Idaho GOP Delegates Oppose Legalizing Pot

Idaho GOP Delegates Oppose Legalizing Pot
Posted by CN Staff on June 13, 2008 at 15:33:44 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Sandpoint, Idaho -- A resolution opposing legalizing marijuana and supporting full enforcement of existing drug laws drew strong opposition from libertarian Republicans before finally clearing a state GOP convention committee Friday, another sign of competing factions vying for a say in shaping Idaho's dominant political party.Delegates voted 21-9 morning for the resolution against relaxing Idaho's stance on pot.
But opponents of the resolution, including state Reps. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, insisted on delivering a minority report later in the convention when the entire 485 delegates are due to vote on the measure.The resolution was clearly a response to the presence of Ryan Davidson, a delegate from Ada County and supporter of libertarian-leaning GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. Davidson has spearheaded three successful pro-marijuana ballot initiatives in the central Idaho resort town of Hailey.That members of the Idaho Republican Party — long considered the bastion of anti-drug policies and tough prison sentences — are even debating views on pot laws at their biannual state convention is indicative of the divergent forces tugging at its seams this year. Social conservatives, libertarian Paul backers and promoters of closing the state's primary have teamed up against establishment party members in a bid to unseat current state GOP Chairman Kirk Sullivan.Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Sullivan backer, said the differences were a sign of the party's success at providing a "big tent" for many different beliefs."Our efforts have always been to celebrate those differences," Otter said, adding "It will take a little while for the dust to settle. But you can't go through this process without getting your nose a little out-of-joint. I'm proud of the fact that we've got this kind of energy."The convention concludes Saturday, when delegates will vote on whether to keep Sullivan or replace him with rival Norm Semanko, a lawyer and lobbyist who ran for Congress in 2006.On the anti-pot initiative, sponsor Ada County delegate Jeremy Chou said attention to the marijuana issue — and Davidson's inclusion as a delegate — merited somebody coming forward to underscore GOP opposition to illegal drugs, lest observers get the idea that the party was getting soft on controlled substances."It's not a personal attack against anybody," Chou said. "It's really just to set the record straight."Hailey voters last month approved Davidson's initiatives to legalize the medical use of marijuana and the industrial use of hemp and to make enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest police priority. They approved the same three measures last November but city officials have balked at recognizing them and have gone to court seeking a judgment to strike them down.Before the convention, Davidson said he had no plans to introduce any proposals on marijuana.And he said he didn't learn of Chou's measure until a reporter told him about it after it cleared the resolutions committee.Had he known the matter would be debated, however, he said he would have likely spoken out against it."That's just total propaganda, the company line, right there," he said. "It sounds like it's in reaction to me. One of my goals in doing that (the Hailey initiatives) is obviously to bring attention to the issue. Obviously, they're going the wrong way by affirming the status quo."Both Thayn and Hart said their opposition to Chou's resolution wasn't tantamount to support for liberalization of drug laws.But they felt the measure sent the wrong message, at a time when Idaho has sent more than 500 inmates out of state due to overcrowding in prisons filled with thousands of drug offenders."The resolution had a tone to it that I thought we need to move away from. The tone was, if somebody is caught with marijuana, we need to throw the book at them. I think we need to turn this ship around and look at treatment as a first option, rather than incarceration," Hart said. "I don't want you to think that I'm pro-marijuana."Despite losing on the marijuana issue, Paul supporters like Davidson did secure six delegate nominations and six alternates to the national convention in Minneapolis in September — even though Paul suspended his campaign on Thursday. The Idaho nominees, including 17 for John McCain, have to be ratified by the full convention.Paul received 24% of the Idaho vote in the May 27 GOP presidential primary won by McCain. Sullivan, the party chairman, said he'd reviewed state party rules and concluded Paul was due that share of the delegates."I have firm belief and conviction, in order to be fair, we need to elect delegates for the Ron Paul people," he said.Davidson said he appreciated the fairness, but vowed to still vote for Semanko."It's still the same plan — anybody can play fair," he said.Complete Title: Idaho GOP Convention Delegates Oppose Legalizing PotSource: Associated Press (Wire)Published: June 13, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 20:04:08 PT
Democrats Adopt Platform and Endorse Candidates
At state Convention, Democrats Adopt Platform and Endorse CandidatesJune 14th, 2008Excerpt: Jacalyn Royce, a delegate from Gig Harbor, was elated to find that a position she advocated for made it on the state platform.Royce’s father died of cancer more than two decades ago. She said that, before he died, she promised him she would work for patients’ rights. At the Pierce County convention, she proposed that the platform included a statement affirming the right for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. It was unanimously included, and moved to the state platform. “I was weeping,” she said, when the county decided to include it.She said her first state political convention, “turned out to be messier than I expected,” but that, ultimately, it was a good thing. “I just thought, Oh, Dear. Too much Democracy?”URL:
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 11:18:42 PT
I think we will see serious problems in the economy for years to come. This will not be the fault of an Obama Administration but a long term result of our current Administration. It will be hard to stop this runaway train.It's like a person who uses a credit card unwisely and charges everything and then wakes up and goes oops. Our lifestyle will be altered but that won't necessarily be all bad. We will stay home more. We won't fly everywhere like people have for years now. Watching movies and cooking at home and not eating out will become the norm. Teleconferencing will take the place of traveling to meetings. Less fuel used will slow us down and slow down emissions. Families will become closer and that's also a good thing. Ramping down our high speed lives will become desirable. That's my predictions.
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on June 14, 2008 at 11:00:26 PT
FOM I agree completely, the best scenario would be a spanking administered to McCain by Obama, that would really drive the GOP to seek a new direction. Up until now, why not stick with the religious right? They voted Bush/Cheney in twice. But they took a bad beating in 2006. In fact IMO that's why the GOP picked McCain, he is the Repub. most distant from the religious right.I think the biggest factor will be the terrible economic situation for the middle & lower income classes. That is the future, we may not have an "official" recession or depression, but I think we may get a 10 or 20 period of very tough times for all but the affluent. That could be big trouble for the GOP. It will be interesting to see if this situation strengthens the Christan right wing or weakens its political influence.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 10:15:27 PT
What destroyed the Republican Party in my mind was when the Christian Right jumped on board. They grabbed a hold of the teachings and stirred people up over morality. Conservative means doing what religions want or go to jail. They have become close to a Theocracy. Having faith is a good thing but using a churches belief system and making laws that suit them is what went wrong. They must shake them if they want to come back and be a powerful Party again. That's my opinion. Conservative should mean money not morality.
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on June 14, 2008 at 10:02:24 PT
this is great news
This is a truly exciting development - nearly 1/3rd of Idaho Republican delegates support MJ reform? That is amazing. Idaho is a Mormon/socially conservative stronghold. This is tangible progress from Ron Paul's campaign. Many times I've heard from others "The Republicans will be the ones to end the Drug War" It makes a lot of sense. The Republicans don't have to worry about losing conservative voters if they soften MJ laws - where are they going to run to? Obama? Please. These people think McCain is a liberal. the Libertarians? doubt it. Republicans don't have the fears about political fallout on this issue that the Dems do.I think this years is sort of the "end of the line" for Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. They're both getting up there in age. It looks like they have left us a wonderful legacy of reform - they worked for 20 years to just pry the door open a bit, to let the light of reform shine into the mainstream political world.After following Ron Paul for many years, I never thought he'd get the kind of support for his libertarian ideas as he did this year. Maybe there really is a future for reform after all.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 09:22:23 PT
Off Topic Again
Our friend and neighbor who is a truck driver had to take a load to Texas. My husband is on the phone with him now and he was struck by a tornado. He's ok luckily but the truck isn't. These storms are really bad. 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 07:18:48 PT
One More Thing
Showtime and Cinemax are open too. This is a good weekend for movies. Have a great day everyone.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 07:08:41 PT
Off Topic: Entertainment Only
We are having a rainy day here and we checked DirecTV and HBO is having a Free Preview Weekend. I thought others might want to check it out.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 05:55:30 PT
Maybe they will change but I bet it will take 8 years or more of being out of power. They need to be humbled and regroup and that will take a long time. They need to get some young progressive Republicans in power but so far I haven't seen any.
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Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on June 14, 2008 at 05:46:03 PT
Tough on Marijuana, No Problem
It doesn't matter what the Repugnantcons thinks, the grand old party will be over in a few years if they don't change their policies. I'm betting they'll change their tune.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 14, 2008 at 05:41:03 PT
I'm a little surprised that there aren't more comments on this article. I'm glad I am not interested in this Party.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on June 14, 2008 at 03:54:35 PT
"I just hard to laugh" That should be:I just had to laugh However, it is hard to laugh sometimes at the self-serving lies that are used to punish people who find physical, emotional, mental and spiritual solace in the miracle herb.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on June 14, 2008 at 03:44:15 PT
Mr. Potato Head
I wonder if Mr. Potato Head is for or against medical cannabis. Sorry, I just hard to laugh so I wouldn't cry. Our issue is so important to people's health and freedom, and yet certain prohibitionist elements in the GOP continue to oppose it on dubious grounds of "FDA safety." Yeah, like Vioxx! 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 13, 2008 at 16:50:30 PT
Idaho GOP: No Marijuana For The GOP
June 13, 2008A resolution opposing legalizing marijuana, even for medical use, passed the GOP's resolution committee this afternoon. Delegates voted 21-9 for the measure that Ada County delegate and former Deputy Attorney General Jeremy Chou presented. The move was seen by some as a direct attact against a Ron Paul supporter who has gotten three marijuana inititives passed in Hailey, just south of Sun Valley.Delegate Ryan Davidson, former leader of the state Libertarian Pary, said he announced that he wouldn't float any marijuana resolutions during the convention."I'm surprised they went the opposite route," Davidson said of the GOP establishment."That's just total propoganda, total company line right there," he said.Chou said the resolution wasn't about Davidson and his initiatives but to send a consistent message."It's not personal attack against anyone," he said. "It's really just to set the record straight and it's consistent with GOP platform."Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, wasn't part of the Resolution Committee discussion, but said he disagrees with the anti-marijuana use measure."The resolution had a tone to it I think we need to move away from," Hart said, adding it seems as if the GOP is saying if a person caught with pot should be locked away forever. "We need to look at each case and consider treatment options. Our jails are filling up and I don’t think it's really the best way to deal with peole who do have a problem with drugs."Yet Hart said he isn't in support of Davidson's resolutions.The anti-marijuana resolution, which is nonbinding, states that the FDA has advised that there are no scientific studies that support medical-use of marijuana. It claims that voter referenda or legislative actions making pot available for medical use are inconsistent with effort to ensure medicines are safe as proven by the FDA."Marijuana, like all illicit drugs including, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, inhalants, hallucinogens and crack, is damaging to society and the youth of Idaho," it reads.The full delegation will debate the issue tomorrow.
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Comment #1 posted by mykeyb420 on June 13, 2008 at 16:29:56 PT
Before you vote for McCain
you have to see this video
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