The people of Utah want medical marijuana, even Senator Orrin Hatch is working to get marijuana descheduled so that research can be done on the medicinal properties of marijuana. Utah is sitting right in the middle of recreational marijuana land, between Colorado and California, and so it is not difficult for residents to travel and find marijuana. It makes perfect sense for Utah to have a relaxed medical marijuana program both for the demand as well as for financial reasons, but Governor Gary Herbert does not see it that way.
Utah is trying to add a ballot question for later this year to legalize medical marijuana and make it available to many patients. Governor Herbert feels that the vote would put in place a medical marijuana program that is more akin to recreational marijuana though.
The Republican governor said in a statement Thursday that he believes the proposal has major flaws and lacks safeguards for the growing and distribution of marijuana that “would potentially open the door to recreational use.”
Herbert says that the law he recently signed allowing farmers to grow marijuana for use by researchers and patients with less than six months to live is a careful step to allow more research on marijuana’s medical effects.
A group pushing the ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Utah says the governor’s opposition to the plan is one more example of “politicians standing between patients and their physicians.”
The bias against marijuana is still prevalent in the United States and Governor Herbert is plainly part of that group if he is trying to discourage the people of Utah from embracing medical marijuana. It makes little sense for an elected official to oppose the majority of their voters and not embrace keeping consumers in state and collecting tax revenue.