Utah lawmakers pass, governor signs, CBD bill
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a proposal allowing individuals suffering from intractable epileptic disorders to legally possess and use CBD oils if certified to do so by their neurologists. Only possession of oils with less than 0.3% THC and at least 15% CBD will be allowed. The new law also allows institutions of higher education to seek waivers to grow industrial hemp for research, but it is not clear if that will actually result in access to high-CBD oils that are effective for patients’ seizures. Despite concerns about access and the fact that this legislation excludes the vast majority of medical marijuana patients, it is still a positive step forward. For more information on this new law, please see our summary of H.B. 105.
While Utah lawmakers debated this narrow proposal, adults 21 and older in neighboring Colorado can now legally purchase marijuana at registered stores. Sales have been steady, yet bordering states report no adverse effects from Colorado’s change in law. Please remember that it is still illegal to possess and use marijuana in Utah, but that doesn’t have to always be the case. It’s time Utah considers ending the big-government policy that is marijuana prohibition, allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes.
If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can be of special help in future efforts to get sensible marijuana legislation introduced in Utah.
Utah's current marijuana laws
Under current Utah law, possession of as little as an ounce or less of marijuana can result in a six-month jail sentence. Unfortunately, minority and low-income communities in Utah bear the brunt of this draconian punishment. The ACLU recently found that black Utahans are over three and three-quarters times as likely to get arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors. Write your legislators and ask that they introduce legislation to end Utah’s marijuana prohibition. For more information on Utah's marijuana laws, please see Dr. Jon Gettman, Ph.D.'s Utah-specific state report.
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