The 66th Idaho Legislative Session started nearly two weeks ago, here's your weekly substance use-related legislation update.
Senate Joint Resolution No. 101

Summary - SJR101 proposes an amendment to the Idaho Constitution prohibiting the production, manufacturing, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of certain psychoactive drugs.

Statement of Purpose - The Idaho Constitution affirms that the “first concern of all good government is the virtue and sobriety of the people.” Neighboring states have legalized controlled substances to the detriment of their children, families, and communities. This constitutional amendment prevents the erosion of Idaho statutes which currently control these substances. It protects and preserves Idaho’s values and quality of life, protects the environment, provides requirements for the lawful use of these substances, promotes freedom from addiction, and seeks to avoid economic and social costs to our citizens.

Status - SJR101 was introduced on January 18 and referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee on January 19.

What's Next? The State Affairs Committee will be presented with the findings of the Legislature to present to the electorate regarding psychoactive drugs on January 25. View the agenda here.

Senate Bill No. 1017

Summary - S1017 amends existing law to provide for certain synthetic drugs and controlled substances.

Statement of Purpose - The Idaho Board of Pharmacy administers the regulatory provisions of the state's Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This bill mirrors the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substance scheduling and descheduling decisions for 2020, including placing synthetic cannabinoids in Schedule I, an opiate in schedule II, and another substance in Schedule V as well as one technical correction in Schedule IV.

Status - S1017 was introduced on January 20 and referred to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on January 21.

What's Next? It will be reported out of Committee with a Do Pass or Do Not Pass Recommendation and filed for a second reading. Date TBD.

Related Legislation
Senate Bill No. 1006

Summary - S1006 amends, repeals, and adds to existing law to enact the Idaho Literacy Achievement and Accountability Act.

Statement of Purpose - The purpose of this legislation would be to consolidate the current statutory requirements for literacy intervention into a single chapter and to update provisions in alignment with the Task Force recommendation for focusing more on the importance of having every student reading at grade level by the end of grade 3.

Status - S1006 was introduced on January 19 and referred to the Senate Education Committee on January 21.

How is this related to substance use and primary prevention? Research has found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school [1], and obtaining less than a high school education has been correlated with an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life [2][3]. Idaho's Reading Indicator (IRI) is an early reading screener and diagnostic assessment that is administered to all K-3 public school students. Fall 2020 IRI results found that only 58.3% of Idaho 3rd graders were at grade level in comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and text fluency.

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Jessie Dexter
Governor's Office of Drug Policy
Idaho Office of Drug Policy |