Medill DC

Utah Governor Supports Minor Expansions to State Medical Cannabis Law

The governor of Utah said Thursday that two proposals to expand the state’s medical cannabis program make sense. Though this is heartening news, both proposals are relatively minor expansions that would still prohibit the actual smoking of marijuana.

Utah’s current medical marijuana program is very limited: only patients suffering from severe epilepsy are allowed to seek cannabis treatment, and only via cannabis extracts obtained from other states.

The first of the two proposals would allow patients with certain chronic conditions to medicate using infused edible products, the other proposal would simply update Utah’s cannabis oil law to grant more people access to the medicine and allow it to be produced in-state. Both bills are being proposed by Republicans.

“If there’s a medicine out there that will alleviate pain and conditions and health concerns for people, if there’s a medicine out there that can do that, we ought to see if we can embrace it,” Gov. Gary Herbert said on Thursday.

The governor has said in the past that he would consider a more inclusive medical cannabis program, but remains concerned about it leading to a quasi-recreational market.

“I’m not interested in having Dr. Feelgood out there say, ‘Yeah, yeah, que pasa, you know, here’s your doobie for the day and you’ll feel better.’ That’s probably not where I want to go.”

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