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ID Lawmaker Hopes To Legalize Medical Marijuana

April 14, 2010

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IDAHO – When you hear about marijuana in the news, it usually consists of high speed chases, drug busts, and menacing. But this story is different – there’s a new idea for legislation in Idaho, an idea to legalize medical marijuana.

Representatives plan to introduce the legislation as soon as 2011. Republican Representative, Tom Trail, is hoping to get folks talking about the possibility now, a possibility with very different opinions.

“I can prescribe drugs that have a much greater addictive potential and yet marijuana, that has many benefits for cancer patients, I can’t prescribe it,” said oncologist, Dr. Christian Schull. “It’s never made sense to me.”

It’s just the kind of legislation Dr. Christian Schull is hoping for. As an oncologist, he deals with cancer patients daily – patients he said can benefit from medical marijuana.

“In management of nausea, which it is a very effective medication, and for stimulation of appetite, patients with cancer just don’t want to eat,” said Dr. Schull.

Rep Trail, leading the legalization idea, hopes to get folks talking and understanding how this could benefit Idaho.

“Give these folks who are in severe pain the opportunity to relieve that pain,” said Trail.

So far, 14 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, including many states bordering Idaho.

“You know, I’m a conservative person,” said Dr. Schull. “But when you sit down and rationally think about it, marijuana is a much less bad drug than morphine would be – which I prescribe a lot of everyday for management of cancer pain.”

But not everyone is convinced. Local officers only see it as another loophole to abuse the drug.

“It’s a big concern to me because I think it’s already having an impact in the way our youth view drug use,” said D.A.R.E. officer, Deputy Brad Miller.

Deputy Miller is afraid marijuana will become too common, too easy to get a hold of.

“It’s going to change attitudes towards marijuana and make people perceive that it’s safer than it really is,” said Miller.

Rep Trail is hoping to get folks talking now to work out the kinks, in time for the 2011 legislative session. Trail plans to host town meetings throughout the summer to introduce folks to this idea. He said people can voice their thoughts and concerns by writing their local legislators.

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