Bills could legalize medical marijuana for terminally ill

The Utah Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to cultivate marijuana, as pictured here in a private Texas facility. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SALT LAKE CITY — Three bills under consideration in the 2018 Legislature would grant terminally ill patients the right to try medical marijuana grown and distributed by the state.

Rep. Brad M. Daw, R-Orem, is sponsoring HB195, HB197 and HB302. All the bills coordinate to legalize marijuana for medical use to terminally ill patients in Utah.

HB195: Right to try

If passed, HB195 would grant terminally ill patients the right to try cannabis-based treatment. A physician would have to recommend the treatment first. When the bill was first introduced, it said the physician would be responsible to recommend and provide the medical marijuana to the patient. A slight change made to the bill allows the physician to recommend medical marijuana to a patient, but not to be the provider.

Daw said a medicinal form of marijuana would not be smoked, but most likely come in a pill or transdermal form — “a specific well understood dose in a well understood regimen,” Daw said.

A Utah Chiefs of Police Association representative said they oppose HB195 during a house committee hearing on Jan. 31. The bill passed the committee and awaits debate on the House floor.

Ogden Police Chief Chief Randy Watt said medicinal marijuana has not been completely controlled in any U.S. location.

“The detrimental and negative effects to law enforcement first responders, medical providers, youth situations in schools is very well documented,” Watt said.

Watt also said police chiefs might be neutral on the bill if it were amended to say the prescription is managed by a medical research institute.

HB197: Cannabis cultivation amendments

If passed, HB197 would require the Department of Agriculture

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