A bill that would have allowed limited use of medical cannabis oils in Idaho is now off the table after state Senators blocked its passage during an allegedly illegal closed-door meeting. The bill, which would have allowed those suffering from epilepsy to use and possess low-THC medical CBD oils, passed the state House with a 59-11 vote last week. But when the bill moved to the state Senate, supporters complained that legislative leaders were preventing it from being heard.
In order to advance the bill’s progress, Republican state Sen. Tony Potts asked the Senate Health and Welfare Committee to give the bill a fair hearing. “I think we have to remember that we represent people, people who vote for us, people who are our friends,” Potts said in defense of the bill, according to the Associated Press. “If your constituents are anything like mine, there is a large amount of individuals who desire the health benefits of this.”
Committee Chairman Lee Heider stopped Potts from continuing, and demanded that any further discussion on the issue take place in his office. An AP reporter attempted to follow them into Heider’s office, but the chairman denied her request. Despite being blocked from the meeting, the reporter was still able to hear Heider shout that “the governor’s office doesn’t want this bill, the prosecutors don’t want this bill, the office on drug policy doesn’t want this bill.”
The closed-door meeting ended six minutes later, after another reporter warned the lawmakers that they were violating the state’s Open Meeting Law, which requires that “all meetings of any standing, select, or special committee shall be open to the public at all times.” Once the committee members returned to the main room, a motion was made to hold the bill in committee, which most likely will prevent it from being heard during this legislative session. Read more…