BOISE, Idaho — An initiative petition to begin the process of putting medical marijuana up for vote in Idaho was filed with the state on Tuesday.
The petition was submitted by the Idaho Cannabis Coalition, a grassroots campaign committed to reforming the state laws criminally prohibiting the use of cannabis.
If the petition is approved by both the secretary of state and attorney general, organizers will need to collect over 55,000 valid signatures of registered Idaho voters to place medical marijuana on the November 2020 ballot.
According to Idaho code, those signatures would need to be collected by April 30, 2020.
Russ Belville, a spokesman for the Idaho Cannabis Coalition, told KTVB that the group hopes to bring Idaho more in line with neighboring states that have legalized marijuana in various forms.
"We feel it is long past time for the people of Idaho to get on board with the rest of the United States," Belville said.
The initiative is for medical marijuana only, and would not legalize cannabis for recreational use.
"Our medical marijuana initiative will protect patients and their caregivers from law enforcement prosecution from the safe and effective use of cannabis," Belville said.
If the initiative is approved by Idaho voters, patients with chronic illness or severe disabilities will still need to meet a qualification process mandated by law before they would be allowed to purchase marijuana.