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March 2006
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More Stupid Legislators (cont.)

So I wrote about a stupid and horrible bill proposed in Idaho, thinking it was one of those ridiculous measures that pops up in every session and then just quietly dies. But no.

The bill, which passed [the Senate] by an 18-16 vote, would mean pregnant mothers convicted of doing marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine or other drugs could face up to five years in jail and a $50,000 penalty.

Now I’m not sure what it says about Idaho or their legislators, when we have to turn to Senator Compton for help.

During a passionate debate, Sen. Dick Compton, R-Coeur d’Alene, said he’d like to see drug dealers publicly stoned, but voted against the bill out of a fear of unintended consequences.

The one real voice of reason is coming from the Idaho State Journal, which previously noted:

Pediatricians rightly worry that women using any of the above drugs will not seek prenatal care for fear of becoming a felon.
One local doctor also says the best time to convince a woman to stop taking drugs is when she’s pregnant or has just given birth. Drive them underground and that opportunity may never present itself.

… and now says:

Interestingly, the 35-member Senate includes only four women, three of whom voted against the bill.
And while methamphetamine and other drugs are widely thought to have negative consequences if taken during pregnancy, the only substance definitively shown to harm a fetus is alcohol, a product legal to those age 21 and over.

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