Thousands sign petition to drop charges against truckers hauling hemp in Idaho

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Thousands of people have signed a petition to drop charges against truck drivers caught with hemp in Idaho.

The petition, created on by Tracy Olson of Boise, had garnered more than 4,500 signatures as of Wednesday evening. Olson told the Idaho Statesman that she’s an “ordinary citizen in Idaho who is really concerned about what’s going to happen to these individuals.”

“Hemp has been legalized at the federal level and is legal in nearly every other state,” Olson wrote in the petition, addressed to Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts. “We do not want our tax dollars spent prosecuting or incarcerating these individuals, and we do not feel their future employment prospects should be clouded with a criminal record on account of their work transporting hemp. It is cruel to upend these men’s lives in the current manner, and frankly, it is an embarrassment to the State of Idaho.”

Andrew D’Addario, Erich Eisenhart and Denis Palamarchuk are the truckers being charged. While D’Addario and Eisenhart were found transporting hemp before it was federally legalized last year, Palamarchuk was arrested afterward.

Idaho Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, shared the petition via Twitter Sunday and urged people to sign it.

“It’s entirely in the hands of the Ada County prosecutor,” Rubel told the Statesman. “There’s nobody else in the state who can fix what I view as a severe miscarriage of justice.”

The Statesman reports that state laws makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana — all forms of cannabis are outlawed. Though efforts were made during the recent legislative session to legalize hemp in Idaho, no bills were passed, meaning transportation of the material through the state is still illegal.

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