Yet another poll has showed that a strong majority of Utah voters support the medical cannabis ballot initiative.
Salt Lake Tribune reports:
Utahns continue to show broad support for a proposed 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, according to a new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
The new survey finds 75 percent of Utah voters either strongly or somewhat support the proposed initiative, all but mirroring a July poll that had 77 percent of voters backing legalized medical marijuana.
And it appears support for medical marijuana is growing in Utah: A Tribune-Hinckley Institute poll commissioned in January found 54 percent of voters somewhat or strongly backed legalization.
“Things are trending in the right direction,” said DJ Schanz, executive director of the Utah Patients Coalition, the group organizing the ballot initiative.
“It’s a positive change in our state and across the country. We’re seeing such a positive [stance toward medical marijuana],” said Christine Stenquist, president of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE), which is working to educate Utah voters on medical marijuana.
The Utah Patients Coalition held a news conference on Thursday to announce the official launch of signature gathering efforts to get a medical marijuana initiative on the Nov. 2018 ballot. Volunteers began collecting signatures in downtown Salt Lake City immediately following the event.
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act received approval from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox on August 10 to begin gathering signatures after supporters held 10 public hearings across the state and met with various state departments and stakeholders. More than 113,000 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot.
Good 4 Utah reports:
They are due April 15, 2018, but this group wants to get all the signatures turned in before the 2018 Legislative Session starts.
"The legislature has had an opportunity for the last three or four years to make substantive policy on this and has failed to do so, so now I think it's time for the people to decide on this issue," said DJ Schanz, Utah Patients Coalition Campaign Director.
The initiative would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to legally and safely access medical cannabis with the recommendation of their doctor. It limits the number of dispensaries and cultivators, allows local zoning for medical cannabis facilities, prohibits using medical cannabis in public view, maintains the illegality of driving while intoxicated, and closely mirrors the legislation passed by the Utah Senate in 2016. Home cultivation and smoking medical cannabis would not be permitted.