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The 2021 Legislative Session & What Happened?

Updated: May 28




There is no doubt that the legislative session was just as odd as the last year or so has been. With so much news coming out about what went on this session it was hard to figure out what side was up. Many bills had to be changed or manipulated to gather support in one house or the other. A lot of hard & groundbreaking work was attempted. Not all of the measures passed but we learned a lot about who supports the work of Drug and Alcohol Prevention work and those that remain a constant hurdle to keeping our communities safe.


Below are bills important to the work we do in prevention:


Passed and Signed


  • HO126 - The purpose of this legislation is to legalize the production, processing, research, and transportation of industrial hemp in the state. Industrial hemp is now legal in 49 states, two territories, and more than 40 tribal areas. This legislation will allow Idaho farmers the opportunity to produce industrial hemp if they so choose. H0126 passed the House (AYES 44, NAYS 26, ABSENT 0) on March 8, and passed the Senate (AYES 30, NAYS 5, ABSENT 0) on April 7. It was signed by the Speaker on April 8, signed by the President on April 9, and transmitted to the Governor on April 12.

  • HO315 - Creates a state-directed fund for money the state receives from settlements or judgments from opioid litigation. The money in the fund will be used to support opioid prevention and recovery efforts. Status - H0315 passed the House (AYES 67, NAYS 0, ABSENT 3) on March 15, and passed the Senate (AYES 35, NAYS 0, ABSENT 0) on April 13. It was signed by the House Speaker on April 14 and transmitted back to the Senate for the President's signature. April 19th Returned Signed by the President Ordered Transmitted to Governor April 20th Delivered to Governor at 10:25 a.m. on April 19, 2021 April 22nd Reported Signed by Governor on April 21, 2021.

  • S1110 - Amends existing law to revise signature requirements for ballot initiatives or referendum petitions. Status Update - S1110 passed the Senate (AYES 26, NAYS 9, ABSENT 0) on March 1 and passed the House (AYES 51, NAYS 18, ABSENT 1) on April 7. It was signed by the Speaker and President on April 9 and delivered to the Governor on April 12.

  • S1189 - Relates to the appropriation of the Office of Drug Policy for fiscal year 2022. Status Update - S1189 passed the Senate (AYES 32, NAYS 2, ABSENT 1) on March 19 and passed the House (AYES 69, NAYS 0, ABSENT 1) on April 8. It was signed by the Speaker and President and delivered to the Governor on April 12.



Failed and/or Not Signed


  • HJR4 - States findings of the Legislature and proposes an amendment to the Idaho Constitution requiring a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to legalize certain controlled substances. Status Update - HJR004 failed in the House (AYES 42, NAYS 28, ABSENT 0) on April 15. Senator Grow's original bill passed the Senate but failed in the House. Please pay attention to those who voted "NO" on this vital bill. NAYS – Adams, Barbieri, Berch, Boyle, Chew, Christensen, Davis, Ferch, Gannon, Gestrin, Giddings, Green, Hanks, Kingsley, Mathias, McCrostie, Moon, Nash, Nate, Necochea, Nichols, Okuniewicz, Rubel, Ruchti, Scott, Toone, Wisniewski, Wood.

This bill started out as SJR 101 in the senate and passed there. The problem was not until it reached the house side of the capital building where our house reps choose to not let the voters have a choice that has never been asked, "Do you want drugs legalized at all"!

  • S1087 - Amends existing law to raise the age of legal possession and use of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to 21. This bill passed the Senate (Ayes 25, NAYS 10) then it went on to the House to be defeated (AYES 28, NAYS 40, ABSENT 2). The house members that once again got in the way of this legislation are NAYS – Adams, Addis, Andrus, Barbieri, Boyle, Cannon, Chaney, Chew, Christensen, Clow, DeMordaunt, Dixon, Ehardt, Ferch, Gannon, Gestrin, Gibbs, Giddings, Hanks, Harris, Kerby, Kingsley, Manwaring, Marshall, Mendive, Mitchell, Moon, Nate, Necochea, Nichols, Okuniewicz, Palmer, Scott, Shepherd, Skaug, von Ehlinger, Wisniewski, Yamamoto, Young, Mr. Speaker.

  • S1150 - Amends existing law to revise provisions regarding requirements for ballot initiative signatures to take place in Idaho. This bill eventually passed both houses and was sent to the governor. The Governor Vetoed the bill because he said it infringed on military members to sign an initiative while deployed on active duty.

  • H0108 - SERGEANT KITZHABER MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT – Amends and adds to existing law to authorize the possession, distribution, transportation, and use of cannabis for medical purposes, to impose an excise tax on medical cannabis and medical cannabis devices, and to provide that marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols or synthetic equivalents are Schedule II controlled substances. This bill failed to get out of committee and never received a vote.

  • H0168 - Adds to existing law to provide for the Idaho Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Kratom is a naturally grown tree, which comes from the coffee family and originates in South East Asia. It has been used for centuries in South East Asia and since the early 1970's in the United States. Kratom can be used to give a boost of energy, to improve focus, and has helped many with pain management. The most common way to use kratom is brewing it as a tea, but it can also be found as a powder, in capsules, pills or a liquid tincture. Consumers are put at risk with adulterated and misbranded kratom products. This legislation provides for definitions of kratom, bans the sale of adulterated or synthetic kratom products in Idaho, and provides for violations for those who sell adulterated or synthetic kratom products. This bill never made it out of the Agricultural Affairs committee.

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