New Approach Idaho is a new anti-prohibition group in a state that has seen many of its kind fail. Beginning with legalizing medical marijuana, their biggest goal is to have full on legalization.
Outspoken group member, Bill Esbensen, believes “prohibition has failed.” He says, “If we regulate it, then much of it will be off the street.”
No stranger to the results of prohibition, Esbensen is in the process of appealing a 2013 conviction in which he illegally profited from a medical marijuana dispensary and treated it as a commercial enterprise. Legislation, however, was passed this year that now allows those acts.
While there are 23 states that have legalized marijuana use in some fashion, Idaho lawmakers have rejected all attempts to legalize.
Compassionate Idaho, a prior legalization organization with many of the same members as New Approach, tried to have a medical use initiative on the 2012 and 2014 ballots but both attempts failed to receive enough voter signatures.