A proposed constitutional amendment to prevent Idaho from legalizing marijuana and other psychoactive drugs in the future has passed the Senate. 

Senate Joint Resolution 101, brought by Sen. Scott Grow, R-Eagle, would cement Idaho’s current laws on psychoactive drugs in the state Constitution, making it significantly more difficult for Idaho to legalize marijuana or other substances. The resolution was approved by the Senate on a 24-11 vote Wednesday.

Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, voted against the measure, along with her six fellow Democrats in the Senate and four Republican lawmakers. 

The resolution would prohibit the “production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of psychoactive drugs.” The amendment contains some exceptions, including prescription drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and drugs that are undergoing clinical trials.

Though marijuana in some form is legal in five of the six states that border Idaho, marijuana and other psychoactive drugs are banned under Idaho law. But such substances are only outlawed in state code, not in the Constitution—making it easier, in theory, to legalize them. Amendments to the state Constitution require not just the approval of two-thirds of the Legislature, but approval of a majority of Idaho voters as well. 

Senate Joint Resolution 101 now goes to the House of Representatives for a vote. If the proposal passes the House, it will appear on the ballot in the general election.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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