Despite a robust 76 percent public support for the Utah medical marijuana initiative, the governor, a state medical association and even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have recently come out, or hinted, against it.
Utah isn’t the hive of compassion and innovation those leaders like to claim it is.
Last month Gov. Gary Herbert came out against the initiative citing his main objection that medical marijuana would “open the door to recreational use.” Except it won’t. The governor has no data or study to explain this oft-repeated falsehood.
Instead, the governor praised the laws the Legislature passed earlier this year that legalized medical marijuana for terminally-ill patients within six months of dying. So the hopeless can get relief, but those in constant pain are out of luck.
The ballot initiative, if passed, would legalize medical marijuana for the terminally ill and those who suffer from chronic pain due to certain serious diagnoses. Most believe that medical marijuana would cause much less loss and devastation than opioids, which have become a deadly plague of addiction.
The Utah Medical Association also issued a statement opposing the initiative. Of course, the UMA doesn’t speak for all physicians in the state; it’s a reflection of the UMA board, not the membership itself. But most people don’t know that.
One of those unrepresented doctors, Andrew Talbott, said, “The track record of the safety and efficacy of this medicine speaks for itself, though there are hundreds of existing studies that prove this.”
In its statement, the UMA said medical marijuana “would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities.”
The health and safety!! Compromised! Those terribly sick people will visit a highly regulated dispensary to show their