Yo, what’s up? My name is Dan and let me tell you something real. People livin’ in Idaho, one of the most conservative states, gotta cross the border to get some weed. And guess where they go? They head to Ontario, Oregon, less than an hour away. But officials ain’t too happy ’bout it.
This whole situation is proof that prohibition don’t work. NPR reported that it’s reached a “flashpoint” and folks in eastern Oregon ain’t liking the changes they’re seeing in their state.
Steven Meland, owner of Hotbox Farms in Ontario, knows what’s up. He said, “The politicians have been able to have this scenario where they say that they don’t have legal cannabis. But in all actuality we all know there’s legal cannabis in Boise.” And he ain’t wrong. Hotbox Farms hardly serves the 11,600 residents of Ontario when there are over 700,000 people in nearby Boise.
Politico even did a report on the cannabis border situation in Ontario earlier this year. They said that while Ontario used to be known for inventing tater tots, now it’s all about weed. Folks from Boise ain’t got nowhere else to go for their ganja fix. One dispensary owner said most of his customers come from out of state.
But don’t expect anything to change in Idaho any time soon. That state is one of only two in the country that bans all forms of cannabis. NORML gives Governor Brad Little an “F grade” because he opposes even medical-only cannabis bills (even though 88% of Americans support it) and industrial hemp bills. Meanwhile, things are so divisive in eastern Oregon that people there wanna secede from the state.
And it’s not just about weed, it’s about culture too. Idaho is mostly dyed-in-the-wool conservative while Boise is split, with almost half the residents voting Democrat. And the divide is just as deep when you compare the rural eastern side of Oregon, where weed is booming, to the liberal western coast. Some folks on the rural side of Oregon even tried to petition to secede from their state and join conservative Idaho.
But back to the weed. NPR says that Ontario now sells more weed per person than any other city in Oregon and it employs about 600 people for such a tiny town. Meanwhile, eastern Idaho leaders wanna move the border of Idaho to secede from Oregon because they say they got a “little bit of a drug problem” on their hands.
So what does this all mean? It means that people in Idaho who gotta travel to another state to buy weed for medical purposes are basically cannabis refugees. And until things change in Idaho, they’ll keep making that drive across the border.