Throughout the state of Utah, a ballot initiative is making its rounds in an effort to gather signatures in support of medical cannabis.
In a poll commissioned by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics and conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, it was revealed that 78% of Utah residents favor bringing medical cannabis into their state. This is a dramatic increase from the results of a similar poll taken in January that revealed only 54% of Utah residents approved of medical cannabis.
The most recent poll was conducted among 605 Utah voters, a mixture of Democrats and Republicans. It was found that 97% of polled Democrats were in favor of medical cannabis, as well as 65% of Republicans.
State Rep. Brad Daw isn’t surprised by the numbers, having seen such support in his own constituents. Despite the outpouring of public support for this ballot initiative, Daw believes that the language of the proposal is “too broad,” and believes that voters will pull away from it once they see the actual contents of the ballot initiative.
Jon Huntsman Sr. is one man whose support is a great influence to the cause. The philanthropist and father of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has voiced his approval.
“If medical marijuana was known by another name, it would have been utilized as a pain medication many years ago. From national research and understanding, the side effects of medical marijuana are considerably less than virtually all opioids and therefore less destructive to the body,” said the four-time cancer survivor and sufferer of polymyalgia rheumatica.
The initiative must receive at least 113,143 valid signatures by April 15th if it is to be put to voters in November 2018. If voters approve of medical cannabis having a presence in the state of Utah, smoking will still be prohibited. However, it would allow for possession of whole cannabis plants. Current state law allows for patients with specific forms of epilepsy to legally possess CBD oil to manage their symptoms, but there is no place for patients to buy it within Utah’s borders.
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