Compromise Announced in Efforts to Legalize Medical Cannabis in Utah

Elder Gerard says community solution is ‘byproduct of good faith’

News Release

State leaders, medical experts, clergy and others gathered on Utah’s Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City on Thursday to announce a compromise to Proposition 2, which would legalize distribution of medical cannabis in Utah.

 

Opponents believe the proposition does not strike the proper balance in ensuring safe and reasonable access for patients while also protecting youth and preventing other society harms.

“We believe [the compromise] has addressed most of the medical community’s concerns that are in the ballot proposition right now that physicians saw as nonmedical and harmful to patients or recreational that would harm all Utahns, particularly Utah’s children, adolescents and vulnerable populations,” said Michelle McOmber of Drug Safe Utah and CEO of the Utah Medical Association.

Utah’s medical community has been part of the coalition opposed to Proposition 2.

Under the compromise, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert said there will be training for physicians and pharmacists who will be involved in dispensing medical cannabis through specialized pharmacies or local health departments, stringent controls will be in place for cultivation to prevent recreational use of the product, greater respect of local zoning laws will be provided, and clarifications will be made for law enforcement.

“We would encourage the process to move forward so that we craft the best solution for Utah and only bring true medical marijuana into the state in a very controlled way that is not controlled by the marijuana industry and is not recreational,” McOmber said.

“Many, many people have worked tirelessly to craft a community solution to alleviate human pain and suffering, and we’re thrilled to be part of that conversation,” said Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a coalition member.

“Medical cannabis is [an issue] that has generated strong emotions and at times, as we all well know, even heated debate,” he said. “The proposed solution announced today is a byproduct of good faith, of willingness to work together by opponents and proponents of Proposition 2.”

The proposition will still be on the ballot in November, but opponents will be less vocal. “We’ll de-escalate our activities in opposition to Proposition 2,” said Elder Gerard.

Governor Herbert announced that the Utah Legislature will meet in a special session after the November election to pass a “better bill.”

“Regardless of what happens this November in the election on the passage of Proposition 2, we need to have the legislature come back together and fix whatever needs to be fixed,” said Governor Herbert. “There will be an opportunity for public input.”

“There’s still much work to be done, but now is the time to act,” added Elder Gerard.

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