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Idaho Governor Claims Legalization is Driving People to his State

Flickr @ Edgar Zuniga Jr.

Idaho Governor Brad Little kicked off his “Capital for a Day” tour recently in his hometown of Emmett, Idaho, and he made some rather interesting statements about cannabis during it.

Of course, the 65-year old Republican governor of Idaho being against marijuana legalization is not news in and of itself. As he pointed out, if the people of Idaho were looking forward to legalization, “they elected the wrong guy as governor.”

But this paragraph about midway through a piece by the Idaho Press is rather eye-catching:

Little said he’s been hearing from both individuals and businesses that they’re moving to Idaho to avoid the legal recreational marijuana that’s become the norm in other states.

Really? People and businesses are leaving states like Colorado and Oregon and Washington to come to Idaho to get away from marijuana legalization?

It seems rude to call the Governor of Idaho a liar, so let’s just say I’d be really interested in seeing a shred of proof for this claim.

It reminds me of a tactic some use on social media – mostly Twitter, it seems – where instead of presenting their very “woke” hot take on an issue in a straightforward manner, some will instead pose the thought in the form of a question from their young child. Something along the lines of “My 8-year-old just asked me why President Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation”, or “What does President Orange Man have to hide, daddy? #LiterallyShaking.”

Governor Little probably realizes that simply being against marijuana legalization isn’t as cool as it once was, i.e the Eighties. So he needs to jazz it up a little bit by trying to show he has support from refugees flooding in from states that have adult-use legalization.

But why would someone pack up and leave a state simply because of marijuana legalization? Marijuana use was rampant in their state before legalization, so is it the stores they object to? Are they so incensed that people are being employed growing and transporting and selling marijuana that they will uproot their entire family and/or business and move to a state – no offense – like Idaho?

I’m obviously biased when it comes to this issue, so is there something I’m missing? Or, in what seems the most likely scenario, did the Governor just make this up?

To be fair, maybe one person said this to him during a conversation. Maybe a pot shop opened a block away and they just couldn’t take the traffic the thriving business brought, so they moved to Idaho, met the Governor, and told him about it. Then the Governor just extrapolated that one person into plural persons/businesses because marijuana is so evil there has to be more, he just hasn’t heard from them yet.

Overall, things like this are signs of desperation. Idaho is surrounded by states that are taking various paths to marijuana law reform and it scares the governor. What’s a little fib here and there when it comes to halting the scourge of the devil’s lettuce?