Utah Proposition 2, Medical Marijuana Initiative (2018) - Ballotpedia


Utah Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative is on the ballot in Utah as an initiated state statute on November 6, 2018.

A "yes" vote supports legalizing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses. A "no" vote opposes legalizing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses.

The title used by proponents and by state officials for this initiative is Utah Medical Cannabis Act.[1]

What would Proposition 2 do?

Proposition 2 was designed to legalize medical marijuana for individuals with qualifying conditions. Individuals could receive a medical marijuana card with recommendation from a physician. Under the measure, a medical marijuana cardholder could not smoke marijuana or use a device to facilitate the smoking of marijuana. During any one 14-day period, an individual would be allowed to buy either 2 ounces of unprocessed marijuana or an amount of marijuana product with no more than 10 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol. After January 1, 2021, individuals with medical cards would be allowed to grow six marijuana plants for personal use within their homes if there are no dispensaries within 100 miles.

What is the legal status of marijuana in Utah?

Looking for more information about marijuana on the ballot in 2018? Explore other Ballotpedia articles on the subject below. Proposition 2 would legalize the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying illnesses. Qualifying illnesses under Proposition 2 include the following: HIV, AIDs, or other autoimmune disorder Alzheimer's disease Cachexia or other wasting disease characterized by physical wasting such as weight and muscle loss A condition manifest by nausea or malnutrition associated with chronic disease Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or other gastrointestinal disorder Epilepsy or other disorder causing seizures Multiple sclerosis or other condition causing muscle spasms Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Autism Any rare condition or disease affecting less than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. Chronic or debilitating pain if a physician determines that the individual is at risk of becoming dependent on or overdosing on opiate pain medication or is otherwise unable to use opiates Other conditions evaluated on a case-by-case basis Proposition 2 would require an individual or a parent or legal guardian of a minor who wants to use marijuana for medical purposes to receive a medical card from the Utah Department of Health. To receive a medical card, a recommendation from a physician would be needed. Physicians could recommend marijuana if the patient has a qualifying illness and may benefit from using marijuana. The state Department of Health could begin issuing medical cards no later than March 1, 2020. The measure would create a Compassionate Use Board that would be responsible for reviewing and recommending to the Department of Health approval for an individual who is not otherwise qualified to receive a medical marijuana card to receive a medical marijuana card for compassionate use if (a) an individual provides evidence that the individual suffers from a condition that substantially impairs the individual's quality of life and (b) if the board determines it is in the patient's best interest to allow the compassionate use of medical marijuana. The Department of Health will review compassionate use recommendations and issue medical marijuana cards if it concurs with the board's recommendation. Under the measure, before July 1, 2020, it would be considered affirmative defense , (meaning it would negate any criminal charges) and courts would be directed to dismiss such charges (a) if an individual is charged with illegally using, possessing, or manufacturing marijuana or marijuana products if the individual would be eligible for a medical marijuana card and if the individual's conduct would have been lawful after July 1, 2020, or (b) if the individual has a medical marijuana card from another s tate and has a qualifying condition under this measure. “ establish a state-controlled process that allows persons with certain illnesses to acquire and use medical cannabis and, in certain limited circumstances, to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal medical use; authorize the establishment of facilities that grow, process, test, or sell medical cannabis and require those facilities to be licensed by the state; and establish state controls on those licensed facilities, including: electronic systems that track cannabis inventory and purchases; and requirements and limitations on the packaging and advertising of cannabis and on the types of products allowed? “ cultivation facilities, which grow cannabis to sell to other cannabis facilities; processing facilities, which acquire unprocessed cannabis from cultivation facilities, process it into cannabis products, and sell those products to dispensaries; testing facilities, which test samples of all cannabis and cannabis products to be sold by dispensaries; and dispensaries, which acquire cannabis and cannabis products from cultivation facilities and processing facilities to sell to people who have been approved to use medical cannabis. the advertising, packaging, labeling, processing, testing, and transporting of medical cannabis; the types of products that may be processed or sold; the quantities of medical cannabis that may be sold; and the number of facilities that may be licensed to grow or sell medical cannabis. tracks cannabis in real time, using a unique identifier; stores in real time a record of the facility’s cannabis inventory; includes a video recording system to track cannabis handling and processing; maintains compatibility with the state’s electronic system identifying people approved to use medical cannabis; and is accessible to the state during inspections, which can occur at any time. prohibited from using medical cannabis in public, except in a medical emergency; prohibited from smoking cannabis; prohibited from using medical cannabis while operating a motor vehicle; required to carry proof, when possessing medical cannabis outside the person’s residence, that the person is approved to use medical cannabis; required to carry cannabis, when outside the person’s residence, only in limited quantities and with labeling that indicates its source; allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal medical use, if, after January 1, 2021, there is no licensed dispensary selling medical cannabis within 100 miles of the person’s residence; and allowed to designate up to two persons to help, without compensation, the person acquire or grow medical cannabis, if a physician determines that the person needs assistance. a physician to submit a recommendation for medical cannabis treatment; a person to apply from a physician’s office for approval to use medical cannabis; the state to track and archive, for no more than 60 days, cannabis purchases; and law enforcement to determine during a traffic stop whether a person is approved to use medical cannabis. “ ” The Utah Office of Management and Budget prepared a fiscal estimate for the Proposition 2 petition sheets “ The Governor's Office of Management and Budget estimates the law proposed by this initiative would result in total fiscal expenses of $2,900,000 ($1,800,000 ongoing and $1,100,000 one-time). ” Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera The Utah Patients Coalition said, "Right now, Utah patients battling cancer, seizures, and other life-threatening conditions must break the law in order to relieve their pain and suffering. By passing the medical cannabis ballot initiative next year, Utah can end this cruel and unjust policy." Dr. Dan Cottam stated that the Utah Medical Association's opposition to the initiative was not representative of all doctors or even all members of the association. Speaking of the association's opposition, Cottam said, “Far from being based on research or science, let alone the consensus of the doctors they purport to represent, it is a position that does not speak for many doctors like myself who are prepared to provide this medicine for our patients. The initiative will relieve the suffering of hundreds of patients each year.” Salt Lake County District Attorney, Sim Gill, said "I will be voting in favor of this initiative in November. This is not about recreational marijuana, that is not what I support, but I will advocate for not criminalizing the conduct of parents, patients, and family members for an act of compassion. As a public prosecutor, the last thing I want to be doing is be in the middle of a conversation between a patient and their physician. They should not have to worry about the specter of criminal prosecution for an act of compassion." The Libertas Institute commented on the legal analysis released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying "We welcome reasonable, good faith discussion on the merits of the initiative but find little substance in this analysis." DJ Schanz, campaign director of the Utah Patients Coalition said, "The Libertas Institute has done a magnificent job of giving a point by point rebuttal of Kirton McConkie’s slanted and biased analysis of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act." The Mormon Church noted that patients could "deceptively" acquire a medical marijuana card by telling their doctors they have chronic pain when they don't. The Libertas Institute responded, "This will of course happen. It does currently, with opiates." Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said, “I’ve had personal friends who have had cancer and died. I really feel medical marijuana could have helped with their pain. I support that.” “ ” Click [show] to see the rebuttal to the official opposition argument “ ” Utah Senator Evan Vickers (R-28) St. George Mayor Jon Pike Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson The Utah Medical Association said in a statement: "This initiative is not about medicine. Supporters have used images and stories of suffering patients to disguise their true aim, opening another market for their products and paving the way for recreational use of cannabis in Utah.” Utah governor Gary Herbert said in a statement that he believes the proposal has major flaws and lacks safeguards for the growing and distribution of marijuana that “would potentially open the door to recreational use.” On August 30, 2018, during his monthly news conference, Herbert said the following about medical marijuana in Utah: "I’d like to see the federal government get out of the way. We ought to call upon our congressional delegation [to] take it off the Schedule I list. Let’s do the studies, let’s do the clinical trials. It’s time to find out the truth scientifically so that this can be prescribed by a doctor, distributed by a pharmacist, so people can know what they’re getting in their compounds. If [Proposition 2] doesn’t pass, we’ll start new. We’ll create, in this upcoming legislative session, a bill that everybody can support. One way or the other, we’re going to get a law on the books that makes some sense for the people of Utah." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement, “We commend the Utah Medical Association for its statement cautioning that the proposed Utah marijuana initiative would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commissioned a legal analysis by a Salt Lake City law firm, Kirton McConkie. The Church released the analysis on May 11, 2018. In a statement, the Church said, "The proposed Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative is a matter of great controversy in this state. The negative effects and consequences of marijuana use on individuals, families and society at large are well-known. There are also those who claim that it has medicinal benefits for those in some circumstances. Accordingly, the church asked a Salt Lake City law firm for a legal analysis of the proposed initiative to be submitted to the voters next fall. We wanted to know what the initiative would actually do, if adopted. … That memorandum raises grave concerns about this initiative and the serious adverse consequences that could follow if it were adopted. We invite all to read the attached memorandum and to make their own judgment." Elder Jack N. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy with the LDS church, said, "The church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form from a licensed pharmacy," although the church is formally opposed to Proposition 2. Gerard said the measure "goes too far." Paul Mero, President and CEO of the Next Generation Freedom Fund, said in his opinion column that "The Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative is neither needed as a practical matter nor good public policy generally. The truth is the Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative is a ruse being perpetrated by Utah libertarians and radicalized potheads across the country – regardless of the good people these deceivers front as medically needy. The D.C. lobbyists at the Marijuana Policy Project, old hippies at NORML and our own liberty-loving kooks at Libertas Institute feign a non-existent morality – some pot-induced moral code that only consuming marijuana will appease. Let me be as blunt as I can: You must be high to think this initiative is a good idea." Drug Safe Utah says on its website that "the marijuana initiative is not the answer. Explore why the marijuana ballot initiative is bad for Utah. It does little for real patients, but will harm Utah citizens, especially children." Drug Safe Utah posted a job posting on Indeed that said, "Drug Safe Utah is hiring field staff to canvass voters who've recently signed the marijuana ballot initiative. We need help spreading the word about what the bill actually means for our communities and Utah as a whole, and we need it fast! Make $25/hr($200/day) with flexible employee scheduling, allowing team members to work 20-40 hours a week, depending on their availability." Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson wrote, "Medical marijuana’s impact will touch all aspects of life in Utah including health and safety. Think about how that could affect our youth, schools, economy, and workforce. Do you want these negative influences in our community?" “ ” The campaign finance information on this page is according to the most recent scheduled reportsCampaign finance report filing deadlines vary by state. Scheduled deadlines are usually based on periodic requirements—such as monthly or quarterly reports—or certain lengths of time before and after elections. Some states require interim reports in response to contributions of a certain size in addition to scheduled reports. It is not uncommon for reports to be filed late for a given campaign finance deadline., which covered through June 14, 2018, and interim reportsSome states require conditional reports of contributions of a certain size in between full scheduled reports. Click here to read about state campaign finance requirements and information. available as of August 24, 2018. The deadlineCampaign finance report deadlines are set by law. It is not uncommon for reports to be filed after the deadlines. Ballotpedia updates the reports as soon as possible after the campaign finance filing deadline. for the next scheduled reports was October 1, 2018. Total campaign contributions: