The money behind Utah's contentious medical marijuana initiative

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  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2018 2:08 p.m.

    The $ is a big part of what is wrong with our political process these days. We need the $ out on both sides. There should be full transparency on both sides of the pros and cons to both iniatives without $ interference.

  • AFhogman Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 11:56 a.m.

    If you are against Prop 2... you are saying that you're okay with the continued opioid overdose deaths in this state. States with some form of legalization have seen an average drop in opioid overdose deaths by 25%. Nevada in its first year of recreational legal use... saw a 9% drop in traffic deaths. Colorado has seen abortion rates cut in half since legalization with teen use unchanged since legalization. Start researching for yourself... there's too many positives to come out of legalization to be against any form. The big monied interests are frightened that people will have controll of something so beneficial... let that sink in. I'm sure any pragmatic person will see it's an easy YES on Prop 2

  • AFhogman Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 11:35 a.m.

    The opposition to Prop 2 is a trail mix of conflicting ideas... from straight prohibitionists... to CBD only advocates. There's a steady theme with supporters of Prop 2... they don't want to be criminals for using better medicine... period! I'd rather see a 100 people use it recreationally just so 1 single person did'nt have to suffer. The choice should be easy to have another less harmfull option than just the lethal opioids. We all know someone who's either died, or needs this god given gift. That's why I'm a resounding YES on Prop 2!

  • jo1952 Redmond, WA
    Aug. 28, 2018 11:46 a.m.

    Have compassion for the people who need it. I'm not saying that to the compassionate people of Utah, I'm saying that to the big businesses and organizations who would one way or another, profit from Utah's positive vote. If not for the outsiders trying to influence our votes and our distrust in their motives, this would be so easy to approve. It's these influencers who are without compassion because of their unscrupulous and deceptive and hypocritical virtue signalling. Get your dirty mutts out of this and let us vote to allow these people their medical marijuana.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 11:42 a.m.

    Plumb and other uninformed or misinformed Mormons are against this legislation because of what they've heard from other uninformed or misinformed people. They resort to the "Reefer Madness" type of hype that has not a bit of truth to it. Many just go by their religious beliefs and the words of their religious leaders.

    Many people commenting here claim that medical weed will lead to recreational weed. They have this completely backwards. The use of recreational weed will lead to medical use.

    Mormons claim to be against a lot of things, especially alcohol. They are so against it that they control the sale and profits of alcohol in Utah. They benefit greatly from the sale of alcohol. It provides free meals for their kids and helps schools. The profits, which are very high (no pun intended) go into the state general fund.

    It's my belief that when they see how they can tax the heathens they will be happy to do so.

    Money talks and many locals will want to get their piece of the pie, even if their beliefs, religious or not, say they should "eschew" the demon weed.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2018 12:50 p.m.

    If it's prescribed by a physician, what's the problem?

  • rhodger Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2018 10:17 a.m.

    The only reason this is "contentious" is because the prescription drug companies and your owners want it to be contentious.

  • Oxy is not for me Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 5:59 p.m.

    To RedShirtHarvard, is the FDA needed, lots of things to consider there... Numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations have criticized the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for alleged excessive and/or insufficient regulation. The FDA approves medical devices based on politics, not science. Read about a series of case studies produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists' Scientific Integrity Program between 2004 and 2010. Look up Menaflex and so so many others. And they have a Fast-track process called 510(k) exempts products from full review. The FDA is like the government today, too political and far too large. Each just protecting themselves, not us. Look at all the medicine they've approved that has side effects that kill. And try taking them to court for a mistake, they will send 30 lawyers to your 1 (and you'll pay for them in taxes). If you do not see that, then you're part of the problem.

    Is the FDA needed, yes but needs to be revamped. Their policy out dated and they are not willing to do anything about it. So, if they don't the states have to. At least the states are listening to us and allowing us to decide... I for one applaud them.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 12:01 p.m.

    Ben Lockhart- since none of the readers is able to comment on the merits of my filed proof of law - that our Drug Monopoly is not constitutional or lawful.

    Why don't you give it a try yourself?

    Does our Drug Monopoly Law - violate citizen equality or not?

    Our "Controlled Substance Acts" violate citizen equality on these grounds & more.
    1-doctors aren't under oath of office (Constitutional Oath to uphold citizen equality or be impartial in all their duties)
    2-Doctors sell Government Use Permits- Like the ATF - & are only private business venture.
    3-Doctors being private citizens- not under oath- get to keep the Gov. Permit fees, which are temporary causing strong monopoly powers with pharmacies- blocking free markets rules of pricing, sales & distribution to all citizens with equality.
    4-Doctors special powers of a public office & forced compliance with unconstitutional law-
    Clearly blocks access of a needed commodity unless accepting the elite citizen powers given to doctors of medicine & governments fees needed to own or purchase commodity needed to treat personal pain, anxiety, & chronic illness.
    Conclusion-denial of rights based on Drug Prohibition with PreScription Clause

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 7:15 a.m.

    To "andyjaggy" look up the drug Marinol. That is a LEGAL form of marijuana that your doctor can prescribe for nausea. You see, there are legal ways to get the medication your wife seeks, and you don't have to break any state or federal laws.

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Aug. 14, 2018 8:20 p.m.

    So many statistics. Where are all these commenter getting the funding to research a schedule 1 substance?

  • The-Antidote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 8:01 p.m.

    I couldn't care less about who spent what. Just tell us clearly what is in the bill.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 5:04 p.m.

    To "andyjaggy " you need to apologize to your wife for not knowing that you can get an FDA tested and completely legal form of marijuana that is for the treatment of nausea in cancer patients. Ask your Doctor about Marinol.

    You don't have to break the law, just do some research on the available medications.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 4:43 p.m.

    My dear 35 year old wife was just diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. She will be starting chemo next week and she asked me if marijuana was legal for medical uses in Utah, she is wondering if might help her dealing with the nausea that may accompany the chemo treatments. Sadly I had to tell her that our Utah state legislatures will not allow her that option. Marijuana can't be any worse than the many other hard drugs that she will most likely be prescribed and it would be nice to have the option to try something that may really help her that is more natural and safer. Sadly it is not an option unless I feel like breaking the law.

    You have to understand my wife is the most upstanding person you may ever meet, she has never done drugs or alcohol and in fact in our 10 years of marriage I have never once heard her swear.

  • Edmunds Tucker St. George, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 4:07 p.m.

    Medical Marijuana? You would be safer with Medical Manure. There is nothing medical in either marijuana nor manure. Once on weed, the users are 60 times more likely to try harder drugs. This is not 'legal' as it is a Drug Enforcement Agency Schedule One substance with no accepted medical purpose. Vote yes for Medical Manure.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 14, 2018 3:20 p.m.

    To "Oxy is not for me" then why bother with having an FDA at all? Why do we need the FDA to approve drugs if state legislatures can be pressured by industry groups or by citizens to legalize medications that have not met the FDA standards?

    Using the logic you presented, it would probably be cheaper and easier for a drug company to work with state legislatures to get new drugs on the market.

    I am all for legalizing marijuana based drugs, I just question the motives of people who are pushing to do it outside of established FDA guidelines.

  • Oxy is not for me Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 2:13 p.m.

    Choose_The_Right -- I believe you are just like the rest of the closed minded people in Utah. It really depends on who you are talking to whether it helps 1 or hurts 1000. If you talk to someone like yourself (staunch Mormon) it will hurt the 1000. Mostly because you sit behind a desk, listen to other closed minded people and never go outdoors... OK not fair to say because I don't know you. However, your general statement is incorrect, not researched properly and just plain ignorant. The whole plant helps more people than it will hurt, proven in all studies conducted by unbiased parties. I mean come on, look for fault in anything and you will find it! And those that you claim are getting hurt will likely hurt themselves no matter if the initiative is approved or not. At least if they do it with the whole plant they will likely not get up from the couch. If its pills or alcohol or worse, they will likely die from that choice. Let us decide, not YOUR values. If you don't need it, good don't buy or use it. Let the responsible, hard working Utah residents decide for themselves. I for one will vote yes because it works and likely saved my life by getting off opioids.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 14, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    To "Sabrecat" the problem isn't using MJ for legitimate medical use.

    The problem is how we are circumventing the FDA for this medication. We are just now really studying the side effects. I would hate to see somebody use marijuana for a few years then develop a complication that could have been avoided or mitigated. The other problem is dosage. Since a whole plant product is being used the dosage is unknown.

    For example, if for your pain you are self medicating using marijuana and are getting the equivalent of 500 mg of the drug you need, but your body only needs 100 mg for the same effect, wouldn't you want to know that?

    The problem that most people have the medical marijuana bills is that they quickly lead to recreational use. We already have enough problems with alcohol, do we really need another mind altering substance to be used recreationally?

  • Sabrecat South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 9:25 a.m.

    I am coming at this topic as an active LDS, and person that has chronic pain in my knees, back and neck. Due to a previous surgery I am unable to take any NSAID medications. I have researched my issues as best as I can. I have done physical therapy, had 3 operations, with what looks like a 4th and a 5th in the near future. I work with a pain management clinic and I am prescribed 2 opiate pain killers and 2 muscle relaxers. I am able to manage with such a low dose, yes believe it or not that's a *low* dose for chronic pain, is because I found Kratom in an effort to find something that could replace NSAIDS. I honestly believe that if MMJ were an option to me then I could manage without the opiates all together. If people believe that opiates are the scourge of our generation then you want to support efforts to allow people to better manage their pain on their own without resorting to narcotics.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 8:28 a.m.

    procuradorfiscal - I respectfully disagree with your statement. So you think people can just throw out numbers like Choose-The -Right did with ZERO reference to where those numbers come from? See this is how it works. C-T-R reads an article or study or something that states 100 to 1000 people will be harmed and a source is cited. Then, people like me that do not agree use evidence to support our argument. Then we have a civil discussion to hopefully learn and make good decisions. It amazes me how people follow blindly. Did you know recent studies show Cannabis use by youth is down in Colorado? You can find the evidence using Google and the reference...Researchers from the University of Colorado, New York University, Johns Hopkins University and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment teamed up to compare data from youth drug use surveys from fall 2013, which was just prior to the start of legal marijuana sales, and fall 2015. The public is growing tired of the same old scare tactics. And stop trying to legislate my morality. I deserve free agency like everyone does. MedC can be used without infringing on your rights.

  • MWerner Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 7:33 a.m.

    Some of the comments on this thread are so paranoid and far-fetched they would be laughable if not for the fact that that they may evoke similarly paranoid and irrational responses in others. Don't be mislead. The single greatest indicator of ignorance is exaggeration and distortion, and we've got plenty of that here from those who seek to undermine this important legislation. I really hope you folks get a chance to sit down and talk with those who are afflicted with any one of these debilitating diseases. Thousands of scientific studies and millions of anecdotal stories clearly indicate that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment. You want to know what's "evil"? Preventing people from safely accessing their medicine because of one's own unfounded moral convictions.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 14, 2018 6:25 a.m.

    Re: ". . . I am calling you out on the 100 or 1000 Prop 2 will harm. I want to see some sort of evidence . . . ."

    You've got it completely backwards. The burden is on proponents of "medical" weed to show us it WON'T harm 100 or 1000 for every person they claim it might help.

    Our assumption is certainly reasonable. Since greedy, evil proponents of weed want to distribute massive amounts of it through their own non-medical channels, it makes sense to assume that their interest is in making piles and piles of money from people's ignorance and foolishness -- not in any medicinal aspects weed may have -- and that they don't care about the ill effects increased weed use will certainly have.

    The burden is now on these proponents to prove to us -- Utah voters -- that we won't be harmed by their scam. This they've refused and failed to do, suggesting it's somehow our burden to prove them -- and their scam -- to be what we know they are.

    That's very telling, don't you think?

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 7:00 p.m.

    Come on Choose_Right. As respectfully as I can be, I am calling you out on the 100 or 1000 Prop 2 will harm. I want to see some sort of evidence of this or explanation of why you think this is true. You should really do some research yourself rather than repeat what Brad Daw, Drug Safe Utah and the Utah Medical Association says. If you are going to oppose MedC in Utah, then please do some research and discuss a specific aspect so people will learn something. Saying 100 to 1000 people will be harmed if the initiative passes is baseless. Google TRUCE UTAH to learn more. TRUCE is a great place to find links to articles about MedC. TRUCE is Pro Medical Cannabis yes, but there is no better place to learn. The facebook page has links to many articles.

  • Choose_The_Right Layton, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 6:20 p.m.

    This deceptively drafted medical marijuana initiative is nothing more than a ruse for recreational marijuana use. For every person that it will help, it will harm 100 or a 1000. There are no controls and it will soon be out of control like other states that have legalized it.

    The issue isn't whether or not some folks could benefit from medical marijuana. The issue is whether or not this poorly written and deceptively written initiative will ruin the state.

  • JenniferVee Ogden, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 5:05 p.m.

    I could understand the alarm if it was funded by Guido the drug lord; but, Dr. Bronner's and other natural based businesses? This is pathetic, it isn't as if these businesses are passing out billions of opiods.

  • Flood Farmington, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 4:38 p.m.

    Having been in constant pain for years and now having my wife in constant pain from a back issue I would support the medical marijuana availability. However I do not want it dispensed through dispensaries! It should only be dispensed through pharmacies as medicine. Allowing people to smoke marijuana for relief should not be the goal. This change should allow for cannabis oils only for on site application. This is the best method. Smoking it just leads to approval of open sales of marijuana. Therefore I do not support this initiative.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 4:19 p.m.

    Re: "We in the medical community tend to be dogmatic and close-minded. I think it's time to put patients first."

    Good idea -- so why don't you start doing it?

    If "medical" weed were really intended as anything other than a money-making scam for evil people, it would be distributed through medical channels.

    But, it's not.

    Case closed.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 13, 2018 4:04 p.m.

    To "CommonSensePerson" I got that from the Denver Post where they were speaking specifically about accidents involving deaths.

  • Oxy is not for me Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 3:43 p.m.

    Sitting at a traffic light, I was hit by an undocumented driver who was eating and driving with their knee. Steroid injections, OxyContin and physical therapy was the treatment offered by my doctors. The pain I experienced every day was so much that the opioids prescribed and 8 injections every 3 months were just not working. And physical therapy, what a joke, I think they love that you're in pain. Wrong doctors? Maybe, but all my insurance would afford.

    I traveled to CO, tried CBD and a relaxing strain of THC. That was the first time I started to get relief. I am currently risking my freedom for relief. No big deal to someone not dealing with pain but when something works and gives you quality of life again, what do you do? It's medicine for me and it works. I have no worries that I'll overdose because you can't, not angry either like Tequila often makes me . And I'm not paying big pharma to offer up another side effect like Oxy did. Utah, stop with the hype and do your homework... it's been approved in other states because it works. And those worried about kids getting it? Well, is your beer sitting in a fridge getting cold right now? An ounce of prevention...

  • CommonSensePerson Midvale, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 3:39 p.m.

    To "RedShirtHarvard" I am not sure where you are getting your data but based on a quick search the first thing I found was, "Colorado State Patrol reports a decrease in the number of driving impaired accidents since marijuana sales became legal."

    Good try, maybe next time

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 3:17 p.m.


    I'm an anesthesiologist and yes, I routinely anesthetize cannabis users. I've noticed that the emergence for chronic smokers tends to induce more coughing from chronic lung inflammation. I don't think that smoking anything long-term is good for your lungs. But I've yet to have a medical marijuana patient who says cannabis hasn't improved their life. We can be fearful of 'drugs' if we want, or we can be compassionate to patients.

    We in the medical community tend to be dogmatic and close-minded. I think it's time to put patients first.

  • faazshift Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 3:04 p.m.

    For the sake of a balanced perspective, anyone who reads the "legal analysis" of the initiative, linked in the article, really ought to also read the excellent response from the Libertas Institute. Links are apparently not allowed, but it's well worth looking up.

    As the husband of a woman who suffers from an extremely painful and incurable disease, often not touched by opiates, I fully support legalizing cannabis for medical use, even if only in extract/infused forms. It absolutely has a place among available medications. It's also safer than the overwhelming majority of prescription medications. I truly hope to see this initiative pass.

    Aug. 13, 2018 2:14 p.m.

    Why does no one talk about the big money (and I mean millions of dollars) behind the opposition to this ballot initiative? This is not coming from small donors. Wanna do some real investigative journalism? How about an article on the group willing and able to spend millions to keep voters from being able to vote on this measure.

  • Amazed Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    I look forward to the follow-up article: "The money behind Utah's contentious medical opioid and other RX that keeps Utah in the top 20 States for RX drug abuse".

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 1:54 p.m.

    Cannabis Use- is going to be decided in Court not legislature.
    Drug Offenders have Constitutional Discovery Rights
    & those rights have been denied for over 2 yrs.

    Any law that violates citizen equality is Not Constitutional:
    Controlled Substance Acts~violates citizen equality & created a monopoly.

    3 drug cases (3rd district court)have evidence filed to free Kimberly Feldman, Brad Ellis & Brian Johnson.
    It won't matter which court expert (attorney) is forced to testify by subpoena.

    1-doctors aren't under oath of office (Constitutional Oath to uphold citizen equality or be impartial in all their duties)
    2-Doctors sell Government Use Permits- Like the ATF & are only private business venture.
    3-Doctors being private citizens- not under oath- get to keep the Gov. Permit fees, which are temporary causing strong monopoly powers with pharmacies- blocking free markets rules of pricing, sales & distribution to all citizens with equality.

    1-If you believe that 'Controlled Substance Acts' (giving Doctors the power of government permit sales) violate equality
    Sign here:
    2- If you believe that 'Controlled Substance Acts' (giving Doctors the power of government permit sales) are lawful

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 1:10 p.m.

    All American why restrict to CBD only? CBD is but one component. The whole idea is for whole plant to be available to patients that need it. Google Cannabis's Entourage Effect and learn away. In My Opinion the isolating of parts of the plant mostly only serve pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes one component may be good, and I have nothing against the RX companies. But I also think a person has the right to try this plant for medical purposes with the advice of their Dr. If you oppose Prop 2, please at least spend an hour reading about this plant. Blindly agreeing with Brad Daw or Drug Safe Utah doesn't serve anyone.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 1:08 p.m.

    Big pharma opposes this because they can't make any money off marijuana use. At the same time, we are in the middle of an opioid crisis. Those who are in severe, constant pain can't get enough prescribed to manage their pain. They could replace it with marijuana derivatives, and it would be a lot safer than opioids. I personally know a number of friends and relatives who would benefit from marijuana derivatives, and who would much prefer to use it instead of opioids. If you don't deal with serious pain, or those who do, get off your high horse about it. You don't know what you are talking about. Every plant has its uses. Just because something has a potential for abuse doesn't mean it has no potential for positive uses.

    I take no position on this PARTICULAR bill, or on exactly the best way to make it available to those who would benefit. But it really irritates me when people simply spout off on what others may or may not do. What happened to free agency? It's far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

  • djschanz North Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 1:05 p.m.

    The Utah Medical Cannabis Act is considered by independent national groups like Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to be the most conservatively drafted medical cannabis program in the country. With no smoking allowed and no home cultivation allowed, it is the only program in the country with such prohibitions. 31 States now have medical programs and 8 states have recreational programs. Montana for example has had a medical only program since 2004. The huge leap of absurdity it takes to conclude that a medical program necessitates a recreational program is fool hardy at best. The list of conditions that a patient must meet are as follows: HIV, Alzheimers, ALS, Cancer, Cachexia, Crohns Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic or Debilitating Pain. Which of these horrendous conditions do opponents think should be left off? Which of these horrendous conditions would you want to send your neighbor packing to a neighboring state to get their medical treatment in their most vulnerable time of need? Read the ballot initiative for yourself and learn more movement to help these patients. These people are indeed patients and not criminals.

  • mornixuur Layton, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 12:50 p.m.

    @Donald Johnson, who wrote: "the vast majority of users claim bogus or unverified things like "chronic pain" or anxiety"

    Wow. So pain and mental health issues are "bogus"?

    If that's the level of ignorance which supports a no-vote, this should pass easily.

    I'd hate to have my medical decisions made by someone who can't see past their biases enough to make a proper diagnosis.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 13, 2018 12:31 p.m.

    To "Flipphone " but legalization has occurred already for marijuana. There are several marijuana based drugs that are legal in the US.

    To "Thomas Thompson" with all of the problems society faces due to alcohol, why do we need another mind altering substance to be legalized?

    To "one vote" I sure hope you are being sarcastic. Colorado has more than doubled the car accidents involving people high. Teen drug use is increasing. Plus you more kids being hospitalized after eating MJ laced foods.

    But hey, what is a few lives to have the freedom to enjoy marijuana.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 12:27 p.m.

    Why not restrict this initiative to CBD oil only? It can be vaporized and inhaled, one of the most popular ways to use it, or taken orally. If you experience pain in specific parts of your body, CBD oil can be added to topical treatments so you can rub it directly into the target area. You can’t get high from vaping or directly applying CBD oil.

  • gman West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 11:53 a.m.

    Donald Johnson to your 4th point that Teen use increases and that Cannabis is linked to increased schizophrenia. From the journal Prevention Research...

    From a recent study..."Researchers from the University of Colorado, New York University, Johns Hopkins University and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment teamed up to compare data from youth drug use surveys from fall 2013, which was just prior to the start of legal marijuana sales, and fall 2015." One of their comments..."Frequency Of Use And Consumption At School Decrease. In addition to “an absence of significant effects for change in lifetime or past 30-day marijuana use,” the results also showed that teens reporting that they had used cannabis during the past month did so less frequently and that use on school properties declined."

    I have read studies that indicate Cannabis MAY increase schizophrenia SYMPTOMS (NOT CAUSE) in youth. Remember, doctors have to consider the patient, their current medical conditions and other RX use before recommending Cannabis OR ANY OTHER RX. Have you seen the drug interaction list given with any RX?

    Why do opponents insist on misleading, skewed and outdated facts?

  • Cheesecake Beaver, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 11:50 a.m.

    I believe that mind-altering substances need to be carefully considered, researched, monitored and regulated. The evidence I have seen suggests "pot" generally should not be used by those under 25-years of age.

    I believe in limiting government's influence on individual's personal lives. For this reason, I cannot understand why marijuana was ever made illegal at the federal level.

    I have seen evidence of the "war on drugs" being used as a mask for systematic racism. The documentary "13th" makes a great case for this.

    I do support legalization for medical use. I would prefer to see further research to determine other practical purposes. The FDA recently approved a prescription medication that uses ingredients from marijuana. This tells me there is value in the plant.

    I also fully believe it should be removed from the "schedule one" drug list at the federal level. Marijuana use should be, and should always have been, a state-level issue.

  • Stringer Bell Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    Thomas Thompson: "I believe the initiative will be defeated, because most Utah voters have never used marijuana and fully accept the myth that its use suggests a degenerate individual, and that its wide use may suggest a degenerate culture."

    No surprise there. This same "Reefer Madness" culture has been conditioned, since birth, to shudder and shake their head at someone drinking a cup of coffee or tea. When they don't understand coffee or tea, I can't see them understanding marijuana.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 10:29 a.m.

    The "medical marijuana" issue is "divisive" because it is obviously just a thinly-veiled attempt to get marijuana more available and normalize its use.

    Otherwise, we can simply treat marijuana like any other drug. Its "medical benefits" are very thinly supported, mostly from mere anecdotal evidence, magnified by endless repetition of the stories by pot afficionadoes.

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    Aug. 13, 2018 10:20 a.m.

    A few observations from a state that approved medical marijuana a couple of years ago:
    1. You will get a significant increase in usage and in the normalization of usage. While usage before was not uncommon, it is now even much more common, including among teens.
    2. We now see advertising and billboards etc telling people how to get it.
    3. While people act like the users will be cancer patients, the vast majority of users claim bogus or unverified things like "chronic pain" or anxiety, which a network of marijuana-friendly providers are very happy to rubber stamp for people without question.
    4. Teen use increases, and marijuana use in teens has been linked to increases in schizophrenia and other psychoses.
    Hopefully Utah will vote against it.

  • AFhogman Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 10:09 a.m.

    In states that have some form of medical cannabis access... they see on average a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths. 24 people every month die from prescribed opioids in Utah. Having a non-lethal alernative to opioids will save on average 6 people a month!!! These people are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters... In the first year of Nevada's legalization for recreational they've seen a 9% drop in impared traffic deaths. To side with Utah's medical access initiative... is to side with saving lives. These are rock solid and proveable facts. People opposing this measure will come up with arguements that sound pragmatic and real, but they're not :/ just a bunch of empty scare tactics. To oppose this measure... is to side with the continued death of our lived ones. I don't want you to just take my word for it... do the research. Cannabis is safer than asprin yet the governemnt thinks it's worse than meth... let that sink in. Do your homework before voting and let logic guide your vote... that's all I ask.

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:59 a.m.

    In the last two decades I've lived in Utah, California, and Washington state. Of those states, the hardest one to find marijuana in was.....none of the above. It's ubiquitous and so easy to obtain that even kids figure it out. Utah might as well tax it like everyone else.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:52 a.m.

    So those who support the measure put it $698,000. It wasn't reported, but I am guessing "big pharma" put in more to lobby our legislature and defeat the measure - balance this out Deseret News!

    Opiods remain more profitable than marijuana, so pharmaceutical companies will spend more to defeat such measures. No money will go to research because of the lopsided funding. If there is a benefit it will be kept homeopathic, illegal and benefit fewer people.

    Recreational users will use the drug regardless of this measure. Desperate people with health issues will use it reluctantly because it will be illegal. It seems to me that government needs to step in and do the research for benefit, because opiods remain more profitable than marijuana, Step up to the plate and get it right Utah! The legislature needs to quit accepting lobbying money and fund research so we can get it right. No guessing games - like this measure. It is not a popular thing, we need to base this on science and fact away from influence of money!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:47 a.m.

    Re: "The money behind Utah's contentious medical marijuana initiative"

    That says it all. "Medical" weed is nothing more than a money-making scam -- one of the most serious of the "evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men" that we've been warned about for 185 years.

    Proof positive of this inarguable fact is that the supposedly "medical" weed will not be offered through medical channels under this evil scam. Rather, it sets up a money-making network of outlets not dedicated to health and relief of pain, but to filthy lucre.

    This scam has destroyed lives in every state where it's been tried, including in several on our borders. Why in the name of all that's holy would we ever give in to these conspiring men and invite them to ruin the lives of our kids and grandkids?

    It's literal insanity.

  • KellenJW Peachtree City, GA
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:33 a.m.

    "People feel comfortable with the idea that medical patients should have access to medical cannabis for very specific medical needs."

    But that's not what this initiative would do. It would grant wide-spread marijuana use to just about anyone who wanted it, allowing people to grow their own "medicine" in their home or yard, with no restriction on age. This initiative would allow teens to grow their own pot in their bedrooms. It would even allow the dangerous, addictive drug to be used by children and toddlers.

    If proponents think marijuana has medicinal properties, then they should support laws that would treat it like a medicine rather than this initiative that treats it like a party drug. If marijuana can truly help those suffering from health proplems, then it should be reclassified as a schedule II drug at the federal level, tested, and approved by the FDA like any other drug.

  • Dot Northern Utah, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:30 a.m.

    3grandslams, good advice. I agree there are many loopholes in the initiative. and I am aware of just a couple. I know they are several pages deep into the initiative, so very few know what they are (since they just read the first two or three pages). Could you, or someone else, please state those loopholes deep in the writings so we all will know what they are? Thank you!

  • Goldminer Salem, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:23 a.m.

    Pot as currently used is NOT of medical value. Could that be changed? Maybe but I have doubts. But, what we DO know is the impact of what "recreational Pot" gives to the participants and that is not good. Therefore, knowing the negative effects, why would we permit it to become free for all? That makes no sense to me.

    One other thing I found interesting is how much money was given to our politicians for their elections. That is just another example of why lobbyists money should be illegal and not acceptable. And, of course, our pols and lobbyists will object that, right? Right. A big part of the problem we have in that regard is the involvement of lobbyists and they should be banned.

    Now, as has not been done for 50 years plus, lobbyists need to be out of the political picture dealing with pot and many, many other issues. And of course, that will be fought even more than the pro-pot group, Right? Right.

  • Thoughtful Voter Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 9:06 a.m.

    I appreciated the facts in this article. It certainly had a slant and bias but I suppose every article is going to. As a supporter of the initiative, I think it would have been more accurate and clear - as far as headlines and graphics and focus - to make a bigger deal of how little "big money" has come into this ballot initiative when compared with any of the rest of them. At any rate, I 'm glad medicinal marijuana will make it to the ballot and, hopefully, to the people that need the beneficial effects.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    @Thomas Thompson:

    You're usually more logical than this. You say you oppose the legalization of marijuana because someone might use it and get behind the wheel of a car. Do you apply the same "logic" to ban other drugs that shouldn't be used while driving, like antihistamines, pain pills and some antidepressants? Or do you apply a more nuanced approach and allow people to use those medications, with the caveat that if their reaction times are impaired, they shouldn't drive?

    Millions and millions of Americans have used marijuana with no adverse effects and without progressing to hard drugs, just as most people can drink alcohol without abusing it. I don't understand why some people are so afraid of it.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 8:55 a.m.

    "But Drug Safe Utah, a group formed in April specifically to oppose the ballot initiative, claims the popularity has come on the back of slick messaging perfected by outsiders interested in seeing the proliferation of permissive recreational marijuana laws around the country."

    And so what if it is?
    'Drug Safe Utah' is a group which literally just invented itself using its OWN interest in seeing a destructive war on a plant that they have no understanding of and is trying to force people to suffer more than they need to.

    "In Utah, Plumb said, the national group's strategy with donating $218,000 is "based on the compassion of Utah, that we want to help people." But, he asks, "what's the social cost?"

    "More availability means more usage and honestly, I don't think Utah voters … understand "

    Anyone can get cannabis right now. Your pearl clutching is silly. And the attitude that only you understand and the voters are just too stupid to get it? Oh brother.

    But the entire prohibition of cannabis was idiotic in the first place and those still fighting it are making a stupid mistake.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 8:43 a.m.

    The only reason this initiative has any legs at all in my mind is the backlash of the completely unreasonable classification of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug.

    This classification prevents any real research and development of cannabis. This is unacceptable. The end game may be legalization for recreational use and I oppose that, but this mindless prohibition needs to be broken down.

    I am still undecided, but we have to break through the stupidity of a Schedule 1 classification. I would love to see efforts to that end.

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 8:11 a.m.

    If marijuana is a slippery slope to heroin then what is milk?

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 7:47 a.m.

    Give the marijuana issue over to the big Pharms , as Orrin Hatch wants to do, would be to continue the street sale(s). Big pharms got big by charging big prices. No reason for them to change now.

    Also, I didn't hear much from the far right here in Utah screaming about all the Koch money flowing into Utah for the far right issues being advanced.

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 7:34 a.m.

    re: Jeremiah Flanksteak

    Heroin and cocaine are "just plants" as well. I find your acceptable criteria lacking.

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 7:19 a.m.

    Beyond the LDS Church, the Utah Medical Association and law enforcement reject this proposal for legalizing marijuana. With full recreation being the clear goal, this should tell people what they need to know.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 7:13 a.m.

    This is going to be just like the voucher issue in public ed. The out of state money came pouring in but when it came down to it, the citizens of Utah saw right through their charade and did what was right for Utah.

    You can already see from the comments here that the real goal is to make it legal recreationally, not medically.

    We can artificially produce the part that might be medically beneficial without having people getting high recreationally .

    For the poster that said it has worked out well for neighboring states, I suggest you go read what this mess has caused in Colorado.

    This will be an easy vote.

  • Jeremiah Flanksteak Sandy, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 6:46 a.m.

    It should be legalized recreationally. People need to realize it’s not the boogeyman under the bed. It’s just a plant, folks. If I choose to partake simply to get ‘high’ why do people care? I don’t get it. I can drink alcohol all day every day...but I can’t smoke a joint ‘just because’? My business is my business....I’m not hurting you. Leave me alone; let me smoke my pot if that’s what I choose to do!

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 6:43 a.m.

    Recreational use should be next. It is working out very well in the neighboring states.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 5:47 a.m.

    The real benefit of medical marijuana is the oil derived from the plant, not the ability to smoke or otherwise ingest the plant itself. This initiative is the equivalent of the camel getting not just its nose in the tent but everything except the tail. It is a dangerous policy/legal change and needs to be rejected by the voters.

  • TOO Fairview, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 4:03 a.m.


    I am also one who takes care of people. I have tried and seen multiple times the effects of marijuana on a person. Have you ever tried to administer anesthesia to a person who smokes or ingests pot? They require at least double the amount of IV medications to get them to sleep and at a descent level of anesthetic. At least. The IV medications are weaker, the gases are weaker, and the respiratory system is horrendous.

    All other persons:

    No honest seeker of truth can think--even small smoking amounts--that marijuana is healthy. You are inhaling smoke into soft, sensitive tissue--tissue that is easily damaged by smoke or toxins. You are inhaling who knows what kind of fungus or bacteria.

    Pot is not innocuous. Those claiming otherwise simply have not done research or have not experienced it. This WILL lead to other uses. Saying that this will only be used medicinally is ignorant.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Aug. 13, 2018 2:51 a.m.

    I'm all for the responsible legalization of cannabis for medical use. But this initiative does not meet that definition. As 3grandslams states it's full of loopholes and rules that take it from responsible, scientifically guided medicinal use to barely disguised recreational.

    Medical use indicates that a Doctor will prescribe a specific dose for a specific malady. That medicine will be provided by a trained Pharmacist who will know (or be able to research) any possibly conflicts with other medications the patient is taking. The Pharmacist will ensure the patient gets the medicine in the prescribed doses and reviews the treatment plan with the patient at the time of sale. This initiative does none of that, but rather the Doctor says yes cannabis may help, here is your permission card, and the patient goes to a dispensary where an untrained, unlicensed sales clerk will help recommend the "treatment". That is not medicine. That's recreational use approved by a doctor.

    Further it is claimed we can use the sales tax to help education, but the initiative prohibits the state from taxing this medical MJ.

    Let the legislature pass good law, not this poorly written mess.

    Vote No.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 11:16 p.m.


    “most if not all looked pretty dang healthy”

    Do you have a super power that can see disease or the absence thereof?

    You seriously don’t think everyone who is ill looks so, do you?

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 9:47 p.m.

    I've read the entire initiative, it is filled with loop holes that it's a strategy to eventually get to recreational use. It is a Trojan horse. Shame on supporters with ulterior motives, using the sick and afflicted as the poster child for their ultimate intent.

    I hope Utah will treat marijuana like a drug and have it heavily regulated and in medical hands only.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 9:27 p.m.

    The "slippery slope" argument that medical marijuana will lead to recreational marijuana in Utah is simply a fear tactic. Although legal use of recreational marijuana would be less harmful than the use of alcoholic beverages, Utah politicians and voters aren't going to legalize it, and they aren't going to outlaw alcohol.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 7:19 p.m.

    My mother benefited greatly from medical marijuana when she had cancer. I'm a physician and I've seen it help in a myriad of circumstances. I hope we can have compassion on patients who would benefit from its use and be a little more open minded and compassionate toward our fellow man.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 5:55 p.m.

    Owl said it ALL in their last sentence. I've observed folks entering and leaving "medical marijuana joints" (pun intended) and most if not all looked pretty dang healthy. The one thing they had in common is that they looked like pot head, you know old, new and wannabe hippie types. Oh, and when they departed, they all got in their vehicles and merrily drove away.

  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 5:44 p.m.

    Please careful about what is claimed to be fact by so many pseudoscience internet sites claiming to be real research when in fact it is nothing more than a agenda driven PR site.

  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 4:33 p.m.

    So much hype and hysteria. People claiming medical studies this that the other yet these studies are never cited. Much of what opponents say they are opposed to already exists in many different forms not related to "pot" or the proper scientific name is cannabis. So many want to hit the fear button for those that are not familiar with the subject. Please take the time to read the initiative and see what it will do and not do. Do not rely on other peoples opinions. Read it study it and make your own informed decision. Everyone, please cite your sources when claiming medical support for your position, weather for or against please.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 4:23 p.m.

    Remember this: 'it's crystal clear that full legalization of full recreational marijuana is that group's long-term goal'. Groups like these are deceptive; they claim compassion, but deliver destruction.
    Proponents have outspent opponents on this initiative by over 6 times, but it's drafted in such a reckless form that this is going to fail. When voters get a chance to understand what a mess it is, I think it will come in at around 40 percent.

  • clarkfran Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 12, 2018 2:55 p.m.

    Please do your research before voting on this critical measure. Get the information from educators, social workers, counselors, and law enforcement from states like Colorado and California. The liberal leaders in those states won't admit to the problems being caused by the increase in marijuana use. Learn from these states who all claimed that people would be helped and crime would drop. More DUI accidents and fatalities. Kids coming to school reeking of pot. Increase in homelessness and need for social services. Follow the money. Do you think these deep-pocket donors are seriously interested in the best interests of your community? Why aren't they donating those hundreds of thousands of dollars to your state for social programs that don't involve drug use? In California, politicians swept up land for grows by hundreds of acres in advance of legal marijuana, medical or otherwise. No financial interest there, right? As for compassion for medical reasons, again look to the other states that started with medical marijuana. It's rampant abuse of the system. Not one state has been able to regulate it as intended. Please consider these facts before you send Utah down a bad path.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 2:41 p.m.

    The scientific data on marijuana documents that it has adverse effects on developing brains, increases the incident of psychotic breaks in teenagers and has many of the health problems associated with inhaling tobacco smoke. Cannabidiol, a component that has no psychotropic effects, if useful in certain types of epilepsy.

    The "compassionate" aspect of medical marijuana is a thinly veiled effort to promote recreational use, an area that offers huge corporate profits.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Aug. 12, 2018 1:39 p.m.

    If someone opposes recreational use of alcohol then I can support their opposition to MJ. Otherwise, MJ is far safer and has untold medical benefits. I believe it will be federally legalized within 10 years. Smart citizens are allowing for the medical benefits now and recognizing the benign consequences of actually being high on MJ. High on alcohol and you insist on getting behind the wheel. High on opioids and you may OD. High on MJ and you struggle to get off the couch.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 12, 2018 1:01 p.m.

    This can't pass without a majority vote helped along by the LDS. Any adverse studies on marijuana use are ignored and ridiculed.

    “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
    As to be hated needs but to be seen;
    Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
    ― Alexander Pope

  • AT Elk River, MN
    Aug. 12, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    Plumb might benefit from reading or listening to what Milton Friedman, an economist, had to say about the negative implications of laws prohibiting marijuana usage. As with most other instances of government interference, the negative implications of the unintended consequences of government policy outweigh the perceived benefits.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 9:47 a.m.

    I support proper research and then medical use of marijuana under physicians orders and direction. This will require changes in federal law.

    I oppose recreational use of marijuana which this initiative makes all but impossible to prevent.

    The same voices that demand obedience to federal land laws and the dictates of federal judges on marriage suddenly support States rights and nullification of federal drug laws? Those who claim loose gun laws in Virginia cause violence in Maryland are now celebrating easy access to pot in Colorado? Those who attack multi-level herbal supplements as untested and umproven now accept personal testimonials and tell us big pharm is conspiring to keep pot off the market.

    Lets get a law that treats sick people without allowing recreational use.

    No on this poorly or dishonestly drafted initiative.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Aug. 12, 2018 9:24 a.m.

    Let the people decide.

  • Jb531105 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 9:16 a.m.

    TT, Opiates are helpful for a variety of therapies, but can get out of control in a hurry.
    Are you against opiates as well?
    Medical marijuana helps people, but you don't have any point of you?

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 8:34 a.m.

    It is insane that Medical Marijuana is even being debated. Legalization should have already occurred.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2018 6:08 a.m.

    I believe the initiative will be defeated, because most Utah voters have never used marijuana and fully accept the myth that its use suggests a degenerate individual, and that its wide use may suggest a degenerate culture. Neither of these things are necessarily true. But what is true is this: whatever beneficial effects it might have if used medicinally, marijuana impairs the senses of those who use it. It may not be entirely comparable to alcohol, but we have no scientifically determined data to decide that issue. For me, the issue comes down to a single question: Do I want to approve, as a matter of law, the legalization of one more substance that could have adverse consequences if a user gets behind the wheel of a car while high? My answer is "no."