Earlier in 2017, Utah lawmakers decided to dismiss the chance at joining more than half of all U.S. states with passing a broad medical marijuana law. Instead, Utah gave state colleges and other institutions a green light to research the medical impacts of the drug with the hope of having comprehensive date next year.
They misgauge the time it would take to research the medical possibilities, likely taking years which would require researchers to dissect the depths of bureaucracy that delays and derails research.
The hesitation is from marijuana being a Schedule I drug among ecstasy, LSD, and heroin; while highly addictive Demerol, Fentanyl, and OxyContin are listed as Scheduled II.
Advocates and lawmakers pushed for the drug to be declassified and regrouped along with such drugs as opiates and cocaine, which have medical uses but are still illegal for recreational use.
In 2014, Utah passed Charlie’s law which allowed patients with epilepsy to purchase registration cards so they can possess CBD oil with less than .3 percent THC without fear of getting in trouble with prosecution. This fell short of addressing the broader need for medical cannabis.
Utah has had years of failed attempts to legalize medical marijuana; in 2018 they are pushing the law to the voters. Medical marijuana advocates in Utah received the go-ahead from state election officials in August 2017 to start gathering the necessary signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot.
The Utah Patients Coalition officials have had time from August 2017 until the end of December 2017 to get hit their goal of 113,143 signatures required before the January 2018 legislative session. If this legislation wins voter approval, it would allow a limited number of cannabis outlets and physicians would be permitted to prescribe marijuana for certain medical conditions. Some of the medical conditions that would be included are cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking cannabis, driving while intoxicated from medical cannabis and public use would remain illegal.