Blaine County GOP Votes to Support Legalizing Marijuana

2013-01-09T10:38:00Z 2013-09-10T11:38:33Z Blaine County GOP Votes to Support Legalizing MarijuanaBy Melissa Davlin Twin Falls Times-News

BOISE • A group of Republicans in the Wood River Valley want to change how Idaho looks at marijuana criminalization.

On Tuesday, the Blaine County Republican Central Committee passed a resolution to legalize marijuana.

The resolution isn’t law, nor will it necessarily lead to a law. A resolution simply states the central committee’s support for a proposed policy.

Committeman Mike Connor said the resolution passed 6-2. Much of the discussion before the vote focused on the failure of the War on Drugs, and how to most effectively keep marijuana away from children, he said.

“The Blaine County GOP believes that the time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, and education,” the resolution says. It goes on to discuss violent crime and the black market that marijuana criminalization has created, and how legalization will help regulation.

Not all Blaine County Republicans agree with the resolution. Sheriff Gene Ramsey, who didn’t attend the meeting, said marijuana and other drugs should remain illegal.

“I think that we need to, as a nation, take a hard stand on drugs,” Ramsey said. With marijuana decriminalization, “we’re sending the wrong example to our youth.”

After passage of the resolution, the Blaine County Republicans will send the resolution to the state committee.

“That’s probably as far as it’s going to go for now,” he said.

Idaho Republican Party executive director Joshua Whitworth said county central committees pass resolutions all the time.

“That’s the first I’ve heard on marijuana,” he said.

Connor said the Blaine County Republicans aren’t trying to encourage drug use.

“It’s not about doing drugs. I want to be very clear about that,” he said. But regulation will ensure criminals won’t benefit from the sale of marijuana, he said.

Ramsey acknowledged that there might be problems with the War on Drugs.

“It may not be working, but that doesn’t mean you should just give up,” he said. “I think law enforcement’s role is to stay proactive on this issue.”

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. medicalmarijuanaforidaho
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    medicalmarijuanaforidaho - January 06, 2014 4:56 pm
    Thanks for the great information and I agree the tax could help Idaho with much needed revenue, and it could bring many jobs as well.

    Jesus Christ died for my sins, I pray several times a day and he fills my heart and mind, unfortunately I have not been healed from severe degenerative bone disease that ravages my body and leaves me in a wheelchair and with chronic pain. The amazing Marijuana plant that he blessed us with helps tremendously and increases the quality of my daily life.

    It is refreshing to see someone that does not use this medicinal plant to stand up for the rights of those that due. Thanks and God bless you :)
  2. medicalmarijuanaforidaho
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    medicalmarijuanaforidaho - January 06, 2014 4:49 pm
    This news gives me hope, I recently moved back to Idaho because I could not afford the cost of living in California I had lived here most of my adult life until last year, I love Idaho except for the cold and the legislation. The cold increases my daily suffering from the severe degenerative bone disease that pains me every second of every day, I am 53 and in a wheelchair. I live off of my disability and can not afford to use marijuana medically unless it is legalized and I could be allowed to grow a few plants. Marijuana helped me with the pain as well as the depression that accompanies chronic pain, I would be so relieved if we can get this passed for me and all of those like me, responsible adults with health issues that Marijuana is proven to help. God bless those that are fighting to make this a reality!
  3. Jim_Bob
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    Jim_Bob - January 16, 2013 8:49 am
    Nate, It's super to easy to understand. Attacks against religion won't be tolerated, however, attacks against gays, liberals or anything the bible supports will be. Crystal Clear!
  4. Andre Leonard
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    Andre Leonard - January 15, 2013 1:08 pm
    Outstanding comments here. I think the voice of reason will yet be heard.
  5. Report Abuse
    - January 14, 2013 11:24 am
    Jim_Bob, I think Dan made clear that religion can be a topic of discussion, but we won't allow attacks on religion just for the sake of the attack. This really shouldn't be hard to understand. Thank you.
  6. Jim_Bob
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    Jim_Bob - January 14, 2013 11:09 am
    Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to have discussions about religions on these boards yet here you are waving the jesus flag. Praise allah, zues, odin whatever. Lets thank thor for all the rain and snow recently.
  7. SnakeRiver
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    SnakeRiver - January 11, 2013 12:08 pm
    Legalize the stuff already! Good for them for taking the first step. What is wrong with a guy or girl after a long day at work coming home, throwing PJ's on and firing up a doobie? Nothing! It's the same as pouring a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette or throwing in a chew. None of the above are good for you, but it will STILL happen. And I agree with Burley Man in that if someone has a terminal illness let them have a joint for goodness sakes!
  8. BurleyMan
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    BurleyMan - January 10, 2013 11:09 am
    I'm was really surprised to see all of these comments in favor of legalizing marijauana.

    Having known several people who have died from cancer and seeing the effects of chemothrerapy It would have been nice to see at least some compassion in trying to ease their pain.

    We need less control from DC and more from right here at home!
  9. Jose3
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    Jose3 - January 09, 2013 4:35 pm
    For the first time in many years I am not ashamed of being a Republican.
    Report Abuse
    GPICCIUTO - January 09, 2013 3:49 pm
    "...“It may not be working, but that doesn’t mean you should just give up,”.."

    And that my friends is why after 40 years we are still doing this ridiculous "War on Drugs". That mentality, somehow hoping or expecting this approach to all of the sudden work year after year, failure after failure. It's not giving up, it's progressing.
  11. flyboy
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    flyboy - January 09, 2013 1:01 pm
    I agree, the Republicrats or Demopublicans if you prefer are a one party system at the Federal level, the game continues no matter who's in charge, and thus they both grow Government and suppress liberty. I think local party groups like the Blaine GOP are fronting more of a Libertarian approach, local Government is the last true control and ownership of the people.
  12. reclamationking
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    reclamationking - January 09, 2013 12:58 pm
    >“I think that we need to, as a nation, take a hard stand on drugs,” Ramsey said. With marijuana decriminalization, “we’re sending the wrong example to our youth.”<

    What about banning Alcohol?

    Alcohol use is very common in Idaho. In fact, alcohol is currently used by more Americans than any drug other than caffeine. Drinking alcohol has immediate effects that can increase the risk of many harmful health conditions.

    Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer. Alcoholism occurs when an individual's drinking frequently interferes with work, social life, family life, or health. There are an estimated 17.6 million adults who exhibit signs of alcoholism and an additional 16.7 million who are heavy users of alcohol, which means roughly one out of twelve adults are affected. 11 The heaviest drinking is done by 6 to 10 percent of the adult population, who consume an average of 4 or more drinks daily. These drinkers account for almost 50 percent of the total alcohol consumption. Women account for over one-third of the membership of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are about 3-4 million teen alcoholics.

    Chemical dependency among older adults is a growing problem. A government report stated that up to 17 percent of adults, 60 or older, have a problem with alcohol abuse. Over one-third of these developed the problem after reaching the age of 60. Factors involved include grief over the loss of a spouse or friend, loss of a job through retirement or dislocation of the family.

    Four in ten Americans (more than 100 million) have been affected by drinking which affects one in every three families.

    Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. ... It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat ... than alcohol or tobacco."

    The tax on Idaho Marijuana could help Counties and Schools and free up need jail beds.

    I do not use Marijuana or drink Alcohol in any form, but see no need to ban it when people will do what they need to to get.

    Jesus Christ has filled my body so I do not need drugs.

  13. flyboy
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    flyboy - January 09, 2013 12:46 pm
    Good job Blaine! The war on drugs is a failure and many high ranking law enforcement personnel support this fact. Sorry that your Sherriff is standing with the old guard, perhaps he prefers the big funding the war on drugs provides his office, kick-backs unfortunately still take precedence over principal. Colorado and Washington are the first of what will be a complete reversal of these silly laws, Idaho should follow suite, time for States to grow up and tell the Feds and their corporate masters to buzz off, time to take our freedoms back.

  14. IdahoHeathen
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    IdahoHeathen - January 09, 2013 11:28 am
    The GOP's forced marriage of "smaller government" to social backwardism (they call it social "conservatism" but there's nothing conservative about telling individuals what they can or cannot do when it harms nobody else) simply can never work. Republicans have NEVER decreased the size, expense, or invasiveness of government. They've done virtually nothing to defend individual liberty. They are too enamored with being the "morality police." And they can never admit they were wrong. It's been over 40 years since Nixon declared war on drugs. It's cost over a TRILLION dollars, and it hasn't made us freer, safer, or "more moral." It's ruined the lives of peaceful, nonviolent people far more than it has harmed those who profit from illicit trade. THAT is the moral issue, not whether someone has a "special" brownie or puffs on a pipe to relax at the end of the day. The War on Drugs doesn't just have problems, it is THE problem. Addiction is a medical/health issue. We don't lock people up for alcoholism, and not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. But most Republicans and many Democrats choose to willfully ignore such inconvenient facts because they are contrary to their preconceived notions.

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