“The question of medicinal cannabis first became visible to Melissa Sue Butler through her work as a hospice nurse, when she discovered it had been making a difference in a pair of her patients.
But when a bill giving terminally ill patients access to cannabis for medicinal use passed the state Legislature this year [HB195], Butler didn’t rejoice.
‘I was actually disappointed that it passed, not because I don’t want people to have access, but because I think (it) doesn’t give people anywhere near adequate access,’ she said. ‘Once they’re off of hospice, they won’t have access to that. … (And) it’s not just hospice patients that need it.’
Butler is among a vocal group of Utah advocates who have made it clear they are done trusting the Legislature with the issue of medicinal cannabis…”
Rep. Daw had his usual “careful reformer rap” ready to play. He calls his position “the happy middle ground.” And who knows, it may be in his mind.
That is, his spectrum takes the slightly updated versions of the reefer madness myths of the 1930’s which are embraced by several Utah law enforcement agencies (in Weber County at least – we’ve heard nothing like the extreme rhetoric they’ve embraced elsewhere) as one pole. And it takes the program outlined in the initiative – which is already the most conservative “full program” to be put up for a vote compared to the 29 state programs already passed (for which it’s criticized by some Utahns as too limited) as the other pole.
So HB195 may look something like “a happy medium” to him, but in reality, the highly limited, so-called “right to try” program isn’t remotely close to being half-way meeting the known patient needs. Nor is it 25% of the way or 10% of the way. At best, it’s more like 2% – if that – as in our opinion, it’s primarily a “message bill” whose primary PURPOSE is still to delay or prevent the enactment of the real program 76% of Utahns are calling for.
[Also allow us to point out that as we understand the structure and function of government, the purpose of law enforcement is just that: to ENFORCE the laws – not to define and MAKE them. Rep. Daw needs a new definition of his other pole, not a government agency.]
The article also covers the fate of lesser bills none of which are exactly as advocates would have written them. #HB197 – outlining a pilot state growing program for #HB195 and last year’s HB130 – seems to be the worst, but would be replaced by the Initiative’s program if passed.
The other bills – #HB25 (expanding research) #HB302 (Hemp pilot programs) and #SB130 (regulating CBD products) are briefly described in the article and TRUCE will be discussing the session on the air and elsewhere soon. Watch our blog for details.
And PS: #HB471 and #HB225 – Daw’s Initiative restrictions both crashed and burned – with lots of input from an angry public, thanks! A small but real victory!
#MMJ #UTleg #UTpol #UtahNext #TRUCE
See full article – 5 medicinal cannabis bills pass, but advocates and lawmakers still at odds