Gov. Little talks medical marijuana, possible routes to legalization

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Gov. Brad Little took office a little over a month ago, and while on a tour of the state, he sat down with KMVT to talk about his plans for his term in office.

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We asked him about his thoughts on legalizing marijuana.

Little said with neighboring state Utah working to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, people want to know if Idaho plans to follow suit. He pointed out that a type of CBD oil — a form of medicinal marijuana often used for epilepsy patients — is legally available in Idaho as a prescription option, but he said in his opinion, legalizing recreational marijuana is too risky.

"It's a grand experiment and we still don't know what the ramifications are," he said, while specifying there could be long-term effects for kids and workplace productivity as well as driving safety.

He also responded to the idea that Idaho is spending a lot of money jailing criminals for marijuana use. He refuted that claim saying people in Idaho jails on marijuana charges are rarely one time users, and many facing multiple violations for possession or trafficking.

For now he says he still wants to know more before considering legalization, and suggested possibly following in Utah's footsteps to regulate the way people access the drug.

"Is there a prescription, do we know what the quality is?" he said. "I'm not opposed to it, but I don't want medical marijuana to be basically a gateway into recreational or cover for people who are doing illegal distribution of drugs."

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