Gubernatorial candidates react after Idaho Senate panel kills bill allowing use of CBD oil


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BOISE — A bill allowing the use of cannabis-derived CBD Oil will not likely see a vote in the Idaho Senate.

HB 577 passed the Idaho House on Feb. 28 and was introduced to the Idaho Senate a short time later. It is doubtful that the bill will move forward with the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman refusing to give the bill a hearing.

In a recording made by AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi, Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Lee Heider (R)Twin Falls can be heard shouting down the bill.

“The governor’s office does not want to hear this bill, the office on drug policy does not want to hear this bill, the prosecutors do not want to hear this bill, state police do not want to hear this bill,” Heider can be heard saying. “I’m respecting those people and I’ve told the Governor that we will not hear the bill in our committee.”

The bill passed the House with a 59 to 11 vote — a veto-proof vote. It also has 45 legislative co-sponsors, 31 representatives and 14 senators.

Gubernatorial candidates issued statements about the bill Tuesday.

“Since day one, Tommy has supported the legalization of CBD oil that helps sick people as long as the THC is removed and it’s prescribed by a doctor,” Tommy Ahlquist’s campaign manager David Johnston said. “One thing is for sure, a professional politician from DC or Boise as our next governor is not the solution here.”

Sen. Raul Labrador accused the Otter-Little administration of manipulating the legislature and denying citizens a voice on the subject.

“If this administration has real valid reasons to oppose the CBD oil legislation, they should present them in a public open forum,” Labrador said in a statement. “They should defeat ideas in committee, not hide behind a committee chairman to avoid the public debate.”

When asked about the bill Tuesday evening, The Spokesman-Review reports Little said he hasn’t read the bill, but has been a supporter of the drug trial through which more than 30 Idaho children have been receiving a commercial form of CBD oil through an “expanded access” program to treat intractable epilepsy.

“I am incredibly sympathetic to those parents that have got epileptic children,” Little said. “My hope was that the cost of this would come down, and that there would be quality-controlled CBD oil. … I am not in any way, shape or form an opponent of quality-controlled CBD oil.”