An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about the legal Washington State industry & public concerns.

Candidates For Idaho Governor Dis Washington's Legal Pot

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Washington's law legalizing recreational marijuana made its way into Idaho's gubernatorial debate on Friday.

Credit National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Idaho has not legalized pot in any form, unlike most of its neighbors. The candidates were asked if they'd be willing to change that.

The question was posed in a business-friendly way. Should Idaho legalize marijuana to compete economically with border states like Washington -- and potentially Oregon and Montana?

Incumbent Republican Governor Butch Otter had two words for that: “No and no.”

Otter's Democratic opponent A.J. Balukoff says he's also against it -- on public health grounds.

But Libertarian candidate John Bujak said if the legislature passed a bill legalizing pot, he’d sign that bill.

He said Idaho should also feel emboldened by Washington's law and consider standing up to the federal government on issues Idaho thinks are important, like land management.

“Because perhaps with these other states where they've legalized marijuana, the federal government would do … nothing,” Bujak said.

The independent candidate, whose legal name is Pro-Life, said not only should pot be illegal but so should gambling and alcohol.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.