POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Poll shows strong support for medicinal cannabis in Utah

Mar 26, 2018, 4:35 PM | Updated: Aug 4, 2022, 12:10 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — More than three-fourths of Utahns say they support legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, including two-thirds of “very active” Mormons, according to a new UtahPolicy.com poll.

Seventy-seven percent of Utahns surveyed said they “strongly” or “somewhat” favor making medicinal cannabis legal in Utah, the Dan Jones & Associates poll found.

The poll results come as backers of a ballot initiative to legalize medicinal cannabis in Utah continue to gather and verify signatures to put the issue before voters in November.

Medicinal cannabis advocate Christine Stenquist attributes the poll numbers the scores of volunteers who have worked to educate the public on medicinal cannabis, the proposed ballot initiative and recent action in the state Legislature.

“I think we’re an educated population on this topic,” said Stenquist, founder and president of  Together for Responsible Cannabis Use and Education, or TRUCE.

The Utah Patients Coalition has said enough signatures have been gathered but still need to be verified to land the measure on the ballot in November. If that happens and the initiative passes, it will create “a brick-and-mortar facility for patients to go and obtain medicinal cannabis,” Stenquist said.

Under the proposed ballot measure, a program would be set up where Utahns with specific medical conditions can get a recommendation to use medicinal cannabis from their doctor, with qualifying patients being issued cards to access approved dispensaries and possess legal product, she said.

“It will establish a safe and secure program for patients who need assess to this,” Stenquist said.

Conditions listed in the Utah Patients Coalition ballot measure include cancer, epilepsy, ALS, AIDS, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.

The Utah Legislature this year passed a pair of bills sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem — one allowing patients with six months or less to live to legally try cannabis, and another to put in place a process to supply the plant to those patients and researchers.

Under Daw’s legislation, “a doctor has to determine that (a patient has) six months to live, and he also has to determine — or at lease believe — that medical cannabis … would be potentially helpful to them.”

Daw’s bills, like the proposed ballot initiative, allow only for nonsmoking use of cannabis.

“Medical cannabis, in my mind and in the minds of most of my colleagues, is it’s in a dosable form. In other words, it’s a pill, it’s a jell cap, it’s a transdermal, maybe it’s an oil that’s vaped. … There’s nothing medical about smoking it.”

The no-smoking factor may explain the support of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church leaders have cautioned its members against smoking for health reasons. In a June 2017 statement, the LDS Church noted the “legitimate questions regarding the benefits and risks of legalizing a drug that has not gone through the well-established and rigorous process to prove its effectiveness and safety.”

“Accordingly,” the statement continued, “we believe that society is best served by requiring marijuana to go through further research and the FDA-approved process that all other drugs must go through before they are prescribed to patients.”

Utahns, however, are making the case that government is moving too slowly on medicinal cannabis, resulting in the ballot initiative to advance the issue. In all, 66 percent of “very active” Mormons polled said they support the ballot measure, while 30 percent said they’re opposed.

Overall, 21 percent of Utahns said they oppose legalization of medicinal cannabis, with 3 percent undecided.

The poll of 609 adults Feb. 9-16 has a 4 percent margin or error.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said that he will vote against any potential congressional d...
Devan Cole, CNN

Rubio vows to oppose potential Hurricane Ian aid package if lawmakers ‘load it up with stuff that’s unrelated to the storm’

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said he will vote against any potential congressional disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Ian if lawmakers "load it up with stuff that's unrelated to the storm."
1 day ago
first freedoms first...
Boyd Matheson

First freedoms: The interconnectedness of First Amendment rights

If all Americans do not put the first freedoms first KSL NewsRadio host Boyd Matheson says we will not have a sustainable, lasting republic.  
1 day ago
The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that certain presidential records from...
Whitney Wild and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

National Archives says it still doesn’t have all Trump White House records

The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that certain presidential records from the Trump administration remain outstanding, citing information that some White House staff used non-official electronic systems to conduct official business.
2 days ago
TikTok shown on a phone. TikTok is proving influential in poliitics...
DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

TikTok politics: Candidates turn to it ‘for better or worse’

TikTok isn't just about viral dance challenges anymore, but also a place to shop, learn about beauty, fashion or even politics.
3 days ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022...
ZEKE MILLER and DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press

Biden: ‘Our country hurts’ after Hurricane Ian slams Florida

President Joe Biden on Thursday said “our entire country hurts” along with the people of Florida.
4 days ago
Sen. Gene Davis...
Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake County Dems call for immediate resignation of Sen. Gene Davis

Salt Lake County Democrats say they've completed their investigation and determined that Sen. Gene Davis violated anti-harassment policies.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Poll shows strong support for medicinal cannabis in Utah