In our opinion: Utah should remain cautious in moving forward with medical marijuana

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  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    Jan. 1, 2018 6:22 p.m.

    As more more state offer either medical and or recreational cannabis the black market will continue to shrink, however I don't think it will ever go away completely. The profit margins for them will drop and many would prefer to get safe tested and regulated cannabis rather than unregulated untested ditch weed. Organized crime has already recognised that the black market is contracting and has shifted to other drugs as their profit stream. How Jeff Sessions came up with the idea that medical cannabis is a cover illegal black market sales just shows his complete lack of any comprehension of the market and the tracking safeguards built into the medical cannabis sales. Talk to actual patients who are real legitimate need. These are not stoner pot heads looking for any excuse to get high. These are real people in real need. The citizens of Utah get it. Our elected officials however do not seem to get it thus the ballot initiative came about. No doubt in the upcoming 2018 session our elected officials will offer some smoke screen token bills as a counter to the BI. It will be interesting to see if any real offers are made and not a trojan horse.

  • Jared1 Centerville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2018 11:39 a.m.

    I was born and raised in Utah and obtained my BS in Botany from Weber State. I recently lived in Oregon for two years and worked as a cannabis grower. As far as the job, it is no different from any other horticulture position. Soil, water, plants, nutrients, bugs, plant issues, etc. Recreational cannabis generated $85 million in taxes that were distributed to the common school fund, mental health and drug abuse services, police, and to pay back the state for everything involved in cannabis legalization. The industry attracts many educated people and requires that no felons may work within it. Every gram that is grown is tracked from beginning to end. With the OLCC, Oregon's cannabis black market is being obliterated. Regardless of what you may feel about cannabis, people are going to continue to use it because adults have that choice. It is far better to create jobs and generate taxes rather than creating felons for a victimless crime. Almost 120,000 people are employed in medical/recreational cannabis in the US already. Opioid deaths in legal cannabis states have dropped by 25% and there has been a decrease in youth using cannabis. The answer is obvious. Legalize and regulate.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 1, 2018 10:39 a.m.

    BrentBot I think the information you posted is so incredibly important. We know the brain is developing until age 25 or so, and drugs including Cannabis and alcohol are easily available in any high school. Proper education to our youth beyond abstinence is critical.

    Having said that, how would a overly cautious, very slow approach to Medical Cannabis, as the Deseret News believes, help with the youth drug problem?

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 8:22 p.m.

    A study from New Zealand conducted in part by researchers at Duke University showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing marijuana use disorder lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities didn't fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. NIH Website

  • Taterhead West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 9:49 a.m.

    The comments are comical.
    "Pill form"? So, pills like Prozac are okay? Laughable. Utah is okay with something as long as it can quietly sit in our medicine cabinet, with approval from our neighbor/doctor.
    "More research" and "FDA approval". Again, comical- the FDA approved Fen-phen, Vioxx, Qaaludes and Thalidomide. We know how safe THOSE were, thousands died; but pot hasnt killed ANYone. 6000 years of human use but Utah wants more research. To get close to toxic, you must ingest 150 pounds in 15 minutes. Hardly possible.
    The ballot initiative doesnt allow smoking, requires doctor supervision, and limits the number of dispensaries to one for every 150,000 population.
    Allow research along with doctor-regulated use. Stop with the Nancy Reagan hysteria.

  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:52 p.m.

    It is interesting that the opponents point more research is needed. 6000 years of use and not one overdose death from use is apparently not sufficient evidence of safety. With the raising issues opiate overdose deaths and so many other drug issues what will doctors be left to use to treat patients? The proposed ballot initiative is the most conservative program proposed in the United States. The initiative is not the hood wink program that California has had in place. There are specific medical conditions that are specified and specific limits on use. No reasonable person is opposed to more research. For those that want to wait for more research before using then wait. There are other patients that are dying waiting for more research. Let those that are in dire need have the option to use instead of having to die while waiting for the federal government to decide that cannabis is safe to reschedule and allow for federal research to begin. Cannabis as a schedule 1 drug has been a farce. No one has ever died from using cannabis. The same can not be said of aspirin. 6000 years of safe use has more history than any FDA medication. For those that need it though it is a life saver.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:31 p.m.

    Fear, uncertainty and doubt. These are the things we care about.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 8:19 p.m.

    "Based on these extensive scientific and educational experiences I assure you this is a very scary drug with many potential side effects that are very concerning especially in adolescents who are by far the most likely population to use this drug whether legal or illegal (see the website for scientific details)."

    Room 105# I am very very interested in reading the data to support your statement.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 30, 2017 7:07 p.m.

    Lots of plants, some poisonous, produce chemicals that prove to be effective in medicine. Asapirin, for example, is derived from willow trees.

    What people don't realize that many medicines are DERIVED from plants - plants have evolved to generate lost of chemicals useful for defense against grazing, disease, etc.

    Medical research based on Marijuana doesn't mean somebody would be smoking it. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), gives us a bang if we smoke it, but medical research would use THC as a starting point for other drugs, derived from or synthesized with THC. Other compounds exist in Cannabis that may prove to be beneficial.

    Medical research is done in a lab; people aren't dosed directly with willow for example, we make aspirin from it. Research leads to related products by testing compounds derived from natural plant chemistry. Medical research on Cannabis is perfectly legitimate, but since most politicians and the public in general is ignorant of the scientific method, stupid laws limiting or forbidding scientific investigation in many areas are common in America.

    This is a stupid law. Let's grow up, Utah.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 6:08 p.m.

    We've been cautious for many decades about moving forward on medical marijuana. The time to move forward is now.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 6:00 p.m.

    Medical Pot is a ruse. My daughter who is in the medical profession in CA says ANYONE can get a card for just about anything. These "clinics" even have their own "docs." Approve medical pot in Utah and you might as well legalize the crap, because its all the same thing.

  • Room105A# Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 4:13 p.m.

    I agree with the reasonable and cautious position of the Deseret News. I have done NIH -supported research for ~30 years in the neurobiology of addiction and related substances like THC, and have lectured on these topics to medical, pharmacy and dental students and professionals at Universities and national scientific conferences. I also directed cannabinoid research and education at the National Institute on Drug abuse and Utah Addiction Center for 17 years. Based on these extensive scientific and educational experiences I assure you this is a very scary drug with many potential side effects that are very concerning especially in adolescents who are by far the most likely population to use this drug whether legal or illegal (see the website for scientific details). Please be cautious establishing medical/recreational marijuana policies. Remember our history with tobacco-a substance with startling similarities to marijuana; once you let the marijuana genie out of its legal bottle, you will never be able to put it back. Just ask the many millions of fatal victims of regular tobacco use how cautious we should be as we seem to be so eager to curtail our control of marijuana.

  • Spag Sandy, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    Since when is "conducting research" part of the legislative process in Utah? No research seems to have been required to prohibit cannabis in the first place, or mandate that restaurants build a wall in front of drink preparation areas. The very idea of making a plant illegal is absurd.
    Lawmaking in Utah is based on hunches and emotion.

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 12:12 p.m.

    According to an NIH article from April of 2017:

    "Scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids (two forms - THC and CBD), has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications."

    It is also proven that THC (pill form) improves appetites of Chemotherapy patients and CBD (pill and oil form) help to relieve epileptic seizures.

  • Mick , 00
    Dec. 30, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    Drugs that are prescribed in this country go through years of testing and research. Why should that be any different for this drug? Just follow the same laws we do for all prescription drugs.

    And the FDA does not allow the research from other countries. We do our own research. You can argue whether that is right or wrong but we should not change our protocol for this one drug.

  • Susan Quinton Draper, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    Tell me which current drugs/antibiotics/vaccines “treat or even cure serious diseases”? Our medical treatments here in the US are highly ineffective and most cause more harm than good. Yet if you go to doctors here you have no other options. The FDA cracking down on homeopathic medicine and other helpful vitamins, herbs, marijuana, etc? What a joke. Those things actually do work, and then we never have to take our kids in for antibiotics for earaches, which the ENT specialists freely admit isn’t effective. Children don’t need numerous shots, antibiotics, vaccines, and Tylenol. What they do need is fresh air, clean water, food without sugars and coloring, and healthy outdoor time.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 10:49 a.m.

    "Proponents want to ignore data points out there like evidence of lower IQ, increased risk of psychosis, and a 9% or so addiction rate. Society needs to know the risk vs benefits. "

    I have read studies from countries where studies are legal that do not support "evidence of lower IQ", from my investigations into this subject there COULD BE a risk of increased psychosis in a very very small group of people and I agree I have read multiple reports that the addiction rate could be as high as 9%. Lets put that addiction rate into context. There is no physical addiction and psychological addiction is similar to small doses of caffeine. There are zero deaths associated with ingesting Cannabis.

    Society already accepts the risks of the current FDA drug approval process where new information comes forward years after a drug is approved. For example, opioid drugs. Society accepts the risk of 2 drugs, alcohol and tobacco, that don't benefit a person health wise for the most part.

    To deny patients a substance that studies prove and people know will help them is cruel. Patients are only asking to take a personal risk to help with their suffering.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 10:19 a.m.

    It's interesting to see all the comments from those we know would never use medical pot or approve of anyone doing so. Yet they are silent on, and use, all kinds of wild sounding chemical compounds as the medications they are. Ask your doctor if today's purple pill is right for you.
    People engage marijuana for it's medical properties, but also because they enjoy it. Here in Utah, we can't stand that.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    Medical marijuana has been approved in at least 26 states, including conservative states like Louisiana, North Dakota, and Arkansas. You don't think medical marijuana has been evaluated enough scientifically for all those red state voters to be comfortable in voting for it? It's such a hysterical, tired argument you are presenting.

  • TeaPublican Houston, TX
    Dec. 30, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    And the editorial board is correct… . Politicians are not experts in the field of medicine… senators and representatives need to stay away from trying to promote this! .Attorney General Jeff Sessions has studied this and what he has found is not good! . He claimed that organized drug trafficking groups were using the medical marijuana system in states that have legalized the treatments to operate under the color of law! .I am sure that the good people of Utah are not willing to allow organized drug trafficking groups to operate in Utah!

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:51 a.m.

    There a vast difference between legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes and medical purposes. The first is simply personal preference while the second requires verifiable hard data. At present, the evidence for cannabis as a legitimate medication is primarily anecdotal. The FDA should approve legitimate studies to answer the question and provide guidelines for indications, adverse reactions and complications.

  • froda Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    By the same logic, there is no justification for maintenance of criminal penalties based historically on “anecdotal reports” rather than science. This seems a case of guilty until proven innocent, when clearly there is a substantial body of scientific evidence revealing clear medicinal benefits, both internationally (Israel, Spain, and many others) and even US government funded - including a patent by the US government for its medicinal properties.

  • Dmorgan Herriman, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    Of course, one would expect this newspaper, being the mouthpiece of its owner, to continue to fight the Utah Patients Coalition petition to put medical marijuana on the ballot. This paper continues to trot out the same tired arguments to arouse those who are all too willing to be told what to think, and not do a modicum of research on their own. The allegation that their isn't enough valid research is blatantly false. There has been abundant research done in Canada and in Europe, and enough analysis of that research done by reputable scientists in this country, for anyone but the laziest among us, to formulate an intelligent opinion on the subject. This newspaper can publish its opinion, but it does a disservice to the community it represents when its opinions serve only to pander to the collective psychosis of that community. Opinion should be supported by facts and logical argument. This opinion only serves to convince the populace to remain happily in the darkness of illogical prejudice and ignorance.

  • Jbejarano Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:18 a.m.

    “Medical” marijuana millionaires should not lobby for sales tax exemptions nor push For unproven benefits without first passing rigorous scientific study. Even still most of the supply pot is not even of medical quality as dosages are not consistent.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    Mj is like a snake oil salesman. Everyone says it is great for everything. CBD seems more promising with less chance of bad outcomes. We need more data. If the state says it is "medical" before science gives us more information, it could be damaging.

    Proponents want to ignore data points out there like evidence of lower IQ, increased risk of psychosis, and a 9% or so addiction rate. Society needs to know the risk vs benefits. Getting a medical card at a concert mobile home doc like I've had someone tell me thats how they got their card does not give me confidence that this move will benefit Utah. If legitimate studies back up the claims, I say legalize it. Let it be data driven.

    Dec. 30, 2017 7:38 a.m.

    We can harness CBD without any THC.

  • Beezer7 Gulfport, MS
    Dec. 30, 2017 6:30 a.m.

    The last five murder cases
    In Louisiana investigated by forensic psychiatry have involved marijuana. For someone with depression, anxiety, or even pain—the benefits at this point don’t measure up to the risks of mental health consequences. Until we can avoid the thc and harness more of the CBD activity of marijuana, which targets receptor systems our bodies were born with, we are simply playing Russian roulette. And the data doesn’t lie, people who use marijuana to cope are more likely to use other harmful substances to cope. Having it available will give kids the idea they can use it to cope and that it’s safe. Right now I think it’s not , in my opinion.