Yesterday I posted about Idaho’s tough marijuana laws.  Is Idaho any closer to legalizing marijuana-based products? How about cannabidiol (CBD) oil? I don’t think so.

It seems like every week I receive an email solicitation offering to sell me CBD oil, ordered online and delivered by mail to my home or office.  Each such offering indicates that CBD oil is a lawful product in all states, including Idaho. I am not so certain.

Against that marketing is this fact: Idaho is a conservative state that has long resisted the legalization of marijuana and marijuana-related products. If I buy CBD oil and it is not lawful to possess in Idaho, could I be prosecuted?

CBD is derived from hemp, which is a plant “of the genus cannabis,” as is marijuana. That fact is important because Idaho law defines marijuana based on the plant genus. If it is in the genus cannabis, it is presumptively marijuana, possession of which is illegal. CBD, however, contains little or no THC, the psychoactive agent in marijuana that produces a “high.” That presence of some trace amount of THC can be a deal ender in Idaho because it seemingly makes the product illegal to possess.

Why then is the Idaho legislature and its governor against legalizing a THC free product that reportedly can treat medical conditions?

In 2018 our legislature again considered a bill to legalize CBD oil for medical purposes. The bill would only have permitted the use of CBD dispensed by certified medical practitioners, and for specific treatments. Advocates argue that CBD oil has successfully been used to treat epilepsy and seizure-related illnesses. I seem to remember the mother of a young child who claimed that only CBD oil had relieved the seizures suffered by her son. Proponents claim it also relieves stress, operates as a safe pain controller, reduces anxiety and improves skin quality.

The Health and Welfare committee shelved the 2018 bill after a heated discussion over the legalization of CBD oil.  Idaho’s prosecutors and the office on drug policy are reportedly opposed to flirting with anything that sounds like legalizing marijuana.

In 2015 the legislature passed a bill legalizing CBD oil use for children with seizure disorders, but Governor Otter vetoed the bill out of fear of compromising the state’s drug laws. If elected, his Republican successor Brad Little is likely to have a similar mindset.

Maybe it’s just my age, but some of the claims made by CBD oil producers seem aimed at baby boomers like me. Our knees ache, hips creek, skin is age marked and our bodies occasionally act like we are getting old. We appear to be a target audience for anything that makes us feel younger again. So is it real or is it snake oil? It may not matter because CBD seems forever linked to marijuana.

What marijuana products are legal in Idaho? According to comments made by the Attorney General, there are two requirements: the product must come from a mature stalk and have no THC, not even a trace amount.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if CBD oil produces the results its makers and users advance. Then again, I don’t know if the medications prescribed for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, headaches, warts or heart disease are actually effective. Some of the medications work some of the time for some people, but not others. This much I do know – marijuana laws may be changing around us but Idaho will not likely move soon toward legalizing CBD or any other marijuana product. Recall the harsh penalties for the possession of marijuana in Idaho. Until our state laws change, the safest bet to avoid potential criminal charges is to avoid messing with marijuana products, including CBD. Internet CBD sales do not likely violate federal law (more on this coming soon), but our state laws still pose a trap that could lead to criminal charges.