Utahns approve Proposition 2 to legalize medical cannabis!
Last update: November 14, 2018
On November 6, voters approved the Utah Medical Cannabis Act (Prop 2) by a 52-48 margin, representing a major victory for medical marijuana advocates who have fought for years to establish a compassionate program. Patients and their families will soon be able to safely access a medicine that holds the potential to significantly alleviate many painful and debilitating health conditions.
Utah joins Missouri and Oklahoma on the list of states that approved medical marijuana laws in 2018. The measure will officially become effective on December 1. MPP is proud to have supported the Utah Patients Coalition (the campaign behind Prop 2) in a number of important ways, including helping the campaign organize the signature petition drive, draft the initiative, and fundraise.
Prior to the election, leaders from the Utah Patients Coalition, MPP, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and the Utah legislature collaboratively negotiated a medical cannabis compromise proposal, which would establish a functional medical cannabis program, but with more restrictions than Proposal 2. Before the election, all parties agreed to support the compromise plan, regardless of the outcome of Proposal 2. The governor, House Speaker, and Senate President all publicly pledged their commitment to the deal.
Given that Utah law permits the state legislature to amend voter initiatives with a simple majority vote, medical marijuana advocates and leaders of the Prop 2 campaign believed the best way to ensure the implementation of a medical cannabis law was to support this compromise. A special legislative session to address medical cannabis is expected to convene early in December.
Stay tuned for more updates soon!
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 them to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession to a more reasonable non-criminal fine.
Stay up-to-date on the status of marijuana policy reform in Utah, by subscribing to MPP’s action alerts!
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.