The cannabis debate: How Utah fits into the nationwide conversation

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  • Woogyboo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 20, 2018 11:11 a.m.

    Love the anecdote about the pregnant mother smoking pot and the effect it had on her baby.

    ANY mother that smokes ANYTHING while pregnant has a screw loose. This is not a pot issue, it's an issue of a not so responsible mother. Like the gun argument, marijuana doesn't hurt the unborne, expectant mother's hurt the unborn.

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    March 19, 2018 1:20 p.m.

    Red Dirt

    "Utah's alcohol laws are the envy of the nation's law enforcement and treatment professionals. Let's keep our marijuana laws equally restrictive!"

    Can you provide ANY studies that show the rest of the country ENVY Utah's alcohol and marijuana restrictions? We have time to wait.

    It sounds like you stand to lose income and maybe a job if and when the use of marijuana is legalized. I don't know what other biases you have against weed, but your position is neither credible or unbiased.

    According to you, all of the other states and countries around the world are wrong and you are right. As requested, please provide citations to support your personal opinion.

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    March 19, 2018 11:46 a.m.

    As long as the LDS Corp says; NO, then we will not see progress. The legislature (mostly Mormon) said THEY need to study weed before making any decisions.

    This means that people with little or no experience in alcohol will also be judging marijuana legalization, distribution and consumption.

    Since the legislators and LDS Corp are against weed, it will have to go to a ballot referendum with voters being about 66% for the legalization.

    This is the Pontius Pilot move. If the referendum passes the legislature and LDS Corp can say they had nothing to do with passage. They can then wash their hands of the issue and claim they were against, but the voters were for.

    For once, we may be able to prescribe, recreate and not face legal problems from the use of weed. The legislators would also be giddy over the tax money weed would bring into the states. Republicans love high taxes and fees.

  • Franco Pasquerilli South Jordan, Utah
    March 15, 2018 1:46 p.m.

    Red Dirt, here are some actual facts from legitimate, verifiable sources (I notice you did not source).

    1) "ruins lives" There has been as much as a 31% reduction in opioid deaths in states where cannabis is legal. That saves lives, not ruins lives. SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Assoc.

    2) "sell children's lives to addiction". Cannabis is available in any high school because drug dealers don't care how old you are. Alcohol is not because it is regulated. Ask any student. To help keep it out of the hands of children, regulate it. Important! Teen drug use is down in CO. SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health from a Federal study.

    4) "Gateway drug" excuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an outspoken anti-drug institution did a study and found that " the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances".

    5) "valid research" Thousands of studies that have already been done! The Alzheimer's Institute and the Epilepsy Foundation have both stated that they have seen positive, life-saving results from cannabis. SOURCE: Alzheimers.net and Elilepsy.com. And the Gov't has a patent on it as a medicine!

  • BlueMtman Monticello, UT
    March 14, 2018 3:10 p.m.

    Patients and caregivers have waited on the Utah Legislature to pass meaningful laws to help ease medical conditions. While it is great that the legislature passed a law so those that are about to die can qualify for cannabis use it does not allow any other patients to gain access. In over 3000 years of humans using cannabis there has not been one documented case of a overdose death. The ballot initiative was written in a very tight conservative way to limit patient use. Cannabis can be a new legal tool to address the addictions issues that we as a society face. Pharmaceutical companies and other stake holders are opposed to it use because legalizing cannabis would be a huge shift in the market that would effect their profit margins. There is enough science that has been done outside of the USA to justify further study and reclassification and allow medical use for those that can benefit from it. If others want to wait for more science that is fine for them. Other patients need safe legal access now. Why can LDS members use medical cannabis in other states and countries but not in Utah?

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    March 13, 2018 11:15 a.m.

    Please Utah legislators do not fall for the fairy tale of "medical marijuana". California is turning into a cess pool of criminals, illegal aliens and homeless people and it all started with "medical marijuana". A doctor in one small Northern California town gave out thousands of "prescriptions" for $112 each. It is a ploy to undermine society.

  • Dmorgan Herriman, UT
    March 13, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    We've rolled over into another month so it must be time for another biased, unsourced commentary concerning the upcoming medical marijuana ballot initiative. The editorial opinion of this newspaper and it's owner are widely known regarding medical marijuana. I assume we can expect another such article next month and continuing until the election. I'm certain that those opposed to the initiative welcome the no-cost propaganda broadcast on their behalf.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    March 12, 2018 10:40 p.m.

    so those convicted of possession of marijuana, now want their conviction overturned retroactively? So, if i get a speeding tick on a road that later raises the speed limit, i can have that conviction overturned?? You broke the law, and was convicted and sentenced appropriately. you made a conscious choice to break the law. now live with the consequences....

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2018 9:31 p.m.

    One of the falsehoods of the article is that dentists can recommend Cannabis. No they can't according to the ballot initiative.

  • Epilepsy Dad St George, UT
    March 12, 2018 7:42 p.m.

    Disappointing article on so many levels. DNews, you can do better. Start by using only the word "cannabis" instead of the perjorative term "marijuana". Educate with your reporting.

    Cannabis is NOT a gateway, Red Dirt. That myth was debunked years ago. Google it.

    Cannabis IS medicinal. The federal government took out patents on the medical properties of cannabis. If Red Dirt were truly educated on cannabis, he'd know that. Google it.

    Or watch the seizures subside in my daughter after she takes her cannabis oil. I'm not talking CBD, I'm saying we get total control when we go to Colorado and add THC to CBD. She doesnt get high because the dose is low; but higher than what is legal in Utah.

    Rep Daw only wants terminal patients to have access to cannabis. Epilepsy kills more people annually than breast cancer, and without warning. Its called SUDEP- Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy. My daughter could be saved by cannabis with higher levels of THC, but she's not eligible, because she might live more than 6 months. There are about 115,000 people with Epilepsy in Utah, and many could benefit from more open access to cannabis.

    We can do better, Utah and we will, in November.

  • Taterhead West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2018 7:15 p.m.

    Red Dirt is a counselor, someone that benefits from cannabis remaining illegal (think court-mandated counseling). He's seen it ruin lives. But there's not a single report on a cannabis overdose death. You can't even say that about Tylenol.
    Other people want FDA approval? How soon we forget Fen-phen, Vioxx and other meds that were recalled by the FDA after people died. FDA approval doesnt mean something is safe.
    The Weber sheriff thinks too many people might claim "chronic pain". Yet painmed dot org says 100 million Americans have chronic pain, and as a country we spend about $4.2 Billion on aspirin, naproxen and OTC pain meds every year. I think the sheriff underestimates how many people could benefit from legalization.
    And bus drivers (the sheriff also mentioned pilots, doctors and public safety people)... what if they use cannabis? Well, sheriff, how about you and employers enforce the myriad of laws on the books regarding impairment at work? Pilots dont drink before flying because they understand the consequences.
    Enough. People are literally dying. Legalize for medical use.

  • JimHutchins Ogden, UT
    March 12, 2018 5:37 p.m.

    "Anecdote" is not the singular of "data". I understand people fear what they do not understand, but the palpable fear in this article really detracts from its attempt to present a reasoned argument against the soon-to-be-approved ballot initiative.

    Those who oppose medical cannabis legalization, and who are waiting for FDA approval, know that medical marijuana advocates will wait forever for those Federally-funded studies, because it's classified as a Schedule I drug. Before deploying this line of argument, then, please explain to DesNews readers WHY cannabis is Schedule I. Start there, and then we can have a discussion.

    Also, please explain why studies done in other countries and published in the peer-reviewed medical literature don't "count", but the peculiar US classification of cannabis preventing US-funded research DOES count.

  • Jeremiah Flanksteak Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2018 1:46 p.m.

    Biased article against a plant with MANY positive spiritual, emotional and physical benefits. Used by many (which will continue, legal or not) for spiritual enlightenment & greater appreciation and sense of self/connection to God/His creations.

    From article: 'When the woman gave birth...baby demonstrated difficulty feeding...woman tested positive (pot). Although the effects are LARGELY UNKNOWN, marijuana use while pregnant has been associated with low birth weight and developmental problems for babies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends against it.' (WEAK take. No data to support claims. Define 'developmental problems'. We know NOTHING about this woman, she smoked pot, the baby can't eat, therefore A+B = C. LAZY journalism!

    My wife used Cannabis almost daily during her pregnancy, and our daughter (now 11) was/is healthy with no medical issues. She used it because of OVERWHELMING nausea and it gave her the ability to function and eat without throwing up every time. Imagine that - it HELPED her eat/mitigated nausea. If she doesn't eat, how healthy do you think our daughter would have been? It's a WONDER DRUG, whether 'haters' believe it or not.

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    March 12, 2018 1:35 p.m.

    Red Dirt -

    “As a professional counselor, I see first hand the ill effects of so called recreational pot use. It ruins lives”.

    Truly believe that ANY professional “counselor” should be aware of the fact that the federal government doesn’t allow “studies” which hinders ANY F.D.A. involvement better yet approval! F.Y.I. Obtained 2 Ivy League degrees and 2 graduate level degrees. Retired at 40. Care to explain how recreational marijuana has “ruined” my life?

    “Medical marijuana use doesn't really exist. It's a sham”.

    Tell this to any cancer patient! Personally witnessed the tremendous assistance marijuana provided my father (who spent several decades with the Justice Department/F.B.I.) throughout his fight with cancer.

    “Most of the people I speak to who want to legalize it are already smoking it. So, if it helps so much, why are these people also using other illegal drugs still....um maybe because its..”

    Excellent point...”Um” people that use marijuana don’t need their regular medications or have any need for antibiotics? I’m aware of plenty that support legalization and they never have used marijuana.

    “Don't be fooled by the propaganda”.

    Please heed this advice!

  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    March 12, 2018 1:20 p.m.

    The only reason that the legislature attempted to pass any new cannabis access laws is because of the current initiative. They have had years to come up a policy and pass it and choose instead to setup laws to enrich their friends and family knowing that the ballot initiative would pass. The ones that are trying to enrich themselves are the legislature. The Kevin Sabet crowd keep claiming that advocates are trying to enrich themselves and this will lead to recreational laws. It is not hard to point out the past and current legislature members who have set up themselves to profit from a cannabis program in Utah. Arizona tried to pass a recreation law and it failed. Utah values do not support recreation use. Utah values do support compassionate medical use under the supervision of a doctor with strict use limits. The reason that the initiative has come about is due to the lack of laws being passed in Utah. The legislature has had years to pass a bill and chose to do nothing. Now the will of the people will be put to a vote. The cannabis initiative is the strictest and most conservative initiative ever proposed. Quit playing the unintended consequences card and get real.

  • Red Dirt St. George, USA, UT
    March 12, 2018 1:04 p.m.

    As a professional counselor, I see first hand the ill effects of so called recreational pot use. It ruins lives.
    But we're talking about medical marijuana right? Wrong. Medical marijuana use doesn't really exist. It's a sham. We still don't have enough info. When we do, the FDA will approve it. Furthermore, so called medical marijuana is a "gateway" to full legalization. (See neighbor states).
    People who want to legalize it the most, profit by it. They would sell our children's lives to addiction. Most of the people I speak to who want to legalize it are already smoking it. So, if it helps so much, why are these people also using other illegal drugs still....um maybe because its a gateway drug. Sure, pot's not the worst, but its not safe either.
    Don't be fooled by the propaganda. Just because everybody else is doing it doesn't make it safe or smart.
    Utah's alcohol laws are the envy of the nation's law enforcement and treatment professionals. Let's keep our marijuana laws equally restrictive!
    Vote "no" to marijuana use! When we have valid research, recommended and measurable dosages, and safe medical practice, then you have medicine--not drug abuse.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2018 12:37 p.m.

    I don't use marijuana. I don't drink alcohol either. But I simply don't care whether others do or not. But I believe that pot should be completely legal for any kind of use. I know for sure that alcohol is far, far more dangerous that pot, and it's legal and the state makes a LOT of money on it. Also, the results are in: Pot is NOT a so called "gateway" drug. So there are exactly zero justifiable reasons left to kept it illegal.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2018 12:35 p.m.

    From the article, "All the states that have now legalized recreational marijuana started by approving medical cannabis. So, is this a “slippery slope" toward legalization?"

    No, this is not a slippery slope to recreational Cannabis. Utah has done a good job of keeping Utah, Utah. No gambling unlike every other state but 2 I believe that do not have the lottery, we have tight control of liquor including not being sold in stores except state run stores, and other similar conservative values. Have faith in Utah people.

    This is about patients and nothing more. 76% of Utahan's are compassionate enough to know that Utah is ready to reduce suffering. The sooner we start to regulate and control Cannabis, the better. Let's stop making some patients criminals.

    For those that are against or want to wait on Medical Cannabis, how long would you wait to reduce your child's destructive symptoms ? 1 year 2 years?? Until it happens to you, I guess you don't know.

  • FreedomsInitiative Orem, UT
    March 12, 2018 12:26 p.m.

    As a person who struggles with PTSD and Chronic Pain from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pancreatitis and IBS I should be the happiest person on earth to see this ballot initiative passed. Instead I have little to no hope thanks to the crooked legislature that even if it does pass that the legislature is going to step in and immediately find a way to kill it.

    The LDS Church isn't going to budge in its stance against Marijuana until it gets legalized at the federal level. I'm a LDS member and I'm frustrated by this as well. The Legislature which are very conservative mostly mormon aren't going to go against what the church wants.

    There has to be someway to get people help without compromising ones integrity. It needs to happen now not in another 10 years. I'm not against the idea of possibly using Cannabis Oil if it helps with any or all of my problems.

  • Alden Salt Lake City, 84116
    March 12, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    One sided reporting. Another misleading and sad story from Dnews. What people who have studied cannabis debate have come to expect.

  • windsor Logan, UT
    March 12, 2018 11:34 a.m.

    ConradGurch said: "With no separation of church & state, Utah doesn't contribute to the debate. Common sense is out the window unless the "church" has spoken"

    Is that why there is No drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling, porn or abuse among people who have been baptized LDS--because the Church has specifically and repeatedly denounced those?

    Yes, your argument that everybody falls in lock step with what the LDS Church wants and has spoken on just kind of fizzled there didn't it? :)

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 12, 2018 11:04 a.m.

    "The law said it had to be smoked indoors, but we can smell it coming from the neighbor's yard two houses away."
    How sad for you. How will you recover from having to almost smell something?

    "By legitimizing marijuana by making it legal, people who would have otherwise avoided the drug are now "experimenting", like School Bus drivers."

    -Citation needed.

    "It hasn't made Washington a better place to live, unless you are a transient looking for easy access to pot."
    Really? You sound like someone who has never had an idea about pot but really believed the tripe you were told.
    "Homeless camps have sprouted a lot, and our town is dealing with it like never has had to before."
    Again you show your ignorance on the subject. You seem to be equating addiction to opioids (legal in all 50 states) to pot. No one* is homeless because of pot.

    *Please feel free to keep you exceptions to the rule to yourself.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 12, 2018 11:00 a.m.

    @WallE,

    So you're saying that before when it was banned no one was able to get it. But now that it is legal your neighbor two doors down smokes it all the time and so do the school bus drivers. I wonder if they had prohibitions on guns if no one would be able to get them either, only if they are legalized?

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    March 12, 2018 10:58 a.m.

    WallE - Walla Walla, WA

    “Recreational marijuana has been legal for some time in Washington. The law said it had to be smoked indoors, but we can smell it coming from the neighbor's yard two houses away. By legitimizing marijuana by making it legal, people who would have otherwise avoided the drug are now "experimenting", like School Bus drivers. Thankfully employers can still mandate drug testing. It hasn't made Washington a better place to live, unless you are a transient looking for easy access to pot. Homeless camps have sprouted a lot, and our town is dealing with it like never..”

    States’ rights anyone? Absolute nonsense and propaganda! The law mentions NOTHING about having to use indoors. It states that it is illegal to consume marijuana “in view of the public”. One can easily shield themselves from public view in the privacy of their own backyard. Also, I have a home in Utah and can smell it as well coming from neighbors yards, especially when the weather is warmer. It’s illegal in Utah! What’s your point specifically besides passing along propaganda? Care to explain how Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia don’t share this problem? Facts rather blatant lies please. Thank you.

  • OldSalt94 West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2018 10:09 a.m.

    So a "mental attribute" is not worth adding to the debate, yet the same "mental" challenged adult can walk into any ABC store and acquire liquor by simply showing a valid ID?
    Doctors (as well as other valid practitioners) have not been trained on whether cannabis or THC will do harm or good for an individual, but base their prescription of opiates from studies of other patients or clinical trials.
    How long has "Mary Jane" been in existence? Clinical trials as well as experience of other states should shed a small light on this. Did no one track the "users" in California for the last 22 years?
    Of course the legal eagles want a share of the profits as well as the growers.
    Big pharma will be a loser if the opiod market crashes. We are all adults aren't we? Don't like drinking? Don't buy alcohol. Don't like drugs? Don't use them. Use your own conscience to decide and then vote or contact your legislature and let them know your views.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    March 12, 2018 9:49 a.m.

    Recreational marijuana has been legal for some time in Washington. The law said it had to be smoked indoors, but we can smell it coming from the neighbor's yard two houses away.

    By legitimizing marijuana by making it legal, people who would have otherwise avoided the drug are now "experimenting", like School Bus drivers. Thankfully employers can still mandate drug testing.

    It hasn't made Washington a better place to live, unless you are a transient looking for easy access to pot. Homeless camps have sprouted a lot, and our town is dealing with it like never has had to before.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 12, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    Cannabis should be legal. The government should have never prohibited it at all.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 12, 2018 8:43 a.m.

    Imagine if Utah had incredibly tight regulations on guns, but all of our border states had really lax gun laws. How would that workout for us?

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 12, 2018 8:17 a.m.

    With no separation of church & state, Utah doesn't contribute to the debate. Common sense is out the window unless the "church" has spoken. Utah is one of 6 states that do not sell power ball tickets. 3 of the other 6 think it will hurt their legalized gambling. Alaska doesn't need it due to oil. Just Utah & Alabama.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    March 11, 2018 10:37 p.m.

    What's the beef if prescribed by a medical doctor?

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 11, 2018 9:09 p.m.

    We have medical forms of heroin, meth, and any number of other drugs. Under the supervision of a doctor, I fail to see how marijuana is more dangerous than any other prescription drug.