Idaho Marijuana Laws

Key Points

  • Medical cannabis and recreational marijuana are illegal in Idaho
  • Every attempt to legalize marijuana to date (2024) in Idaho has failed
  • Idaho permits the use of Epidiolex, a THC-free, FDA-approved CBD drug for patients with intractable epilepsy
  • Idaho is tough on marijuana sale, possession, cultivation, consumption, and other cannabis activities
  • Penalties for violating Idaho marijuana laws are severe. The state has one of the harshest marijuana laws in the U.S.

Is Marijuana Legal in Idaho?

No, marijuana is illegal in Idaho. It is considered a Schedule I controlled substance under state law, and its sale and use for medical or recreational purposes are prohibited. Similarly, it is unlawful for anyone to deliver, manufacture, or possess with the intent to deliver or manufacture cannabis for any reason in Idaho. Being a Schedule I controlled substance, the state firmly believes that marijuana users have a high potential to abuse it.

Idaho is hesitant to legalize cannabis because there is currently no accepted medical use at the federal level. Idaho's position is that the marijuana plant components be properly evaluated by the same scientific process through which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests every legal medication in the country. While the Idaho Office of Drug Policy has continually opposed cannabis legalization, it approves the use of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD-based drug for persons with epilepsy in the state.

Idaho Marijuana Laws in 2024

Cannabis remains illegal in Idaho even into 2024. The state law strictly prohibits the cultivation, selling, possession, and distribution of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. As a result, it is illegal for anyone to purchase cannabis in states where marijuana is legal and travel to Idaho with it. If caught, such an individual may be charged with drug trafficking, a federal offense. Similarly, as stipulated in Idaho Code Title 18 Chapter 80, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, including marijuana.

There have been several attempts to put medical cannabis on Idaho's ballot for over 10 years but to no avail. However, a certain activist group is now moving to put a new initiative on the 2024 ballot and legalize medical marijuana in the state. The group must obtain about 74,000 signatures from registered Idaho voters in 18 legislative districts of the state to put the initiative on the 2024 ballot. A marijuana bill, House Bill 370, was introduced during Idaho's 2023 legislative session. However, the bill, which was a personal bill, was meant to begin a discussion rather than to be passed into law. It has failed to advance and is considered dead in the state’s legislature.

Timeline of Cannabis Law in Idaho

  • 2012 to 2022 - Several efforts to put medical marijuana initiatives on the ballow failed due to various reasons
  • 2015 - Senate Bill 1146a sought to legalize CBD oil for children living with intractable epilepsy, but Governor Butch Otter vetoed it
  • 2018 - House Bill 410 was introduced to legalize the medical use of CBD but did not pass due to conflict with the Gun Control Act of 19678
  • 2023 - House Bill 370, a personal bill, was introduced to start a discussion about medical marijuana legalization but has failed to advance

Federal Legalization of Weed in 2024

Over the years, United States lawmakers have made efforts to legalize cannabis via comprehensive reforms. Such reforms include the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act of 2020 (MORE Act) and the MORE Act of 2022. Among other things, these bills sought to eliminate penalties for federal marijuana crimes, delist marijuana from the Schedule I drugs category under the Controlled Substances Act, and expunge past marijuana convictions.

In October 2022, President Biden, via a released statement, pardoned federal offenses of simple cannabis possession. The president also directed the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to review marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug. However, attempts to legalize marijuana at the federal level stalled in 2022. The following bills have been introduced in an attempt to legalize cannabis federally:

Marijuana 1-To-3 Act Of 2023

The Marijuana 1-to-3 Act was introduced in January 2023, and it aims to move cannabis to a lower schedule of the Controlled Substances Act. The bill was on 27th January 2023, referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and will be there for a period to be subsequently determined by the speaker.


In April 2023, a lawmaker reintroduced the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment Act (PREPARE Act). This bill was reintroduced to set the basis for adult-use cannabis legalization at the federal level. It seeks to convene a diverse group of experts to collaborate on marijuana reform and provide lawmakers with the information required to develop a comprehensive federal regulatory system.

Under the PREPARE ACT, a Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis would be established by the Attorney General to review state and regulatory models. This study would enable the Attorney General to make recommendations on cannabis regulations. If enacted, the PREPARE Act may not have a practical effect on the marijuana industry in the short term. However, it will arm lawmakers with tools to establish a regulatory system to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

SAFE Banking Act Of 2023

The SAFE Banking Act of 2023 (Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act) was also introduced in April 2023 and is currently with the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (BHUA). The Act seeks to create a safe harbor from asset forfeiture, prosecution, and other liability for financial institutions serving marijuana businesses. At a hearing of the Senate BHUA, Senator Warren highlighted the importance of passing the SAFE Banking Act and advocated for the federal legalization of cannabis.

Can I Use Cannabis in Idaho?

No, marijuana use is currently illegal in Idaho. The state prohibits cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. The only exception is the use of Epidiolex, a THC-free CBD-based drug approved by the FDA for individuals with intractable epilepsy. As of Jnauary 2024, Epidiolex is the only available form of legal marijuana in Idaho.

How The Legal Sale Of Cannabis In Idaho Happens

There is no legal marijuana market in Idaho, as the state prohibits all cannabis activities, including sales of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Simple possession of cannabis is an offense in the state, but possession with intent to sell is a more grave offense. Idaho's cannabis laws include prosecution for marijuana sales, and anyone caught selling marijuana for medical or recreational purposes risks fines and jail terms.

Penalties for Marijuana-related crimes in Idaho

Idaho is uncompromising on marijuana crimes, and penalties for marijuana-related offenses range from fines to incarceration. The severity of such penalties depends on the nature of the offense and the amount of cannabis involved, as listed below:

Marijuana Possession For Personal Use In Idaho

  • Possessing less than 3 ounces of cannabis in Idaho is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, not more than a one-year jail term, or both
  • The possession of any amount of cannabis of more than 3 ounces but less than 1 pound is a felony. Upon conviction, the offender faces up to a $10,000 fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both

Marijuana Possession With Intent To Distribute Or Deliver Marijuana In Idaho

  • In Idaho, possessing up to 24 marijuana plants or up to 1 pound of cannabis with intent to distribute is a felony that attracts a penalty of up to $15,000 and not more than five years prison sentence
  • Anyone caught possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it in a place where an individual younger than 18 is present commits a felony. A conviction for this offense is up to a $5,000 fine, up to five years jail term, or both
  • There is a penalty of a mandatory three years jail term to life imprisonment for anyone caught in possession of marijuana with intent to deliver if:
    • The offense is within 10 years of another conviction for a crime related to selling or trafficking controlled substances
    • The previous offense was punishable by more than one-year imprisonment

Trafficking In Marijuana In Idaho

Possessing 25 or more marijuana plants or 1 pound or more of cannabis is considered marijuana trafficking in Idaho, and it is a felony that attracts up to a $50,000 fine and up to 15 years jail sentence as listed below:

  • A conviction for trafficking 1 pound or more but less than 5 pounds of marijuana or 25 or more but less than 50 marijuana plants is a compulsory fine of at least $5,000 and a mandatory minimum one year imprisonment (fixed term)
  • Trafficking 50 or more but less than 100 cannabis plants or 5 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds of marijuana is punishable by a compulsory minimum fixed term of three years in jail and an obligatory fine of at least $10,000
  • The penalties for anyone convicted of trafficking 100 or more marijuana plants or 25 pounds or more of marijuana is a mandatory fine of at least $15,000 and a compulsory minimum fixed term of five years of incarceration
  • A second offense of trafficking in cannabis in Idaho attracts double the compulsory minimum jail term authorized for that offense

Marijuana Sale Or Delivery In Idaho

  • The sale/delivery of up to 24 marijuana plants or up to 1 pound of marijuana is a felony that attracts up to a $15,000 fine and/or not more than five years imprisonment
  • The delivery of 25 or more but less than 50 marijuana plants or 1 pound or more but less than 5 pounds of marijuana in Idaho is punishable by a mandatory one-year jail term and/or up to a $50,000 fine
  • The delivery of 5 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds or 50 or more but less than 100 cannabis plants is a felony that attracts up to a $5,000 fine and/or a compulsory three years imprisonment
  • Anyone caught delivering 25 pounds or more of cannabis or 100 marijuana plants or more in Idaho commits a felony and faces a mandatory five years jail term and up to a $15,000 fine
  • Marijuana delivery to a person aged 18 years or younger by an individual aged 18 or over who is at least three years older than the person receiving the delivery attracts a jail term that is twice that approved for delivery
  • If a conviction for marijuana delivery is within 10 years of another conviction for trafficking or selling controlled substances in any U.S. territory that was punishable by more than one-year imprisonment, the offender risks a mandatory minimum of three years to life imprisonment

Marijuana Cultivation In Idaho

  • Cultivating up to 24 marijuana plants or up to 1 pound of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to a $15,000 fine, five years imprisonment, or both
  • The cultivation of 25 or more marijuana plants or 1 pound or more of marijuana is a felony punishable by the same penalties authorized for trafficking in marijuana in Idaho. Depending on the number of plants involved, offenders risk a mandatory one to five years of jail term and a fine of up to $50,000

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) Of Marijuana In Idaho

  • The penalties for a first offense of DUI of marijuana is a maximum fine of $1,000, up to six months jail term, and/or suspension of driver's license for between 90 to 180 days
  • The second conviction of DUI of marijuana within 10 years of the first attracts between 10 days to a one-year jail term, a maximum fine of $2,000, and/or a license suspension for at least one year. The license suspension period will begin upon discharge from jail. The state may order the installation of an interlock device in the offender's motor vehicle
  • Anyone convicted for the third time of a DUI of marijuana within 10 years of the first faces up to a $5,000 fine, a compulsory minimum of 30 days and a maximum of five years imprisonment, and/or a driver's license suspension of between one to five years. The driver's license suspension period will start counting after release from jail

Marijuana Paraphernalia In Idaho

  • Selling or manufacturing marijuana paraphernalia in Idaho is a felony that attracts up to a $30,000 fine and/or a maximum of nine years of incarceration
  • Possessing or selling marijuana paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, a maximum of one-year imprisonment, or both

Hash And Concentrates In Idaho

The penalties for possessing, distributing, and delivering hash and concentrates in Idaho are the same as those for marijuana.

Confiscation Of Assets For Marijuana Offenses In Idaho

Individuals convicted of marijuana offenses in Idaho may have their properties, including vehicles, seized by the state

Possible Remedies For Idaho Marijuana Laws Offenders

The best way to defend against violating Idaho marijuana laws during prosecution is to employ the services of a marijuana defense lawyer. However, a defendant can still explore the following as possible remedies to their situation:

  • Challenging the prosecution's proof of possession, especially if marijuana was not sized while possessing it on their person (purse, hands, or pockets)
  • Praying the court to suppress the evidence, if, during the arrest, the defendant's constitutional rights were violated
  • Accusing the police of illegal searching
  • Challenging the prosecution's evidence of deliberate possession of marijuana
  • Claiming that law enforcement did not follow proper procedures during the arrest

What is Idaho’s Cannabis History?

Marijuana has always been illegal in Idaho, and the state has one of the most stringent cannabis laws in the United States. Several attempts to legalize medical marijuana between 2012 and 2018 via ballot initiatives failed for various reasons. Another attempt to put a medical marijuana initiative on the 2022 ballot also failed. In 2015, the state lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1146a, a bill that sought to provide legal defense for guardians and parents of children using CBD oil to relieve epileptic seizures. However, despite gaining massive support, Governor G.L. Otter rejected it, preventing the bill from passing.

In 2018, Representative Dorothy Moon introduced House Bill 410, an attempt to legalize the medical use of CBD. The bill stated the need for registration for patients who use CBD oil to ensure its passage, but it did not pass because of certain conflicts with the Gun Control Act of 1968. Under this Act, individuals using or addicted to marijuana are prohibited from carrying firearms. Introduced as a personal bill in 2023, House Bill 370 sought to legalize medical cannabis but did not advance.

What are Restrictions on Cannabis in Idaho?

Every marijuana activity, including selling, possession, cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and delivery of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, is prohibited in Idaho. The state metes out severe penalties on violators of its marijuana laws.

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