UTAH LAWMAKERS PLAN TO EDIT THE MARIJUANA BALLOT MEASURE
Utah has certainly had quite the eventful year, hasn’t it? Back in October, the Beehive State was buzzing with activity when the Mormon Church voiced full support for the legalization of marijuana, only to oppose an amendment (Proposition 2) that was set for the midterm ballot. Ultimately, state lawmakers decided to shave the proposal down to a more restricted set of laws, potentially causing more difficulties than intended. Now, once again, the Utah government is once again preparing to change its current medical marijuana law, recently approved by voters in the 2018 midterm election. Set to take place on Monday, December 3, 2018, the special session addressed the issue forthrightly. Let’s take a closer look at what Utah lawmakers have up their sleeve for the marijuana debate this time.
Special Session Spurred by a Compromise
Taking place on Friday, November 30, 2018, at 10:00 AM, the session (called by Governor Gary Herbert) directly followed on the heels of a pre-election compromise between Utah marijuana advocates and representatives of the Mormon Church. Ultimately, this meeting was kickstarted by supporters of the original ballot to gain the favor of lawmakers and Church reps to ensure no further changes were made to the measure.
Needless to say, the journey for legalization in Utah has been filled with nothing but difficulty. Despite what took place at the polls in November, lawmakers scrapped many portions of Proposition 2 and, instead, opted for a more restricted regulation on medical-grade marijuana. Although it looks like the state and a medical cannabis program will work on the issue in unison, the program itself is highly restricted and will not provide many options for patients.
Big Changes from the Church
As part of the policy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church), substances like marijuana are considered sinful and completely against church law. In fact, one of the main concerns voiced by church officials involved the possibility of broad cannabis consumption (as a direct result of legalization). However, after the meeting, Church representatives realized the new proposition is gaining support and completely agreed with Utah lawmakers, resulting in a 53% positive vote.
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