BOISE (AP) — As of Tuesday, Idaho shares 77 percent of its border with pot-friendly states, making it an island of abstinence on the legal weed frontier.
With new laws to be enacted in Nevada and Montana and including British Columbia, where medical pot is legal, nearly 80 percent of Idaho now borders legal marijuana, The Spokesman-Review reported. Medical marijuana is permitted in British Columbia, and Canada is moving toward decriminalizing marijuana nationally in 2017.
Recreational marijuana is already legal in Washington and Oregon. In Nevada, where medical pot is already legal, voters just approved recreational sales. Those three states together account for 669 miles of Idaho's 1,605-mile perimeter.
Also Tuesday, Montana voters loosened limits on the state's medical marijuana law, adding another 567 miles marijuana-adjacent territory.
Only the bordering states of Utah and Wyoming continue to have firm bans on pot. The only exception is the supervised use of cannabidiol oil to treat intractable epilepsy or seizure disorders, which Utah permitted in 2014 and Wyoming did so in 2015.
In conservative Idaho, efforts to put a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in Idaho failed this year and two years ago. The only exception is a similar supervised use of cannabidiol oil to treat seizure disorders in up to 25 children, which Gov. Butch Otter signed as an executive order last year.
It is unlikely that the Idaho Legislature will legalize any form of marijuana soon. In 2013, the Legislature passed a resolution against ever legalizing any form of marijuana use for any purpose.
"It is well known that marijuana use adversely affects the health and developing brains of children and adolescents and legalization increases access to this harmful drug," Elisha Figueroa, administrator of the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, said earlier this year.
Possession of less than 3 ounces of marijuana in Idaho is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a $1,000 fine.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com