Election Day is here. Have you voted yet?
If you haven’t, look up your polling location and go vote YES on Prop 2 right now!
Your vote matters! It’s important that Utah sends a message to the political establishment that there is strong support for a medical marijuana policy.
After you vote, if you’re near Salt Lake City, join the Utah Patients Coalition for their election night celebration! The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Infinity Event Center (26 East 600 South). You can register here with Facebook or here without it.
Patients and their families in Utah deserve a compassionate medical cannabis program. Please, don’t sit this one out. Go vote YES on Prop 2 and send the message that it’s time to move forward!
On October 4 in Salt Lake City, medical marijuana supporters and opponents announced that they have reached an agreement on a compromise medical marijuana law that will be enacted during a November special session after the 2018 election.
Regardless of the outcome of Prop 2 — the medical marijuana ballot initiative that MPP helped to draft — the legislature will enact the compromise bill. Utah Governor Gary Herbert has committed to calling the special session.
MPP strongly supports the agreement because it will ensure that a workable medical marijuana law is enacted and implemented. In Utah, a statutory ballot initiative can be amended or even repealed by a simple majority in the legislature. If Prop 2 passed without any agreement on next steps, patients may have been left waiting years to access legal medical cannabis. This compromise eliminates that uncertainty and ensures legislative leaders are committed to making the law work.
This agreement has the support of the Utah Patients Coalition (the Prop 2 campaign committee), Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, the Utah Senate President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Utah Medical Association.
The compromise bill, while not ideal and cumbersome in certain respects, is workable and provides a path for Utah patients to legally access medical cannabis, including whole-plant products. MPP staff were consulted during the negotiations and provided critical input on the final agreement.
MPP has been assisting the campaign since its inception in early 2017. We helped draft the initiative, and we made significant financial contributions to fund the successful signature drive (and its subsequent legal defense). While we still wish to see Prop 2 pass, both sides have agreed to de-escalate their campaign activities.
MPP would like to thank the many individual donors who supported the Utah Patients Coalition over the last 18 months. Your generosity enabled a successful signature drive. If Prop 2 had not qualified for the ballot, yesterday’s agreement would not have been possible.
Very soon, one of the most conservative states in the country will enact a medical marijuana law. That demonstrates that any state in the country can have a medical marijuana law. MPP will continue to work across the country to achieve that goal.
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.
As required by state election law, Utah Patients Coalition (UPC) is holding eight hearings throughout the state of Utah to collect public comment on the proposed citizens’ initiative petition, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act. On Wednesday, UPC held the first set of these public meetings in Salt Lake City, Lehi, and St. George.
Sharing powerful personal stories about how medical cannabis has significantly improved their quality of life, several patients made their case to a roomful of interested voters and took questions. Read more about the public forum that took place in Salt Lake City here. A complete list of these public hearings can be found here.