smoking weed is one of them.  In order to compete with the demonstrated new standards of Sun Valley tolerance, ski resorts will have to pass similar municipal measures that decriminalize marijuana. There is simply no other way out for other resorts to remain competitive.


Sat, 11/10/2007 - 1:52am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I hope this is just the beginning... People being put in jail for smoking a herb is just silly and certainly not compasionate. It will always remain a choice if one decides to toke or not; regardless of the dictates of mother government.

Hemp is an excellent food source; the seed's oil is high in Omega 3-6-9 and after oil extraction the 'Hemp Nuts' provide a good source of tasty and high quality protein. Then there is the fiber and hurds...It's absurd that this plant is illegal to grow.

Check out this tale with weed in the plot about the lifestyle that these characters in BC's coastal mountains enjoy! (adult material)

Mon, 11/12/2007 - 4:22pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

what interests made cali gov turn down a hemp bill?

Fri, 11/23/2007 - 12:40pm Permalink

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