Support for marijuana initiative may go up in smoke

Oct 25, 2018, 9:55 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Support for Proposition 2, the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in November, has dropped significantly since a deal was announced to re-write legislation on the measure after Election Day.

Support for Prop 2 still strong, but waning

Two months ago, approval among Utah voters for Prop 2 was around 66 percent. Now, after the compromise was reached between interest groups including the Utah Medical Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who opposed Prop 2, and the Utah Patients Coalition and Libertas Institute, who support the initiative, support for Proposition 2 sits at around 51 percent.

Because of government rules, the original version of Prop 2, not the compromise, is the one that is on the ballot for voters to decide. However, if it passes, the legislature would immediately begin to re-write it to reflect the compromises.

The differences between Prop 2 and the compromise

The new version of legalized medical marijuana in Utah would reduce the number of illnesses for which patients could legally seek cannabis treatment. Currently, Prop 2 would include patients with HIV, Alzheimer’s cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, autism and chronic or debilitating pain in people who cannot use opiates or are at risk of becoming dependent or overdosing on opiates.

The compromise version would narrow the list of qualifying illnesses and require patients to pick up their prescriptions at a local health department location.  The new plan also calls for a state-centralized cannabis pharmacy, which would fill orders from patients and send to only 5 privately owned “cannabis pharmacies” or the designated health department locations for pick up.

Reassurances from the Speaker

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, spoke to state lawmakers yesterday to assure them the revised version of Proposition 2 will be passed even if the original version fails.  Hughes assured state Democrats on Utah’s Capitol Hill Wednesday the consensus bill was not a plot to derail the medical marijuana initiative, something critics of the compromise have claimed.

support for proposition 2 decreases

File photo of a medical marijuana display in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

However, another provision under the compromise would require physicians and pharmacists to control the marijuana dosages for patients and would ban edible versions of cannabis.

Concern about patients

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, who supports Proposition 2, was concerned about whether patients would have the power to be able to adjust their own dosages or find the products that work for them, as the medical community does not yet have standards in place for prescription marijuana.

Parties on both sides of Proposition 2 still maintain they are either opposed or completely support the original bill but most acknowledge the second version is a workable program.  There are some advocates who are unhappy with the agreement.

Lawmakers intend to hold several more discussions on the matter before Election Day.

KSL has a series of voter guides available to educate Utah voters about all the initiatives they will see on their ballots, including Proposition 2. You can find those voter guides along with information about registration deadlines, polling locations and more on our website.

Today’s Top Stories

Your Voice, Your Vote 2018

Fourth District Race...
Associated Press and Adam Mason

McAdams confident he’s earned victory in Fourth District race

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said he is confident he earned the victory in the Fourth District race.
4 years ago
Mia Love Lawsuit: Mia Love, Sherrie Swensen, and Ben McAdams...
Mark Oliver

Mia Love campaign files lawsuit to stop ballot counting in Salt Lake County

Mia Love has filed a lawsuit to stop Salt Lake County from counting ballots in her race against Ben McAdams. Is there any justification to it?
4 years ago
(Deseret News/composite picture)...
Paul Nelson

County clerks trying to determine how many unprocessed ballots remaining

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is at the nation’s capitol learning about his new possible job as county clerks try to determine how many unprocessed ballots there are.
4 years ago
(Jeffrey D Allred, Deseret News, Nov. 7, 2018)...
Paul Nelson

Tens of thousands of ballots left to count in Utah County

We will not see any more election results from Utah County until next Tuesday with thousands of ballots still needing to be counted.
4 years ago
Polling delays in Lehi City...
Dave Noriega

OPINION: Voting, not voters, may cost Mia Love the election

Voters in Utah County had to wait up to four hours to cast their votes. That's more than just frustrating. It could well cost Mia Love the election.
4 years ago
in-person voting caused long lines in 2018...
Paul Nelson

State officials weigh in on Utah County’s long election lines

While the state waits on final election results, some state officials are weighing in about Utah County's long election lines Tuesday.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Support for marijuana initiative may go up in smoke