A bill that would have brought much-needed medicine to patients in Utah was defeated by a 15-14 vote in the Senate yesterday. Sponsored by Senator Mark Madsen, Senate Bill 259, would have allowed those which a number of debilitating conditions to treat themselves with cannabis. Proponents of SB259 have already announced that they will now bring the matter to the voters though a referendum.
The efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Utah went viral last week when a DEA agent Matt Fairbanks testified in front of the Utah Senate (time stamp 58:00) that he had seen “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana,” at an illegal marijuana grow.
“One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone,” Fairbanks testified.
A survey conducted for Libertas Institute and the Drug Policy Project of Utah last month, shows 72 percent of voters polled supported “a policy in Utah that allows medical specialists to recommend cannabis to patients suffering from serious illnesses like cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.”
Last year Utah passed a limited medical CBD-only bill that allows those with severe epilepsy to possess, but not obtain, “hemp extract” oil. Had it passed, SB259 would have established a dispensary system throughout the conservative state.
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