Grow antidrug constitutional amendment

Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle, presents a proposed constitutional amendment to the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday.

Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle, introduced a proposed constitutional amendment this morning to forbid Idaho from legalizing any psychoactive drug that was illegal in Idaho in 2020. Grow said he believed his lengthy constitutional amendment would “preserve health and safety, preserve the integrity of our medical system,” and “protects Idahoans from big government and protects the Idaho way of life.”

“Neighboring states have legalized controlled substances to the detriment of their children … and families,” Grow told the Senate State Affairs Committee. “This constitutional amendment, it protects and preserves Idaho’s values and quality of life … and seeks to avoid economic and social costs to our citizens.”

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, an attorney, objected to introducing the measure, saying it suffers from a serious technical flaw in that it would insert 2020 Idaho code references into the state Constitution. “The code references can change over time,” Burgoyne noted. “What is in one title today, the title might be numbered differently tomorrow. … The Constitution would end up with references to code sections that either no longer exist or address different topics.”

Burgoyne said he was reluctant to vote against introducing the measure, because, “Generally, I’m in favor of debating almost everything, and the sponsor and the members of the committee probably know that about me. … But this is not one of them.”

Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, thanked Grow for his work on the proposal and moved to introduce it, clearing the way for a full hearing; Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, seconded the motion, and it carried with just Burgoyne objecting.

To change the Idaho Constitution, the measure would need support from two-thirds of each house and from a majority of voters at the next general election, in November of 2022.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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