Proposals to allow Terminally Ill People to use Pot advances in Utah

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 01, 2018.

Two measures that would allow terminally ill people to access medicinal marijuana and farmers to grow it for research purposes were passed by the House Health and Human Services Committee in Utah on Wednesday.

The House Bill 195 and House Bill 197, both sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, were favorably recommended to the House floor despite criticism from medical marijuana advocates and law enforcement for different reasons.

HB195 allows terminally ill patients the ability to get a physician's recommendation for medical cannabis, while HB197 authorizes the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to allow marijuana grow for research and distribution to those patients.

Rep. Daw acknowledged the proposals would help dying people to try a potentially helpful alternative and provide a way for researchers to get marijuana locally.

"Chemo just isn’t a lot of fun," Daw told the committee. "You know, some patient may just say, 'I don’t want to do chemo.' They may do something else."

Organizers have collected 105,000 signatures as of Wednesday, sources said.They need 113,000 by April to qualify for the November ballot.

However, advocate Christine Stenquist stated that the state needs comprehensive medical marijuana legalization so everyone with chronic pain can get relief, not just people whose doctors say they are dying.

The Utah Medical Association said it support the concept of the legislation, but cautioned that the so-called "right-to-try" bill isn't "quite ready."

The Utah Chiefs of Police Association and Sheriffs Association opposes both legislative measures saying "We are opposed to this principle, this fundamental principle of violating federal law".

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