Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – Advocates for medical marijuana in Utah are trying to take the decision out of the hands of the legislature and send it to the voters.
Thursday, the Utah Patients Coalition publicly began the signature gathering process.
It’s Food Truck Thursday at the Gallavin Center, and as those seeking a bite to eat wait in line, volunteers with the coalition are also hoping they will have an appetite for signing their petition.
“The legislature has had an opportunity for the last three or four years to make substantive policy on this and has failed to do so, so now I think it’s time for the people to decide on this issue,” said DJ Schanz, Utah Patients Coalition Campaign Director.
It’s not an easy road. Using volunteers and a paid firm, the coalition must gather about 113,000 signatures, but they can’t just come from any where. They are required to get a certain amount from 26 of Utah’s 29 senate districts.
They are due April 15, 2018, but this group wants to get all the signatures turned in before the 2018 Legislative Session starts.
“Largely send a message to the legislature that this has been determined that the people want to vote on this,” said Schanz.
Among other things, the initiative would provide legal access to medical marijuana for patients with certain conditions, who are under the supervision of a doctor.
Christine Stenquist, who survived a brain tumor says she and other patients have waited long enough.
“I use cannabis to mitigate my symptoms and started to have a better quality of life, so it was really important to me to figure out a way to have legal access to it.”
The coalition will be at various events throughout the state over the next several months gathering those signatures.
If successful, it will be on the ballot in November, 2018.
To learn more about the initiative go to: utahpatients.org