Advocates worry legislators will 'drastically' change Prop 2, blame LDS Church influence
(KUTV) -- Medical marijuana advocates are, again, accusing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint and Utah legislatures of collaborating in regards to changing the medical marijuana initiative.
In a statement sent to Utah legislatures, Rocky Anderson, a Salt Lake City lawyer, spoke on behalf of the TRUCE and Epilepsy Association of Utah, saying:
After the majority of voters passed Proposition 2, the Church of Jesus Christ brought together a number of collaborators to orchestrate the deprivation of the will of the people. Several back-room, closed door meetings, have resulted in several moving-target versions of an absurdly long and convoluted replacement bill.
Anderson continues the argument by stating that The Church is "unwilling to accept defeat," despite the fact that Proposition 2 passed with a majority vote.
Instead, [the LDS Church] has, once again, exercised its control over the Utah Legislature, which is scheduled to meet in special session on December 3 to drastically alter the system contemplated by Proposition 2 to provide relief from human suffering.
This is not the first time medical marijuana advocates have banned together to accuse The Church and legislators of using the religion's influence on the Utah community to persuade people to vote a certain way.
The advocates also expressed concern that the special session will change the medical marijuana initiative into a bill that Utahns did vote for.
The statement claims that Proposition 2 allows medical professionals to suggest marijuana to patients "lawfully" while the revision does not.
Anderson states that people who live 100 miles away from a dispensary will have less access to treatments if the replacement bill passes.
Tens of thousands of residents of many rural counties will not have reasonable geographic access to the relief from suffering provided by cannabis.
On Monday night, dozens of people told lawmakers why they were for or against medical marijuana during a five hour meeting.
Utah's latest medical marijuana initiative was release on November 21, ahead of December when the bill will become law.
The latest version includes the following changes:
- Seven medical marijuana pharmacies will be allowed in Utah, instead of the previous number, five.
- 10 more licenses may be granted if a state-run central fill pharmacy is not operational by Jan. 1, 2021.
- Renters can't be penalized by landlords for having a medical cannabis card.
- The number of state issued cannabis growing facility licenses have decreased from 15 to 10.