In Utah, lawmakers are anticipated to satisfy right now to vote on a brand new set of medical hashish legal guidelines. If new legal guidelines are put into place at present, they’ll exchange the medical marijuana initiative handed by voters final month. The risk that it will occur has already sparked an ongoing controversy within the state.
Utah Lawmakers Plan to Draft a “Compromise Bill”
Last month, voters in Utah permitted Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana. The proposal gained with a 53 % majority. It went into impact this month.
Yet regardless of the favored help of the invoice, and though the legal guidelines simply went into impact, it seems that lawmakers are urgent forward with plans to overwrite the proposition.
Interestingly, these plans have been within the works even earlier than voters had an opportunity to vote on Prop 2. In reality, lawmakers and different influential teams in Utah made clear that if Prop. 2 gained within the well-liked elections, they might maintain a particular legislative session on Dec. three.
Additionally, these leaders made clear that the purpose of the Dec. three assembly is to push by means of a “compromise bill” that might substitute the medical marijuana legal guidelines established in Prop 2.
And now that Dec. three is right here, media sources have up to now reported that the assembly goes forward as deliberate. As per the AP: “Utah lawmakers are expected to meet Monday and pass changes to a voter-approved ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana.”
Utah’s Medical Marijuana Controversy
Today’s deliberate assembly is on the coronary heart of an ongoing controversy. In reality, a gaggle of medical hashish advocates just lately threatened to file a lawsuit if Prop. 2 is overwritten by at present’s particular legislative session.
The potential lawsuit focuses on a number of key points. For starters, advocates declare that overwriting Prop. 2 instantly after profitable a well-liked vote flies within the face of the democratic course of. Many interpret such a transfer as ignoring the voice of the individuals.
Closely associated to this concern is the position performed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), generally generally known as the Mormon Church.
The Mormon Church has been some of the outspoken opponents of Prop. 2. Importantly, roughly two-thirds of Utah’s inhabitants is Mormon. And nearly all of Utah’s lawmakers are Mormon, too.
Earlier this yr, the Mormon Church held a press convention to voice its opposition relating to Prop. 2. Then, church leaders despatched an e mail to Mormons in Utah encouraging them to vote towards the initiative.
On prime of all this, medical marijuana advocates declare that the Mormon Church is essentially liable for the so-called “compromise bill” and for right now’s potential legislative session. This invoice, advocates say, dramatically modifications the system established by Prop. 2.
“It’s not a compromise bill, it’s a replacement bill,” lawyer Rocky Anderson informed High Times. Anderson represents medical marijuana advocates within the potential lawsuit.
“It sets up an enormous state bureaucracy. It allows for far fewer dispensaries that will be less accessible to patients. They’re also dramatically reducing the number of doctors that will be able to prescribe medical marijuana and changing and reducing the conditions that would qualify patients to get medical marijuana.”
Mormon Church Exerting Too Much Influence?
Advocates are involved that the Mormon Church is overstepping its bounds. They declare that the Mormon Church is dictating state regulation with out regard for the democratic course of.
“We’ve seen adamant opposition by the church,” Anderson advised High Times. “At this point, I think we’ve got clear evidence that the Church of LDS has interfered in the functions of the state of Utah.”
He added: “It’s so blatantly undemocratic. I think it could fairly accurately be characterized as a theocracy rather than a democracy.”