of Pros medical , cons marijuana in IdahoRepresentative Tom Trail, Republican, of Moscow has a bill called the “Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.” Few subjects are as controversial as marijuana. I know pastors and police who are on different sides of the issue. The major political parties can’t come to an agreement, even professional associations (including my own) are strangely silent. Rep. Trail’s bill states, “Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions, as found by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in March 1999. “According to the U.S. sentencing commission and the federal bureau of investigation, ninety-nine out of every one hundred marijuana arrests in the country are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana. “Although federal law currently prohibits the use of marijuana, the laws of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. “Idaho joins this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens. States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law; therefore, compliance with the provisions of this chapter does not put the state of Idaho in violation of federal law. “Many patients with severe chronic medical conditions are prescribed costly addictive drugs such as morphine and oxycodone, which can result in additional negative impacts to the health of the patient. The use of medical marijuana can provide significant pain relief to the patient and at the same time be a major cost savings to the patient, their families and the state. “Compassion dictates that a distinction be made between medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana. Hence, the purpose of this chapter is to protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.” The problems with legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, however, are numerous. In state after state, city after city where medicinal marijuana has been legalized, adolescent use has also increased. I, personally, have not seen any country, province, state, or city which has figured out how to keep marijuana use limited to those with severe chronic pain and or terminal illnesses. Instead, marijuana use among our nation’s teens is at its highest rate in thirty years. This is alarming. For any parent, social worker, counselor, teacher, coach, youth pastor, or youth worker who has seen the debilitating effects of marijuana use on a young person, it becomes difficult to champion legislation that will result in more widespread use.