Steve Griffin, Deseret News
Kem Gardner, center, speaks for a broad coalition of Utah community leaders at a press conference addressing Utah's medical marijuana ballot initiative at the Utah State Office Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018.

Medical marijuana is an issue that has generated strong emotions and opinions among proponents and opponents alike. On one hand, initiatives to legalize marijuana in other states have led to increased drug use among youth, higher risk of impaired driving, and an increase in hospital emergency department visits, among other significant public health and safety concerns. On the other hand, patients suffering from debilitating pain and other medical conditions have struggled as traditional treatment strategies have failed to provide relief. The marijuana initiative appearing as Proposition 2 on the ballot this November does not strike the appropriate balance in ensuring safe and reasonable access for patients while also protecting youth and preventing other societal harms.

We are firmly opposed to Proposition 2. However, we do not object to marijuana derivatives being used in medicinal form — so long as appropriate controls and safeguards are in place to ensure vulnerable populations are protected and access is limited to truly medicinal purposes. Moreover, though continued research into the risks and benefits of medical marijuana use remains paramount, current scientific evidence suggests marijuana contains components that may be of benefit to some patients.

We urge the voters of Utah to vote no on Proposition 2. We also urge lawmakers, patients, and community stakeholders to work together to find a solution that works for all Utahns. The hallmarks of Utah’s unique policy accomplishments in the past have been civility, compassion, and a spirit of compromise, and we are confident an approach guided by these principles will yield similarly effective policies.

List of supporters:

Utah Medical Association

Salt Lake Chamber

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Episcopal Diocese

Utah Hospital Association

Utah PTA

Fraternal Order of Police

Family Policy Resource

Utah Narcotics Officers Association

Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake

Latinos in Action

Utah Sheriff's Association

Salt Lake City Police Association

Sutherland Institute

Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Utah Eagle Forum

Utah Society of Anesthesiologists

Family First Foundation

Meridian Magazine

Newquist Group

Citizens for Strong Families

American College of Emergency Physicians Utah chapter

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah

Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, president of the Utah Senate

Greg Hughes, R-Draper, speaker of the Utah House

Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank

Gail Miller, owner and chairwoman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

Karen Huntsman

Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor and secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

David Huntsman, president of the Huntsman Foundation

Mitt Romney, U.S. Senate candidate

Jim Jardine, lawyer and education leader

Kem Gardner, chairman of the Gardner Co.

Dave Mallinak, pastor, Berean Baptism Church in Ogden

Rosie Rivera, Salt Lake County sheriff

Steve Starks, president of the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment

Spencer P. Eccles, former executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic development

Nathan Frodsham, patient advocate

Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, majority leader of the Utah House

Aimee Winder Newton, chairwoman of the Salt Lake County Council

Kim R. Wilson, attorney

Enedina Stanger, patient advocate

Walt Plumb, developer

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber

Todd Moon, patient advocate

The Rev. Gregory Johnson, president of Standing Together

Stuart Adams, R-Layton, majority whip of the Utah Senate

Carlton Christensen, former member of the Salt Lake City Council

Karen Hale, former state senator

State Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City

State Sen. Ann Milner, R-Ogden

State Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi

State Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan

State Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville

State Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo

Susan Bramble

State Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden

State Sen. Peter Knudsen, R-Brigham City

State Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe

State Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton

State Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George

State Rep. Stuart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights

State Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo

State Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork

State Rep. Kelly Miles, R-Ogden

State Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George

State Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper

State Rep. Tim Hawkes, R-Centerville

State Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan

State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Syracuse

State Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville

State Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab

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State Rep. Darrin Owens, R-Fountain Green

State Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden

State Rep. Val Potter, R-North Logan

State Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City

State Rep. Adam Robertson, R-Provo

State Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem

State Rep. Logan Wilde, R-Croydon

State Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry

State Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan

State Rep. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara

Mike Kennedy, doctor

Ed Kennedy, president of Truth About Prop. 2

Jennifer Brown, dentist

Nathan Evershed, candidate for Salt Lake County attorney