Senator films himself trying marijuana, says every legislator should try it

Oct 23, 2018, 1:07 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 11:40 am
Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City...
Sen. Jim Dabakis holds up an marijuana-infused gummy bear. On Saturday, he filmed himself trying marijuana in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Jim Dabakis / Facebook)
(Jim Dabakis / Facebook)

Senator Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, filmed himself eating marijuana-infused gummy bears and posted the video on Facebook. He says that, before passing any laws on marijuana, “everyone in the Utah legislature” should try it for themselves.

KSL Newsradio’s Dave Noriega and guest host Chris Vanocur sat down with Sen. Dabakis on the Dave & Dujanovic Show to talk about the political stunt.

He explained why he decided to try marijuana and why he thinks that the people deciding marijuana laws in Utah are dangerously misinformed.

Sen. Jim Dabakis tries marijuana on video

Dabakis says that he decided to try marijuana for himself because he was “pretty confident” that nobody in the Utah legislature had done it.

“I thought it was about time that at least one legislator knew a bit about marijuana before we changed all the laws,” Dabakis says.

He says that he was in Las Vegas, Nevada, for other reasons when he passed by a marijuana dispensary and decided not to pass up the chance to give the drug a try.

Dabakis, who says he’s never “tasted, smoked, eaten, or shot up marijuana” in his life, bought a package of marijuana-infused gummy bears on the clerk’s recommendation. He says that, because of Nevada laws, they came in such tight, child-proof packaging that he ended trying to tear them open with his teeth.

At first, the senator only tried half of a gummy bear. But when, after an hour, the gummy bear still didn’t have any effect, Dabakis admits that he tried a little more.

“It was no big deal!” Dabakis told KSL. “I felt a little calm and a little cool and a little high — but I just want to say to everybody who hasn’t done it, it’s not that big of a deal.”

Sen. Dabakis on the Prop 2 compromise

Proposition 2 Compromise Bill

Gov. Gary Herbert talks to the press about the “compromise bill” intended to replace Proposition 2 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Gov. Herbert has said that he plans on trying to get the compromise bill approved in a special session after the election, regardless of how Utahns vote on Proposition 2. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Sen. Jim Dabakis says that he tried the drug for himself to show the Utah legislature that marijuana isn’t as bad as some of Proposition 2 opponents have made it out to be.

“The way the opponents are talking about it, it’s some kind of reefer madness. ‘You take this, your head’s going to explode! It’s going to be terrible!’” Dabakis told KSL Newsradio. “You know what? It wasn’t at all.”

In his video, he says that Nevada collected $420 million from marijuana sales last year, $70 million of which he says will go to the taxpayers.

He’s worried that the “compromise bill” to replace Proposition 2 that Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, plans on putting forward in a special session will result in marijuana laws being pushed out of Utah by lawmakers that don’t understand the drug.

“Tens of thousands of Utah citizens from all over the state went for months … and met this horrendously high burden of getting something on the ballot,” Dabakis says, “and then these ‘compromisers’ just kind of threw that out the window and said, ‘No, we’re taking over.’”

He fears that, during the special session, the laws will either be made so strict that medical marijuana will become effectively unobtainable or the state will just ban it altogether.

In a follow-up video, he called for a “’dispensation” to allow “everyone in the Utah legislature to go try [marijuana-infused] gummy bears” so that they can try the drug’s effects for themselves.

“I’m not proposing that for everything — like heroin,” Dabakis told KSL. “But this, it seems simple enough. It doesn’t seem like a lot of downsides.”

More to the story

If you missed Dave & Dujanovic’s conversation with Senator Jim Dabakis live on KSL Newsradio, you can still catch every word on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Senator films himself trying marijuana, says every legislator should try it