UTAH OFFICIALLY LEGALIZES MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Needless to say, Utah attracted the attention of people across the cannabis community when the Mormon Church announced it was supporting a proposition for medical marijuana. However, on October 4, 2018, the debate heated up when the Church opposed Proposition 2, a law that would allow patients to receive medical cannabis from stores (simply put). However, despite pushbacks from the Church and some officials, the Beehive State aptly stung confrontations by officially legalizing medical marijuana in the 2018 Election. Overall, Utah’s fight for the drug has been one of the hardest and most fulfilling in the history of the United States. However, the public is turning their attention to lawmakers and asking one question: what happens next? Let’s take a closer look at the results of the election in the State of Utah.
On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, voters officially approved the legalization of medical-grade marijuana in the State of Utah. Officials confirmed that 54% of precincts reported a measure of 54.1 to 45.9% lead in total votes. Overall, this was a very close and riveting victory for a state that had faced so many problems with this legalization process over the past couple of months. In fact, some officials are referring to this election as “symbolic.”
However, voters were not so pleased with the final outcome, as it was far different from Proposition 2. Due to backlash and heated debates, one month before the Election, Utah lawmakers changed this document which aimed to serve as a compromise between opposing sides. In other words, Proposition 2 has been dissolved, while this amendment was passed.
Future of Legalization
So, how will these results impact the future of medical cannabis in the State of Utah?
Overall, this marijuana bargain has positive and negative aspects. While the law will allow the establishment of a medical cannabis program, patients will have to endure severe restrictions in comparison to existing mandates in other U.S. States. Why is this so? Only 6 dispensaries will be established across Utah (expected to rise to 10 establishments soon), whereas Proposition 2 would have permitted 1 dispensary per 150,000 Utah residents. Furthermore, edibles are not allowed, while unprocessed marijuana flowers will be housed in blister packs (like regular pharmaceuticals). Likewise, with the dropping of Proposition 2, patients can no longer grow plants in their residential homes. Furthermore, the new law tightens qualifications for medical conditions, an example being how “chronic pain” must refer to extreme pain that lasts longer than 2 weeks.
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