SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Three initiatives have met the requirements to make the ballot for the General Election.
The Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics Jason Perry stops by Inside Utah Politics to further discuss these initiatives and the impact they could have on the election.
The initiative gathering the most attention is Proposition 2, which asks voters to approve medical cannabis for certain health conditions.
“This is the one that is so personal to so many people in the state. What’s interesting is that even though marijuana is not legal in the state, it’s pretty hard to find someone that doesn’t know someone that’s been impacted in some way by the use of it” said Perry. ” So many groups are out there taking a position right now that everyone is talking about it.”
Some opponents argue medical marijuana is more recreational than medical.
“The issue of medical use of marijuana is one that does not clearly run down party lines,” Perry said. “This is going to drive people to the ballot box because this is not pure politics right here. It’s something rooted in a kind of philosophical or a moral belief.”
Another initiative that will be on the ballot is Proposition 3, which will seek to end a year’s long battle in our state by expanding Medicaid as originally called for under the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s sort of a sleeper issue right now. For those of us who watch the legislature, this was anything but a calm issue. For the last several years bills have come forward, people have lost their jobs and it’s just been a very contentious issue. People in the state maybe felt like the legislature didn’t go far enough in their last efforts on that. I think this is still one we will be talking about more and more as we get closer and it has a decent chance of passing,” Perry said.
Lastly, there’s Proposition 4, which would create an independent redistricting commission that would make recommendations to the legislature and not have binding authority.
“It’s really hard to say you’re opposed to some independent group drawing a line. So many people are worried about gerrymandering and whether or not some bias is inherent in the lines, so it’s hard to say I don’t like this, but the reality of this initiative is that this group will submit plans to the legislature and the legislature will then decide if they like those plans or not,” Perry said.
As far as which initiatives Perry sees passing, he says he could see them going either way.
“On Medicaid expansion, I think it’s above 50 percent. On the independent redistricting commission it’s higher than that somewhere in the 60 to 65 percent likelihood of that. But I think it’s too early to call it on the medicinal use of marijuana inside the state of Utah,” said Perry.