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Oregon Pot in Boise, Idaho

Pot in Boise, Idaho

Hey everybody, Dave Edwards, Treasure Valley Dave here in Nampa, Idaho. I was reading the news recently and came across a story that got me thinking and asking questions. It’s about what’s happening with Oregon pot in Boise, Idaho and other parts of the state and the whole relationship there. So let’s get right to it. 

Debate About Pot Shops in the Idaho-Oregon Border

I was reading this story about the “State line pot shop’s latest flashpoint in the Idaho-Oregon border debate.” Some things about this have an impact and are worth asking questions about.

There is Steven Melan, and he opened up a dispensary in Ontario, Oregon. Ontario, keep this in mind, has a population of 11,600. Boise is in Idaho, where marijuana of all kinds, including medical marijuana, is illegal. I don’t know what your position on marijuana is, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

Steven’s business is Hotbox Farms, and he’s talking about how since 2018, there are now 12 dispensaries in this Ontario, more than anywhere else in the state. Ontario now sells more pot per capita than anywhere else in Oregon. So they’re right there on the border from Idaho, across the bridge.

“This boom has quickly become the latest flashpoint in a larger political and cultural battle,” and Oregonians, the conservative ones in the rural areas, want to join Idaho to escape the weed.

For those of you who tune into Kevin Miller’s show in the morning, he talks about this quite a bit too. You might enjoy listening to him once in a while. If you’re not in the area, you could listen to him on his app, do some searching, and you’ll find a Kevin Miller’s KIDO talk radio.


How Greater Idaho Took Shape

We recently did a video on Greater Idaho Movement; make sure you look for that. But in addition to that, as far as this story goes, “Today, Portland looms large in a more recent push to create this Greater Idaho.”

That seems counterintuitive because Portland is the big liberal bastion, right? “Some in sparsely populated eastern Oregon say they feel so divorced from the politics of the liberal city and the West Coast that they’re asking for an actual divorce.” They want to leave Oregon and become part of Idaho.

Representative Barbara Erhardt, a Republican from Idaho, recently proposed a bill that would authorize Idaho to continue talks with Oregon about moving forward on the Greater Idaho project. She said, “We have a little bit of a drug problem right on the side of our border. A lot of Idahoans are going there to Ontario to get drugs, and that will be pushed hundreds of miles away.” That is if this Greater Idaho thing happens. 

Is having readily accessible drugs pushed hours away a good thing or bad for us in Idaho? That’s a question for you to ask and answer yourself.

Drug Decriminalization in Oregon

Is pot legal in Oregon?

Yes. “By contrast, Oregon voters recently decriminalized small amounts of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin and approved tighter gun laws.” Oregon voters likely consist of the main populace of voters, and those would be the more liberal ones over on the Western side. That probably doesn’t represent the more conservative Oregonians on the eastern side, but they will still be just as impacted by it. Heroin and cocaine are all legal, and they get stricter gun laws, meaning you can’t protect yourself from drugged-up people looking to do stuff.


How It Affects the Community

“Many small farming and ranching communities have been hit hard by addiction.” Yeah, so not just the crime but the drug addiction. I have heard somebody say this before. It’s like, “Yeah, you want to do marijuana, other drugs, whatever. Ensure you know to become successful first and then do whatever you want. But if you try to do it the other way around, if you become addicted to these drugs before you become successful, you’ll never become successful.” I’m sure there are exceptions, but I have seen firsthand that getting on things that alter your mind and wreck your brain will not necessarily lead to a reasonable conclusion.

“The partisanship has grown, and just the cultures have grown apart,” according to Matt McCaw, an Oregon resident and the spokesman for the Citizens for Greater Idaho. They’ve got a good website too. The cultures have grown apart, and it’s not just partisanship anymore. We probably saw partisanship in the 70s and 80s, but now it’s this culture thing. It is a whole different culture, and the cultures may clash. 

Conservatives React to Eased Laws for Drugs

Anyway, here in the county where Ontario, commissioner Ron Jacobs said, “We just feel like our conservative values are different than theirs,” meaning the lawmakers over in the liberal part of the state. “They pass so many laws over there that they don’t even take us into consideration. We’re kind of a stepchild over here in eastern Oregon.” Yep. I’ve heard that quite often.

“While Idaho entrepreneurs are keen on crossing the Snake River into Oregon to start a marijuana business, Jacobs sees a trend going in the other direction.” He said, “Farmers and ranchers are increasingly looking to relocate some or all of their businesses in Idaho.”

Well, that’s good. Why? Well, they’re producers. They want to go out and be productive citizens and make things and sell things. So those people at the 12 pot shops in Ontario want to sell pot, and that’s about it.

What Pro-Marijuana People Say About It

Steven, the owner of the Hotbox in Ontario, said that this “may actually backfire and end up building more support for legalizing marijuana in Idaho.”

Will this happen? Maybe he hopes so as business is good the way it is. But he also says, “Remember that Ontario was conservative and right-winged just a couple of years ago as well.” Perhaps he swerved into the truth there.

Ontario was conservative right wing, according to this guy. Now the marijuana legalization brought in by the lefties over in the state legislature has corrupted the conservative right-wing Ontario it used to be.

Could that happen in Idaho if Idaho legalized marijuana?

Marijuana Going Mainstream in Ontario, Oregon

In Ontario, “Marijuana is starting to look pretty mainstream.” How many people have you heard of go to Colorado, Oregon and say that it’s just stinky? You go downtown, and it’s stinky. Two more dispensaries are set to open, bringing the total of pot shops in Ontario up to 14. Wow.

Should You Move to Boise, Idaho?

Do you think Boise is a good place to live because you can only drive an hour and get your pot, and that’s convenient? Are you happy that you could be here in the Boise area and your kids aren’t subject to seeing what comes from all this, like the legalization of harder drugs, heroin, cocaine, and all the other things? Once you become so apathetic, and we see it in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco, it becomes a circus on the streets and not fun. 

Maybe this Greater Idaho project would push marijuana further away from the bulk of the population of Idaho right here in the Treasure Valley. That could be a good thing.

Wrapping Up

But I know one thing, though. If you’re going to vote on it, you will have to be up here and not where you are right now in Washington or California or Phoenix or Texas or Colorado. Anyway, come to check us out and see what you think. It’s pretty nice up here. 

Well, if you like this video and somebody needs to see it, please share it. A few thumbs up would be beneficial, and you can also subscribe to the channel. For more questions about living in Idahocontact us

This is Treasure Valley Dave. I look forward to helping you get home.

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