New Approach Idaho Withdraws Petition to Decriminalize Medical Marijuana 

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An organization seeking to decriminalize the use of medical marijuana in Idaho has withdrawn its petition.

New Approach Idaho withdrew its initiative after the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote letters to the Idaho-based organization indicating that, contrary to claims made on NAI's petition, the academy has not "endorsed medical access to marijuana."

"This language misrepresents the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement," the organization stated in a Feb. 19 letter requesting NAI stop using its name in petition materials. "The AAP opposes legalization of marijuana because of the potential harms to children and adolescents."

According to Idaho Office of Drug Policy Administrator Elisha Figueroa, "It is well known that marijuana use adversely affects the health and developing brains of children and adolescents and legalization increases access to this harmful drug, so today is a great day for the health and safety of Idaho's children."

New Approach Idaho could not be reached for comment. 

Earlier this year, a representative of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare told members of the Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that four Idaho children diagnosed with seizure disorders had begun trials for treatment with cannabis oil, and an additional 18 children were being screened for participation.

The trials came in the wake of a bill that passed both chambers of the Idaho Legislature to allow the limited use of cannabis oil was vetoed by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. Rather than sign the bill, Otter issued an executive order creating the "Expanded Access Program," which would allow 25 Idaho families to use the oil to treat severe forms of epilepsy.
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