October 08, 2018, Utah
In a few weeks, Utah voters are going to vote on the legalization of medical marijuana in the state. In order to formulate the legalization initiative acceptable to all the stakeholders, proponents and opponents of the initiative have been in discussions and finally reached an agreement. According to local media reports, Utah Patient Coalition (the proponent group) and Drug Safe Utah and Utah Medical Association (the opponents) have reached a common ground to amend the initiative Proposition 2 for MMJ legalization.
As per the CEO of the Utah Medical Association, Michelle McOmber, the agreement has been worked out on the basis of patient and kid safety and has adopted tested practices of other legal states. She has termed the agreement ‘a Utah solution’.
MMJ advocate group Utah Patient Coalition has also verified that a provisional agreement has been reached by both the parties. The director of the group DJ Schanz says that they have also come up with some amendments and will make them public in the next few days. Some of the cannabis experts have said that the amendments will delay the execution of the MMJ Program in a reasonable time frame.
According to local media reports, the amendment will eliminate two important provisions of Proposition 2. One of those provisions would have allowed patients living 100 miles or more from a dispensary to grow their own medical marijuana. The other allegedly eliminated provision would have given a legal cover to all those patients not possessing MMJ card in case they were eligible.
According to cannabis advocates, these provisions would have acted as triggers for the implementation of the initiative. The McOmber’s talk to media also suggests that restrictive provisions will be the part of the initiative. The state medical association wants the initiative to be on more pharmacological lines. So, the amendment will most definitely tense up the provisions related to the dosing and dispensing of medical cannabis.
A perception is also brewing that the Utah Patient Coalition has conceded ground to the opponents for amending the Proposition 2 altogether. Schanz, therefore, has to make it clear that they haven’t come up with an entirely new working bill and the agreement only entails acceptable modifications to the Proposition 2. On the other hand, McOmber has also reiterated that the association is still against the Proposition 2.
Christine Stenquist is the founder and executive director of TRUCE, which is a medical marijuana group. She has raised her wariness on the supposed compromise. She is of the belief that Proposition 2 is the only surety of effective patient access to MMJ, which will be thwarted by any legislative compromise.
Only time will reveal the finalized amended Proposition 2 all the stakeholder have been agreed upon, and on which Utahans are going to vote in November. Notwithstanding the amendments, any MMJ initiative will struggle during its implementation because of wide-ranging opposition. From the medical community to church and law enforcement, many powerful quarters of the state are opposing the measure.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]