Medical marijuana could be legalized in Utah, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormons) joined with the governor and supporters of the measure in a compromise in early October.
The debate has been ongoing in the state regarding the legalization of medical marijuana. The measure that will be on the ballot November 2 has been a fierce point of contention. However, an agreement has now been made. No matter what the results are of the vote, a special legislative session will be called following the vote to discuss a pact that has support from even the church, who have been lobbying against the measure for some time.
This pact will allow patients to get marijuana from county health departments or five cannabis pharmacies that will be state-approved. Meanwhile, the measure up for vote would allow patients to buy products from private dispensaries.
The ultimate goal is to provide those who qualify with access to marijuana to help alleviate the pain of a chronic condition. The state-run dispensation of marijuana will mean increased safety measures and will help keep marijuana off the black market that was intended to be used as medicine for those in need.
The main concerns for the church were that the measure that is up for vote leaves a lot of room for marijuana to be used on a broader scale. However, the pact that will be discussed in the special legislative session goes a long way towards allaying fears in that regard. This is largely a concern because the church feels strongly that products like coffee, alcohol, and tobacco are substances that should be avoided. Marijuana fits into that category for them as well.
The church officials shared their satisfaction that a measure can be agreed upon to provide relief to those who truly need marijuana while keeping it out of the hands of those who do not need it.
The measure will be discussed following the vote, and the agreement means positive results for those who are eligible for treatment using marijuana. For those who hope Utah will follow the paths of other states where recreational use has been legalized, that dream may be a bit further into the future.