UPDATES: Utah House, Senate vote to replace Prop 2
UPDATE (4:35 p.m.) -- The Libertas Institute released a statement regarding the passing of the compromise bill by president Connor Boyack:
Contrary to critics' assertions, House Bill 3001 is a workable solution to provide reliable access for patients in Utah seeking medical cannabis. For years, we have been seeking a balance between political concessions and pushing the needle as far in favor of medical freedom as we could. This negotiated result is a decent balance to get the program underway.
With this result, a major gutting of Prop 2 has been prevented, unlike what we have seen in the past and may see in the future on other issues.
Libertas Institute helped begin the medical cannabis reform effort in Utah five years ago. Since that time, we have remained deeply involved. In HB 3001 there are some ways Proposition 2 has been weakened. But there are also many improvements to Proposition 2. In the end, it's a tremendous achievement that our major opponents support this broad access program for patients in need.
We appreciate the eagerness of Speaker Hughes to facilitate the drafting of HB 3001 and being its chief sponsor. We appreciate Senator Vickers for his involvement in drafting discussions and for sponsoring the bill in the Senate. Finally, we appreciate the Governor’s agreement to call a special session and enact the final result into law.
Most importantly, we have deep gratitude for patients who have openly shared their stories for years, advocates who tirelessly worked to get the issue presented to voters, and to the majority of Utah's voters for supported Prop 2.
HB 3001 was not a compromise per se, but an agreement on how a medical cannabis program that the people have asked for would be implemented. We will remain engaged for years to come on this issue, ensuring that patients are not treated as criminals.
UPDATE (4:22 p.m.) -- The Marijuana Policy Project released the following statement in reaction to the compromise bill passing both Utah chambers:
In a special session today, the Utah Legislature enacted a compromise medical marijuana law that will replace the ballot initiative approved by voters on Election Day.
The compromise bill is more restrictive than the law established by Proposition 2, which was supported by the Marijuana Policy Project and Utah advocates. In early October, supporters and opponents of Proposition 2 reached an agreement whereby both sides de-escalated their campaign operations and agreed on a compromise medical marijuana law that would be enacted regardless of the outcome of the ballot initiative vote.
The compromise bill makes a number of changes to Proposition 2, including no home cultivation for patients, a smaller number of dispensaries, and a requirement that dispensaries employ pharmacists who recommend dosages.
Statement below from MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich, who oversaw MPP’s Utah operations in 2017-2018:
“This bill is undoubtedly inferior to the law enacted by voters in November. However, Proposition 2 would very likely have been defeated without the compromise deal, which prevented an onslaught of opposition spending. Advocates made the responsible decision to negotiate with opponents and ensure that patients were not left without any access to medical cannabis.
“While this legislation is not ideal, it is a major step forward for Utah and it will help patients and families across the state. This law will enable patients to safely and legally access the medical cannabis treatments they need, and it can be improved upon in future legislative sessions. It’s now time to move forward, and we call on the state government to implement this new policy without delay.”
UPDATE (3:49 p.m.) -- The Utah Senate voted 22-4 to pass Prop 2's compromise.
The compromise bill replaces Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana in Utah.
Prop 2 was approved by voters last month.
UPDATE (3:47 p.m.) Want to voice your opinion about Prop 2's replacement?
UPDATE (2:31 p.m.) -- 2News reporter Brian Mullahy is reporting live from the Utah Capitol with reaction to the vote replacing Prop 2.
UPDATE (2:28 p.m.) -- Sen. Jim Dabakis (D - Salt Lake City) posted a live video on his Facebook page to voice his displeasure with today's vote by the Utah House of Representatives.
The compromise easily passed the House, with all House Democrats who were present voted against the measure.
This is a developing story. 2News will provide updates when they become available.