Report: Support for medical marijuana in Utah is strong

Utah group files 2018 medical marijuana ballot initiative (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — According to a Utah Policy report, at least three out of four Utahns support the legalization of medical marijuana.

"The Utah Legislature has failed most Utahns when it comes to legalizing the non-smoking use of medical marijuana for treatment of several diseases and chronic pain," Utah Policy said.

According to an online political newsletter by Dan Jones & Associates, poll shows that 77 percent of adults "strongly" or "somewhat" support the legalization of medical marijuana.

Only 21 percent of those polled expressed that they "strongly oppose" or "somewhat oppose" the drug's legalization.

Three percent said that they "don't know."

In a recently-completed legislative session, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill, called HB 195, that allows terminally ill people to use certain forms of marijuana, at their doctor's request.

"A citizen initiative petition on medical cannabis use is moving forward towards the November election," Utah Policy reports. You can read the petition here.

"It basically legalizes the use of non-smoking medical marijuana for a variety of serious illnesses and for the relief of chronic pain," Utah Policy reports, "Under a doctor's direction."

According to Jones, two-thirds of "very active" Mormons support legalization of medical marijuana. Thirty percent of active Mormons remain opposed.

"That's interesting because Mormon leaders have specifically opposed legalizing medial cannabis at this time," Utah Policy reports, " Meaning 66 percent of very active Mormons are going against the wishes of their own church leaders on the issue."

Mormon leader Russell Nelson, 93, was a medical doctor prior to his Church calling. Utah Policy says this could play a key role in efforts to defeat the citizen initiative petition, which will likely come before Utah voters in November.

"Church leaders, like the GOP-controlled Legislature, say more research is needed — and Congress should remove the current laws on marijuana prohibition — before it should be allowed in Utah," Utah Policy reports.

According to Utah Policy, the new survey shows that most Utahns are ready to legalize medical marijuana.

"Many Utahns being treated for cancer say cannabis helped them or loved ones, mainly through reducing nausea accompanying chemo and other therapies," Utah Policy reported.

A breakdown of the support/opposition of the legalization of medical marijuana is as follows, according to the poll:

  • Republicans: 67-31 percent
  • Democrats: 91-7 percent
  • Independents: 84-13 percent
  • Active Mormons: 66-30 percent
  • Catholics: 79-22 percent
  • Protestants: 81-19 percent
  • Other faiths: 86-11 percent
  • No religion: 98-3 percent

Jones interviewed 609 adults from February 9-16. The survey has a margin of error of + or - 4 percent.

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