Salt Lake City, Utah- (News4Utah) – Major developments have been announced in the contentious battle over medical marijuana in Utah.
Ahead of the vote on Proposition 2, key stakeholders have come together on a compromise. They are promising to work together pass or fail.
“We express our gratitude to those who have come together today in a true spirit of compassion and concern for Utahns, from our perspective, to alleviate human pain and suffering,” said Elder Jack Gerard with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We don’t want to win the battle in November only to potentially lose the war. More to the point, we don’t want there to be a war,” said Connor Boyack with the Libertas Institute.
The big stakeholders have spent hours at the table hammering out the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.
“We are trying to strike a strong middle ground on how we deliver for patient access, medical marijuana, and a safe way and also protect the public from unintended consequences,” said Speaker Greg Hughes, (R) Draper.
The bill addresses concerns with the initiative by establishing a controlled distribution system.
Cardholders would ultimately get the medicine from specialized pharmacies or local health departments.
Lawmakers are promising to get it through regardless of what happens with Prop 2.
“I cannot conceive, Glen, of the legislature not following in suit with what’s been, the compromise done here today and pass legislation that projects that. That’s what they’ve done in the past, that’s what they’ll do in the future,” said Governor Gary Herbert, (R) Utah.
It’s a message patients have been waiting years for.
“That you aren’t criminals, you are our brothers and sisters and I’m happy that we can start this process to move that forward,” said DJ Schanz with the Utah Patients Coalition.
Governor Herbert will call a special session in November, after the election to address the bill.
Former state senator Mark Madsen, who has sponsored a similar bill in the past said he would have got behind this compromise years ago. At the news conference, he lashed out at those who stood in the way at the time.