Reciprocity: Yes, please….!
Washington, DC now accepts medical cards issued by 27 states, ensuring traveling patients can get medicine. Medicine, we note, that the capitol trusts them to pick from what's available in those dispensaries.
Two key benefits: First, out of area patients can get the medicine they need without dealing with the black market, ensuring they're buying inspected, validated medicine. With increasing medical legalization and well over 3M active patients, and with people exercising their right to travel freely in these semi-united states, this becomes more important all the time.
If you run out of blood pressure meds, prescribed pain meds, etc. on a trip, you'll be able to get them at a pharmacy anywhere in the US. And with reciprocity, you also get fair and equal treatment for cannabis patients.
Second, you can travel without having to commit the federal crime of transporting a Schedule I narcotic across state lines. And without carrying your meds through states where medicinal cannabis is still illegal.
Think about that. You might flip between legal patient and illegal drug smuggler five or six times on a long car trip…. 😳 …and if you're a patient living in West Wendover, NV who works across the street, in Wendover, UT, you could be both, many times a week…
Reciprocity isn't universal between legal states, but it is becoming more common. It's the only rational approach in a crazy quilt map of legal states, with an invisible federal barrier erected between them on every state border.
Unfortunately, when you look at 3001, it seems clear that without big changes, Utah is not a promising candidate for providing reciprocity to visiting patients. And might therefore be less likely to get it in return.
1. The state's far flung and inadequate number of planned dispensaries. Utah insists on calling ours "medical cannabis pharmacies," although they're not pharmacies in any real sense of what the word means literally everywhere else. That is, UT may require pharmacists on staff, but since they will be selling no, none, zip legal Rx drugs, does that make them "pharmacies"?
2. Utah's magic "They're not prescriptions, but they do determine the kind, forms and amounts of each patient's medicine," with no pesky patient "choosing" in the instructions for dispensing.
3. The limited conditions list. If someone comes here with an Oregon card they got for an autoimmune condition, not allowed here, will the DOH require them to disclose diagnoses? That will not fly.
Fourth, blister packs.
Also, out of staters please note: smoking cannabis will remain illegal for patients from any state. And if you're allowed into a pharmacy, what would you be able to buy??
Prop 2 created none of these obstacles. Thanks, Legislature!! Great compromise.
Are you letting your reps know your feelings? They're at your fingertips: https://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp
[Remember, angry venting won't help.]
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