Lawsuit Dropped Against Utah Reps Who Replaced Voter-Backed Cannabis Program

Medical cannabis advocates are dropping their lawsuit against elected lawmakers who overruled the state’s successful voter-approved initiative by adopting their own medical cannabis program.

Full story after the jump.

The lawsuit challenging Utah’s legislative replacement of the medical cannabis initiative approved by voters is being dropped, Fox13 reports. The plaintiffs, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) and the Epilepsy Association of Utah (EAU), said that while the case may not make it to trial, they consider the case a victory as it forced lawmakers to backtrack on using state employees to dispense to patients.

TRUCE founder Christine Stenquist said that the advocates still hope that other organizations will join a broader legal fight against the state over whether lawmakers have the ability to override citizen-approved ballot initiatives.

“While this lawsuit is coming to an end, the fight for a real medical cannabis system for the state of Utah, which will meet all patient needs, continues. And in that effort TRUCE remains ‘the mouse that roared,’ bringing attention to a much-needed cause, which, while unnecessarily stymied, has made real progress towards reforming Utah’s cannabis laws.” — Stenquist to Fox13

TRUCE and EAU did get attorneys fees as part of the settlement.

Earlier this year, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed legislation allowing patients to use letters from physicians to purchase medical cannabis in the state – but only until the end of the year when officials anticipate the Department of Health will begin issuing identification cards.

Stenquest said advocates are still pushing for caps of patient recommendations by physicians be removed as few physicians are willing to write patient letters, according to a Fox13 investigation.

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