There are several reports coming out of Idaho that the medical marijuana initiative there will not make the ballot. One of the articles was titled, ‘Group misses mark for medical marijuana initiative.’ I don’t like that title. Mainstream media always tries to trash on medical marijuana campaigns if they don’t make the ballot, acting like everything was done for no reason. This isn’t coincidence – mainstream media tries to downplay marijuana reform campaigns to try to keep the public from supporting them in the future.
I would argue that the Idaho medical marijuana campaign did exactly what it needed to do. Sure, ballot access would have been optimal, but there were still a lot of things accomplished by the signature drive. People in Idaho are talking about medical marijuana more than ever now, especially older voters. A big part of my family is in Idaho, and they never thought medical marijuana would ever have a prayer in Idaho. Now, they all agree that it’s not a matter of if medical marijuana comes to Idaho, it’s when.
Whether people want to realize it or not, Idaho already possesses everything they need to win in 2014. It’s no secret that there are Idaho residents crossing the Snake River to get medical marijuana cards and cannabis in Oregon. When you already have registered medical marijuana patients in the state, it’s easier to convince people it’s a good idea to start a medical marijuana program because after all, there are already patients in the state and the sky is still in place.
There’s already a lot of sympathetic business owners in Idaho. I don’t want to name names out of respect, but I know of two prominent business owners in Boise that now own collectives in Oregon. People like these are important for drumming up campaign funds. From the conversations I’ve had with people in Idaho, there are countless other possible campaign funders within the state. There are a lot of national organizations that will match campaign contributions, but rarely if ever do they pony up cash for a campaign that has little to no in-state contributions. Idaho is ahead of the curve in that respect.
I have talked quite a bit with people from Compassionate Idaho, and I can say for a fact that they have a solid plan for 2014. Expect a launch of the Compassionate Idaho website soon. Everything that was done thus far will be built upon going forward. If you live in Idaho, don’t be discouraged by media reports. Instead be encouraged to get active and continue to make change to prove those people wrong! Compassionate Idaho made a big splash in 2012. That splash will turn into a tidal wave in 2014!