Utah: Lawmakers Replace Voter-Initiated Medical Cannabis Law

UTAH: Lawmakers voted in a special legislative session on Monday to replace the state’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access program. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill, House Bill 3001, into law that same day. The new law, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, takes immediate effect.

The former law, Proposition 2, was approved by 53 percent of voters on November 6.

Legislators announced in October their intent to rewrite the legislation, prior to its passage, after meetings with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – who opposed the bill – and other groups, including some backers of the original bill. However, other proponents of Proposition 2, including the group TRUCE(Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education), have announced their intent to file a lawsuit in response to lawmakers’ decision to amend the law.

The replacement legislation significantly differs from the language that was approved by the voters. It eliminates patients’ option to home cultivate cannabis, it prohibits the dispensing of either processed flower or edible cannabis products (oils, capsules, or topicals are permitted), it narrows the list of qualifying conditions, and it significantly reduces the total number of permissible state-licensed dispensaries, among other changes.

Members of the House voted 60 to 13 in favor of the new language. Members of the Senate voted 22 to 4. The bill required two-thirds support from both chambers in order to become law.

The vote to rewrite the voter-initiated law broke down largely along party lines, with Republican lawmakers deciding in favor of the change and Democratic members largely voting ‘present.’ An alternative measure backed by members of the Democratic Caucus that sought to make only minor administrative changes to the initiative was defeated.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500, or visit Utah NORML or TRUCE Utah.

 

Marijuana Legalization Could Come To These 12 States This Year

By Eric Weisbrot

Despite strong efforts to maintain the criminalization of marijuana use in the United States, many individuals and lawmakers have taken a step in the direction of legalization over the last several years. Currently, there are 29 states that allow for medical marijuana use, under particular limitations, and a smaller percentage that give residents the ability to use marijuana on a recreational basis under state law. The federal government has been slow to end prohibition of the drug, but recent research shows growing support for legalization on a state level for many reasons.

One of the strongest components of marijuana legalization support revolves around the well-documented success of states that have eliminated prohibition for residents. The states that allow for recreational use of marijuana have systems in place to ensure the tax revenue and economic growth is regulated, mostly through the use of bonding and licensing requirements for dispensaries, growers, and distributors. Based on the positive outcomes legalized states have generated, there are 12 more states considering legalizing marijuana use on some level in 2018.

Michigan: In the state of Michigan, there is a current initiative to gather the 250,000 signatures needed to include a marijuana legalization bill on the ballot in the 2018 election cycle. If approved, the bill would allow for recreational use of the drug for those over the age of 21 who are also residents of the state.

Delaware: In late 2017, a legislative task force was formed in order to analyze the impact marijuana use has on state residents from a recreational standpoint. A bill was shot down in 2017, but the hope is that an opportunity remains in 2018 after the findings of the task force are made public.

New Jersey: With a Democratic-led legislature, New Jersey is poised to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018. A skyrocketing criminal justice cost along with proven racial injustices in the state are the prime motivators behind passing such legislation this year.

Vermont: A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana was approved in Vermont in May 2017, but it was vetoed by the governor at the time. A commission tasked with studying the issues surrounding recreational marijuana use, including health concerns and driving impairment statistics, was created at that time. Based on the results of the commission’s work, legislation is set to pass in Vermont in 2018 allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of two mature plants.

Oklahoma: During either the June or November elections, Oklahoma is set to add a bill to the ballot for medical marijuana use legalization for state residents.

Ohio: Lawmakers in Ohio failed to get a bill passed to legalize recreational marijuana use in the last three years, but a ballot proposal is intended to be included during the midterm election cycle this year.

Connecticut: Thanks to local efforts from lawmakers in Harford, Connecticut legislature is set to include a statewide ballot vote for recreational marijuana legalization in November 2018.

Rhode Island: After forming a legislative commission in 2017, Rhode Island may be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2018. The commission sought to research the impacts of the drug on its community, based on neighboring studies in Massachusetts and Maine.

Kentucky: A bill for the legalization of medical marijuana may be on the docket in 2018 for residents of Kentucky. Although there is little support from the current governor, advocates for the drug’s medical use may beat the odds during the midterm election cycle.

Utah: Medical marijuana may be legalized in Utah, following in the footsteps of several other states nearby. The ballot for the midterm elections should include a bill for Utah voters to weigh in on in 2018.

South Dakota: South Dakota may also be close to legalizing medical marijuana, as signatures are currently being gathered for a ballot initiative slated for 2018 election inclusion.

Missouri: Similar to South Dakota, signatures are currently being collected for a medical marijuana bill in Missouri which would allow voters to make the decision in this election cycle.


Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.  

Utah: Medical Access Initiative Certified For November Ballot

UTAH: State regulators have certified a voter-initiated medical cannabis access measure for the 2018 ballot. Officials announced last week that proponents had gathered nearly 154,000 validated initiative signatures from registered voters – far exceeding the total necessary to place the measure before a statewide vote.

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act permits qualified patients to obtain either herbal cannabis or cannabis-infused products from a limited number state-licensed dispensaries.

Both the Utah Medical Association and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert have publicly opined against the measure. Nonetheless, public support in favor of the initiative remains strong, with 77 percent of Utahns either “strongly” or “somewhat” endorsing the plan, according to a UtahPolicy.com poll.

Voters in Oklahoma will also decide on a medical access initiative in a special election on Tuesday, June 26. By a margin of nearly 2 to 1, Oklahoma voters support the passage of State Question 788, according to polling data reported last week.

Voters in two other states – Michigan and Missouri – will also decide on Election Day on statewide marijuana reform initiatives. Recent polling from those states finds majority public support for all three measures.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Trib Talk: Will Utah Legalize Marijuana As Medicine?

UTAH: Medical marijuana is increasingly becoming a common treatment for chronic pain, but Enedina Stanger’s use of cannabis landed her a felony charge.

On Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., Stanger and psychiatrist Dr. Sue Sisely join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about Stanger’s experience as a so-called “medical refugee” and Sisely’s advocacy on behalf of veterans with PTSD.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY8wHfzF4RE&w=560&h=315]

PatientsNotCriminals Press Conference In Utah 1/14/16

Published on Jan 14, 2016 via Libertas Institute

UTAH:  Libertas Institute joins forces with a mass of patients for a #PatientsNotCriminals press conference to stress the need for the legalization of medical marijuana in Utah. Senator Mark Madsen’s cannabis proposal will be introduced in this coming legislative session.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2lle2ege1E&w=560&h=315]

Utah State Legislature To Consider Two Medical Marijuana Bills

UTAH: The Utah State Legislature will consider two separate medical marijuana bills when it meets next year.

But cannabis advocates claim only one of those bills will actually do patients some good.

The legislature’s interim Health and Human Services Committee met Wednesday to discuss a pair of bills. One is sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem; the other is sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs.

Rep. Daw said his bill would allow for cannabidoil to be used to treat a long list of diseases and conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, and epilepsy. He told the committee that prescribing doctors would provide research on its effectiveness to the legislature that would be considered when the law would come up for renewal.

“We feel like this is the prudent manner that to allow for patients to be treated with a component of marijuana that can be considered medicinal,” said Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, in support of Rep. Daw’s bill.

Hemp And The Woolly Mammoth’s Hair Piece

UTAH:  I think we found the most original use for hemp yet. Billie and I were wandering the Dinosaur Garden outside the Field House of Natural History in Vernal, Utah. The museum is a dinosaur-lover’s dream, and the outside garden is stocked with colorful, life-sized reproductions of various plant- and meat-eating dinos, with one exception: A wooly mammoth, the large, extinct elephant ancestor.

Looming over us with its huge tusks, friendly eyes and thick, dark coat, the only warm-blooded representative in the garden immediately got our full attention. Most impressive was the coat, which was thick and shaggy and black and spread over and around the body and huge curved tusks.

Wooly mammoths’ thick outer hair was called the “guard coat.” And this mammoth’s guard-coat hair piece was made from hemp.

Why Medical Marijuana Smoking Bans Are Bad For Patients

UTAH:  State lawmakers are moving ahead with legislative efforts to allow for the limited use of medical ‘cannabis’ while simultaneously forbidding anyone from either inhaling the herb or possessing its flowers

Many medical marijuana advocates cheered the news this week that members of the Utah Senate gave preliminary approval to legislation to permit the use of medical cannabis preparations for qualified patients. No doubt the vote marked a significant change in attitude for lawmakers in the heavily Mormon state. But while the vote marked a ‘first’ for Utah, lawmakers’ decision to prohibit patients from legally possessing, inhaling, or vaporizing actual cannabis is part of a growing, and problematic, national trend.

While no state legislature has approved a law permitting medi-pot patients to grow their own medicine since New Jersey lawmakers banned the practice in 2012, few if any politicians sought to altogether prohibit patients from accessing cannabis flowers (where the majority of pot’s therapeutically active constituents are located) until Minnesota lawmakers addressed the issue last year. In a legislative compromise to appease the state’s Governor, House and Senate lawmakers agreed to amended legislation that, for the first time, mandated patients only be permitted to possess cannabis in non-smoked preparations such as pills or extracted oils (the latter of which could arguably still be vaporized). One month later, New York lawmakers enacted similar legislation restricting the dispensing of medical cannabis only to non-smokeable formulations. And so the trend began.

Proposed Rules On University Researchers’ Hemp Cultivation May Go Too Far, Utah Lawmaker Says

UTAH:  Police would have “complete and unrestricted access” to industrial hemp seeds and plants grown on Utah university campuses for research purposes under proposed rules to implement a new state law.

The administrative rules, which would regulate the implementation of the Industrial Hemp Research Act, “have gone beyond any legislative intent beyond the language, the ink on the paper” of HB105, said Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs.

“I don’t think there’s any provision for that kind of law enforcement involvement in this in the language of the bill,” Madsen told the Utah Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee on Wednesday.

The research act was part of a high-profile bill that established a process and carved out an exemption from prosecution for people who possess and administer hemp extract as a means to control “intractable epilepsy.” The extract has primarily been used in children.

 

Moms’ Marijuana-For-Kids Campaign Seeks To Quiet Epilepsy

UTAH:  April Sintz is fighting to loosen marijuana laws for her 7-year-old epileptic son. She is one of hundreds of moms nationwide who have opened a new front in the drive to expand the drug’s legal use.

While supplying pot to a child is bound to raise eyebrows, Sintz said early evidence on the marijuana extract cannabidiol, also known as CBD, suggests it’s a potent anticonvulsant, with few dangerous side effects. That could help save the life of her son, Isaac, who has 30 seizures or so a day and suffers with kidney damage from his present treatments, she said.

“We’re probably going to lose our son to his kidneys or his seizures,” said Sintz, who lives in South Jordan, Utah, near Salt Lake City, and whose son had his first seizure at 6 months old. “We can’t find a medication to safely control those seizures, which is why we’re so excited for this oil.”