As it stands right now, 29 states in America have legalized cannabis for medical use in a way that is considered to be comprehensive. Washington D.C. has also legalized cannabis for medical use. That is different from states that have legalized cannabis in only CBD-specific form. If you count CBD-specific laws, only four states in America are left that have zero medical cannabis protections on the books (Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Kansas).
Utah was the first state to legalize cannabis in CBD-specific form (2014). The law has proven to be largely ineffective. That is why a campaign effort has been gathering signatures to put a comprehensive medical cannabis initiative on the Utah ballot in 2018. The Utah Patients Coalition announced last summer that they would start gathering signatures for the initiative. The effort needs to gather more than 113,000 valid signatures in order to put the initiative before voters.
The initiative is not perfect. It does not provide for home cultivation at first, but it does provide for dispensaries and would be a significant improvement to Utah’s current law. After January 1, 2021 patients would be able to grow their own medicine as long as they didn’t live within 100 miles of a dispensary and met other zoning requirements. Patients would be able to designate caregivers who could obtain their medicine on the patient’s behalf. Support for medical cannabis in Utah is very strong among voters, per a recent poll published by The Salt Lake Tribune:
Utahns continue to show broad support for a proposed 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, according to a new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
The new survey finds 75 percent of Utah voters either strongly or somewhat support the proposed initiative, all but mirroring a July poll that had 77 percent of voters backing legalized medical marijuana.
Suffering patients in Utah deserve to have safe access to a proven medicine. Medical cannabis reform in Utah has had the benefit of a big public push by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, which should help the initiative’s chances on Election Day, assuming that the initiative makes the ballot. If you want to learn more about the initiative, you can check out the campaign’s website, or check them out on Facebook or Twitter. Volunteer and/or donate to the campaign if you are able!