Utah lawmakers fail to discuss sensible marijuana policy reform in 2013
Lawmakers in Utah have adjourned their 2013 session, after failing to even discuss making sensible reforms to the state’s marijuana policies. Over a third of the country now live in states that allow the medical use of marijuana by the seriously ill. In neighboring Colorado and in Washington, voters removed their states' prohibitions on adults 21 and over using and buying marijuana! It’s time Utah considers ending the big-government policy that is marijuana prohibition, allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes.
At the very least, legislators in Salt Lake City should ask themselves if the best practice for treating seriously ill residents of the Beehive State is to: (a) jail them for using medicine that eases their pain, or (b) protect them from arrest and prosecution and allow them legal access to a medicine that has been proven safe and effective. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C. have medical marijuana laws protecting the seriously ill; please urge your legislators to introduce a medical marijuana bill next session.
If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member, please email email@example.com 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 than 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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