(KUTV) — A special session is on the books so lawmakers can discuss a medical cannabis bill. That was announced amid the what is being called a compromise on Prop 2 between proponents and opponents.
So what will that mean for voters come November?
People will still be voting on Proposition 2.
Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes, said ultimately, this new bill will replace the proposition — if it passes. If it doesn't, the bill will still be on the table for legislators in the special session.
Many thought an agreement on medicinal marijuana in Utah would never happen.
“We found it,” Hughes said.
Those against Prop 2 are still against it, and want voter to vote against it.
Elder Jack Gerard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said he supports the compromise.
“We’ve got a lot of base support for — it corrects all the concerns of Proposition 2 about finding a way to bring relief to human pain and suffering for those patients,” he said.
DJ Schanz is the director of Utah Patients Coalition and in support of Prop 2.
“We are nervous and concerned from the very beginning that legislators were going to completely modify or gut Proposition 2 once it passed," Schanz said.
He said he believes this agreement is a big win.
“If it passes, they are minor modifications, If it doesn’t pass, it’s a new bill with Prop 2 wrapped in it with some of these modifications,” Schanz said.
Megan Keller has epilepsy and said she uses medical cannabis to control her seizures.
“I don’t trust it until it's law, we have to pass Prop 2," Keller said.
She and her sister said, agreement aside, people still have to vote in November, and people can’t leave it up to lawmakers.
“If this doesn’t pass we risk legislators saying there isn’t public support for this, so it needs to pass,” said Keller's sister, Amelia Powers.
Christine Stenquist, founder and executive director of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education, said the organization is cautiously optimistic, but skeptical.
“We are willing to listen, but we will do so skeptically," Stenquist said.
Speaker Hughes and former state senator Mark Madsen pointed out that there are issues of trust between patients and the Legislature.
"That has not changed. A special session with a lame-duck legislature is still something to which we are opposed," Stenquist said. "We still see Prop 2 as the best insurance policy for good medical cannabis law in Utah. But if what we’re hearing is true and genuine, it is worth listening to. TRUCE will be reviewing the bill language and releasing a statement when we have had time to do so. We will always put patients before politics."
Regardless of Prop 2's outcome, Speaker Hughes said this new bill should show the future of medical marijuana in Utah.
“I think that should bring the public more confidence that we are not looking to create a shell game or say one thing and do another," Hughes said.
The LDS Church and the Utah Patients Coalition have agreed they will also back down from aggressively campaigning against one another.
They will leave it up to voters to decide on the issue.