Hearing brings anger over medical marijuana compromise bill

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4News) – Several supporters and some opponents of Proposition 2 were at the Utah State Capitol to speak out against a compromise bill on medical marijuana. Lawmakers and other supporters of the bill said the compromise was necessary to fix issues with Prop. 2, but others said they were going around voters and gutting the issue.

Speaker of the House Greg Hughes (R-Draper) said Prop. 2 had items in place that were meant to force the state to act such as letting people grow their own marijuana if they didn’t live within 100 miles of a dispensary. 

“That was really meant, if I understand it correctly, as an incentive for the state really did not contemplate that everyone would start growing their own,” said Speaker Hughes.

Rocky Anderson, who is an attorney for TRUCE, said the compromise bill was more about pleasing opponents of Prop. 2 which passed with 52.75 percent of the vote.

“This is not a compromise piece of legislation,” said Anderson. “This is capitulation to the opponents of Proposition 2.”

Others like George Chapman spoke out against the bill and Prop. 2, claiming there weren’t enough protections for public safety in place.

The majority of people in attendance were against the compromise bill for how it centralizes distribution.  The Speaker explained that was so the market wasn’t flooded with supply.

Another sticking point is the dose size which is low, and people feel is meant to raise costs. Speaker Hughes explained those sizes are to prevent issues and let everyone know it’s medical including police.

“They would intuitively understand and know they have medicine on them not something for recreational use,” said Speaker Hughes.

The bill was required in committee to be ready for the special session scheduled for next Monday. Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck announced she will introduce a bill to only make small changes to Prop. 2 and leave most of it intact. She said it’s not fair for lawmakers, many of whom are leaving, to make these decisions before the next session.

“We shouldn’t be voting on substantive changes we can’t uphold,” said Rep. Chavez-Houck We need to fix what needs to be fixed technically. Let the people’s vote stand.”

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...