Cannabis in Idaho is fully illegal. Possession of even small amounts of it is a misdemeanor crime.[1]

In 2015, a bill to legalize CBD oil was passed by both houses of the Idaho Legislature, but was vetoed by then-governor Butch Otter.[2]


In the early 20th century, amidst a nationwide trend of cannabis prohibition, Idaho outlawed the drug in 1927.[3] In the same period, the mayor of Boise noted his concerns:

The Mexican beet field workers have introduced a new problem-the smoking in cigarettes or pipes of marijuana or grifo. its use is as demoralizing as the use of narcotics. Smoking grifo is quite prevalent along the Oregon Short Line Railroad; and Idaho has no law to cope with the use and spread of this dangerous drug (WCTU, 1928: 3).[4]


Unsuccessful ballot initiative efforts[edit]

Attempts to field ballot initiatives to vote on medical cannabis failed in 2012 and 2014 due to insufficient signatures, and a 2016 attempt was withdrawn before the signatures were counted. In 2018 another attempt was drawn when its organizer had to quit to care for her ailing son.[5]

2013 statement against legalization[edit]

In 2013, the Idaho Legislature preemptively approved a statement of their opposition to ever legalizing cannabis.[6][7]

2015 veto of CBD oil legalization[edit]

Senate Bill 1146a, which would have legalized CBD oil for persons with severe epilepsy, passed the Idaho Legislature following "lengthy and emotional" hearings, but was vetoed by Governor Butch Otter in April 2015.[8]

In his veto, Otter stated:

It ignores ongoing scientific testing on alternative treatments... It asks us to trust but not to verify. It asks us to legalize the limited use of cannabidiol oil, contrary to federal law. And it asks us to look past the potential for misuse and abuse with criminal intent.[9]

The Idaho Attorney General, in report 132-133,[10] clarified in 2015 that CBD containing 0% THC is permissible as long as it is derived from one of the five identified (non-flower) parts of the cannabis plant.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Why Idaho remains a pot-free island | The Spokesman-Review". Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  2. ^ Press, KBOI Web Staff and Associated (April 16, 2015). "Otter vetoes cannabis oil bill". KBOI. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines (November 29, 2012). The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Social History of Drugs. Orion Publishing Group. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-1-78022-542-5.
  4. ^ "History of Marihuana Legislation - State Prohibition - 1914-1930". Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 112 – Idaho State Legislature". June 20, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "Idaho Lawmakers, Cities Want No Part Of Relaxed Marijuana Laws". Boise State Public Radio. March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell news by Idaho Statesman". Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Russell, Betsy Z. (April 16, 2015). "Otter vetoes bill to allow CBD oil to be used to treat sick Idaho kids | The Spokesman-Review". Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Wasden, Lawrence G. (2015). "IDAHO ATTORNEY GENERAL'S ANNUAL REPORT" (PDF). Idaho Office of Drug Policy. Archived from the original on November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  11. ^ Idaho, Access. "Cannabidiol (CBD)". Office of Drug Policy. Retrieved November 12, 2019.