TWIN FALLS • The city of Twin Falls should not oppose legalizing marijuana use, a representative with Compassionate Idaho said during Monday’s City Council meeting.

“Right now, people are having to choose between breaking the law or to live in pain,” said Lindsey Rinehart, executive director of Compassionate Idaho, a group that works to raise awareness about legalizing medical marijuana in Idaho.

Rinehart argued in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, saying it was a safer and cheaper option to treat patients in pain.

The council is considering signing a resolution to oppose legalized marijuana. The resolution would urge the federal government to enforce all existing drugs laws.

The Idaho Senate attempted to pass a similar resolution the legislative session, but the motion on a 13-21 vote.

Elisha Figueroa, administrator for the Idaho Office on Drug Policy, responded to the presentation saying that legalized medical marijuana was compassion at too high of a cost.

She argued that medicinal marijuana dispensaries in other states are not marketed to sick patients but to young, white males with a history of drug use.

“Medicinal marijuana is not being marketed to your sick grandma in these states,” she said.

The council did not make a decision during Monday’s meeting. Mayor Greg Lanting reminded the public that the council was not asking to ban the use of marijuana in Twin Falls but urging the federal government to do its job.

Other council members also voiced their opinion following the presentation.

“I’ve spent some time as an officer and working with kids. ... I truly believe marijuana is a gateway drug,” Councilman Don Hall said.

Councilwoman Suzanne Hawkins said she opposed any legalization of marijuana.

“Sometimes compassion is saying no,” she said.

Councilman Shawn Barigar said Idaho will be forced to address the issue sooner than later.

“It is going to be before us. Not before this City Council, but this is something Idaho is going to have to address,” he said. “There needs to be more opportunities for information and discussion.”

The council also listened to a presentation from the police department’s juvenile crime unit regarding school safety.

Capt. Matt Hicks explained that the unit has five school resource officers assigned to patrol schools in the Twin Falls School District. However, all police officers are provided training to make sure they can respond to a crisis.

The school resource officer program patrols schools in the Twin Falls School District, but that only includes 13 out of the 22 schools in Twin Falls. It doesn’t include private or charter schools or the College of Southern Idaho, Hicks said.

“We need to focus on early detection,” Hicks said. “It’s our first line of defense.”

(9) comments

Lindsey Rinehart
Lindsey Rinehart

Thank you for clarifying my stance as for legalizing medical marijuana for patients.

Tumbleweed49
Tumbleweed49

I agree with Don Hall. It would create an unnecessary conundrum sorting out legal from medical.

CBriE
CBriE

How so??

CBriE
CBriE

There are people in pain, suffering, and people dying when they could find relief in this plant. It is drug. And just like any other doctors will tell you that you need to weigh risks and benefits. Just because you don't see the benefits doesn't mean that you should keep others from reaping said benefits. Methamphetamine and cocaine being illegal had not deterred it from being consumed. In fact, it makes it easier to get into the schools of our children. Most will not seek truth when they trust the government so our government needs to do the right thing and honestly educate the masses. Because a teenager usually won't question the product unless they want altercation. If we want The People educated (mostly the kids who are our future and are leading up to their right to vote) we need to make real info and real/quality product to be accepted.

freedomseeker
freedomseeker

The people opposing medical marijuana legalization are clear that they are basing their assumptions and bias based on opinion and are not stating any facts what so ever. Show me where the statistics say dispensaries are catering to young white males? Show me the gateway drug statistics? The gateway is in fact alcohol, which is legal and readily available for teens along with tobacco, prescription medication, cough syrup, spray paint, glue... where is the ban on those? I am disgusted by the fact that all of you opposed to providing safe medicine to people would rather have us all on expensive, addictive prescriptions that create more health problems with their insane side effects making us all slaves to the health care system that nobody can afford hence becoming a bigger burden to tax payers... seriously people this is real and it's always been a healing plant. The "high" effect is 10X less than that of prescribed hydrocodone or oxycontin, valium or even Ambien. (all four have killed people) So the excuse that people just want to get "high" is completely invalid.
http://www.alternet.org/story/156229/another_marijuana_myth_bites_the_dust--the_real_gateway_drug_is_alcohol
https://public.health.oregon.gov/diseasesconditions/chronicdisease/medicalmarijuanaprogram/pages/data.aspx

CBriE
CBriE

Not only the prescriptions, inhalants, etc, but there are far more dangerous things in people's pantries than in cannabis yet they feel entitled to chastise cannabis supporters/consumers. It's asinine.

Ramsey
Ramsey

Hall and Hawkins are wrong out of habit. Barigar, Lanting, and Munn know better.

SnakeRiver
SnakeRiver

The Gateway drug theory has been both proven and dis-proven by a variety of studies. But if one wants to go in that direction one must include alcohol and tobacco as gateway drugs. But alcohol and tobacco are legal and you can get them at any gas station, supermarket, or shop here in town. For God's sake,people!! Let 'em smoke! If someone has six months left...let them live those six months in peace, free of pain. Those opposed to medical weed I say this: Go out with friends, have a smoke or pack a chew, knock back a few drinks...you know, enjoy your drugs...then come back and think about your hypocrisy. 420 for the sick.

Jim_Bob
Jim_Bob

I can't understand how most of the states around us have been able to enact medical cannabis policies and others have out right legalized it for recreational purposes by adults and yet we are still having this discussion? I realize these people are conservative but this is just ridiculous. If they want to continue losing revenue from something with little to no negative societal effects, others will be there ready to reap the benefits! Let's keep it on the black market, let's keep people going to unscrupulous places to find relief when nothing else works. At least the council gets to feel better at the end of the day knowing they protected nobody in a victim-less crime. GG, tax dollars at work here.

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