Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he wants lawmakers to take action on medical marijuana regardless of whether a November ballot initiative to legalize it passes.
During his monthly KUED news conference Thursday, the governor said he will vote against the ballot initiative known as Proposition 2, which came under fire from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others last week.
Herbert says he will use his "bully pulpit" to push a compromise allowing more patients to access the drug.
"I'd like to see the federal government get out of the way. We ought to call on our Congressional delegation, take it off the schedule one list. We ought to do the studies. Let's do the clinical trials. Let's develop the medicine," Herbert said.
He believes lawmakers should be able to support a "common-sense position" that could include having county health departments serving as dispensaries.
"Again, it may not be the best alternative, but it's the alternative we are left with,” Herbert said. “I am confident we can find a way that we can thread that needle that everybody can feel good about, in the meantime waiting for Congress to act.”
Medical marijuana advocates decided to take the issue to the voters after years of frustration at the Republican-dominated legislature.