Utah Moves A Step Closer To Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Oct 8, 2018

Legislators, proponents and opponents of Proposition 2, a ballot initiative to legalize the use of cannabis products for medical purposes in Utah, struck a compromise on Thursday.  Legislators will vote on a bill resulting from the compromise shortly after the upcoming mid-term elections.

“What just happened today was a compromise was announced by proponents and opponents of Prop. 2 to basically say we have arrived at a tentative solution for making Prop. 2 better, that’s better in the eyes of proponents and opponents,” said Tom Paskett, policy director of TRUCE, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education.  

Among other things, the compromise will change sections of Proposition 2 that make it difficult to prosecute people who are caught using marijuana for medical purposes after the vote but prior to implementation of the new law.  Also, changes to the plan will require stricter regulation of dispensaries that is described in Proposition 2.

Many organizations in Utah, including the Utah Medical Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, publicly opposed the initiative.  Senator Lyle Hillyard also opposes Proposition 2, but he is hopeful about the recent compromise,

“I am very much opposed to Proposition 2," he said. " Medical marijuana I fully support.  I went through the issues that I was concerned about in Proposition 2 and they’ve agreed they’re all changed, they’re all taken out.  So I do support the compromise.“

Tom Paskett walked me through what will happen next.

“As I understand it, the compromise will go into effect regardless of whether Proposition 2 passes, and it will be implemented in its full to address all of the issues of Prop. 2 whether it's voted in or not by the people," he said. "So the end result looks like it's going to be very close to the same, regardless if Prop. 2 passes or not.”