If someone was just learning about Prop 2 and the replacement bill and only listened to (the first TWO HOURS) of legislators congratulating themselves over their substitute for what voters passed, they could be forgiven for believing the total spin on display….

“House Speaker Greg Hughes says he’s not trying to gut Proposition 2 by pushing its replacement.

If he were, people would know it, he said.

‘We can gut something in three pages if we want to gut it, OK? So there is no gutting,’ Hughes [argued].”

Uhhhh…. ….The advocacy community was there… …and we know a snow job when we see it. Opponents saw the depth of support for medical cannabis, and rather than a straight assassination chose to recruit fence sitters and “sunshine supporters” to back ten tons of verbiage designed to look like a workable program.

It’s a medical cannabis victory of a sort – for everyone but 90% of patients. But of course call us biased because we believe a program should be first and foremost ABOUT patients. D’ohhh. Our bad.

This bill is anything EXCEPT about the best interests of patients. Its focus is on managing 1950s levels fears of cannabis, not on bringing medicine to patients in an effective, compassionate, scientifically sound way.

“Rocky Anderson, who’s representing TRUCE, said, ‘This is not a compromise piece of legislation. It’s a capitulation to the opponents of Proposition 2.’

[Critics say] lawmakers are in a headlong rush to overturn Prop 2 and are substituting an unwieldy proposal that drastically reduces the number of privately licensed dispensing locations and restricts qualifying conditions.”

During 5-hour meeting, speakers push to keep Prop 2, while Hughes argues cannabis bill won’t nullify initiative vote

And most tellingly to us, there’s this canard:

“Paul Edwards, Herbert’s deputy chief of staff, said the bill is an improvement because it gives patients access to cannabis treatments in a controlled manner that would ‘minimize diversion into a black market’.”

These folks really don’t “get it.”

The delays, unreasonable hoops to jump through, restrictions on medicine allowed and factors that will raise prices through the roof compared to Prop 2 (and to CO and NV) will INSTEAD supercharge “diversion,” even as the state blows taxpayer money on the whole impractical superstructure of their “Central Fill” scheme.

How was revealed during the really relevant part of the debate – when the public got to speak for two hours.

If the legislature had put as much time into thoughtful amendments to Prop 2 – which we would have participated in making as not every change is bad – Utah could have been in great shape and the great majority of the patient community could be walking arm in arm with their representatives today.

But that’s not where we are. This bill still stinks to high heaven.

TRUCE: Still proudly on patients’ side.

[NOTE: We support subscribing to the shrinking Trib as Salt Lake needs independent voices, but for those who can’t, we’re sharing this important article below.]

During 5-hour meeting, speakers push to keep Prop 2, while Hughes argues cannabis bill won’t nullify initiative vote