Utah may be the next state to implement medical marijuana legislation
Last update: January 25, 2016
In 2015, State Sen. Mark Madsen’s medical cannabis bill came just one vote shy of clearing the state Senate. Since then, momentum has continued to build with Gov. Gary Herbert saying he would sign compassionate medical cannabis legislation. With your help, this could be the year Utah’s chronically ill patients get relief. Indeed, a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll shows support for medical marijuana has grown by 10% in the past year, from 51% to 61%. Now is the time to pass medical marijuana legislation in Utah.
Please contact your elected officials and let them know that you do not want to criminalize the seriously ill. Ask them to make sure Sen. Madsen’s 2016 bill, SB 73, becomes law this year. Patients deserve compassion, not incarceration.
Decriminalization and prohibition
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 are disproportionately the ones who face these draconian penalties. 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 support Sen. Madsen’s bill to establish a program for medical marijuana in Utah. Or, ask them to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession to a more reasonable non-criminal fine.
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If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help in future efforts to get sensible marijuana legislation introduced in Utah.