Earlier this week, the Utah medical marijuana compromise was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert. There were a few changes made to Proposition 2 that was passed by Utah voters during the midterm election. These changes were made in response to persistent lobbying from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Speaker of the Utah House and the sponsor of the compromise, Greg Hughes remarked that “this is not an easy issue” but was able to bring the two parties together to reach common ground. The Utah medical marijuana compromise authorizes the state to oversee the cultivation, manufacturing, processing and distribution of medical marijuana.
The compromise is much more restrictive than the original draft of Proposition 2 and limits the use of medical marijuana to patients with specific medical conditions. Below is a list of ailments that can be treated with medical marijuana:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
There were some supporters of Proposition 2 who were resistant to the more restrictive changes proposed in the compromise. Democratic representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck proposed a substitute bill that would have retained a large majority of the original Prop 2 but it failed to gain any traction due to a more lenient approach on recreational use.
Even impassioned voters vocalized their opposition during the vote in the legislature on Monday. Some of the onlookers shouted obscenities during the house vote to show their disapproval. Many residents of Utah feel that the Utah medical marijuana compromise is not respecting the will of the voters.
Utah Representative Lee Perry stated that, “The people do not want recreational marijuana. They want medical marijuana.” Now that this has been passed those seeking to use medical cannabis must be at least 21 years of age and those who are not 21 must be approved by a compassionate care board.
Governor Herbert was proud the compromise was passed noting that, “Proponents and opponents came together to honor the voice of Utah voters who compassionately stood up for Utah patients. The provided for access to medical cannabis, while closing loopholes that have created significant problems in other states that have legalized medical cannabis."