“Addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you’re looking for.” – John Zabat-Zinn

It is a misdemeanor to be present where you know drugs are being made, held for delivery, or used. In addition, your license can
be suspended for one year if you are convicted of drug-related offenses.

If you are convicted of possession or distribution of a controlled substance, you can be barred from receiving certain benefits – including student grants and loans – from any program using federal funding, for up to five years after conviction.


Over the last several years, many of the states surrounding Idaho have changed their laws regarding the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. Idaho has NOT changed their laws. It is illegal to possess or use marijuana in Idaho for either recreational or medicinal purposes.

Possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is a felony with a punishment of imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000. Punishment for possession of less than three ounces of marijuana is less severe, but you can be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

It is also illegal to bring marijuana into Idaho from another state, even if marijuana is legal in the other state. Bringing marijuana across state lines into Idaho can be punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.


More than 135 controlled substances carry a felony charge. Such drugs include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, and barbiturates, among others. Conviction for felony drug possession can carry with it a punishment of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.


If you are arrested with more drugs than someone could reasonably possess for personal use, you could face the more serious charge of possession with intent to sell. This is a felony, even if possession of an amount for personal use of the same drug would not be a felony.

If you are in possession of large quantities of methamphetamine, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, or marijuana, the court may be required to sentence you to a mandatory prison term ranging from one year to up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000, depending on the type and quantity of the drug. Possessing certain quantities of the ingredients for methamphetamine is also a felony, with punishment of at least 10 years in prison and a fine of at least $25,000.

And, if you are over 18 and get caught selling or giving drugs to anyone under 18 on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of school grounds, you could get a prison sentence of 10 years up to life in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

Prescription Drugs

Using someone else’s prescription is a felony. The penalty could include a sentence up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.


Drug paraphernalia is any equipment designed to grow, make, or use a controlled substance. Some examples are a bong, a pipe,
a grinder, and even cigarette rolling papers. Using or possessing drug paraphernalia is illegal and can be punished by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Also, giving or selling paraphernalia to someone else when you have reason to know it is going to be used to grow, make, or use a controlled substance – even passing a roach clip back to your friend – could be charged as delivery of paraphernalia, a felony carrying up to 9 years in prison.

Commonly Abused Drugs

In addition to legal consequences, drug use can lead to addiction and other long term health issues, alter your thinking and judgement, and increase your risk of injury or death. The National Institute on Drug Abuse website has detailed information about different types of drugs and their possible health effects.

Additionally, in 2010-2011, Idaho was one of the top ten states for rates of drug-use in several categories, including: past year non-medical use of pain relievers among persons age 12 or older; and past year non-medical pain reliever use among persons age 12-17. Approximately 9.36 percent of Idaho residents reported past-month use of illicit drugs; where the national average was 8.82 percent. In 2012, drug treatment admissions for non-heroin opiates increased to 12 percent. Drug treatment admissions for stimulants including methamphetamine were 39 percent.