Libertas Institute hosts public forum on medical cannabis

Medical Cannabis in Utah, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy the Libertas Institue, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Libertas Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of liberty in the state of Utah, will hold a public forum on proposals to legalize medical cannabis Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.

According to a press release from the Libertas Institute, this will be the third in a series of public forums on the issue. The first, which was held in Ogden, focused on the law enforcement aspect of legalizing medical marijauna. The second, held in Provo focused solely on patient stories.

Thursday’s forum will be more of a general event, Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack said, adding that it will broadly touch on a lot of the issues.

In March, legislation that would have legalized the use of medical marijuana, Senate Bill 259, was narrowly defeated in a 15-14 vote.

Speakers at the forum will include Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs and the bill’s sponsor, Christine Stenquist, executive director of Drug Policy Project of Utah, Dr. Mike Wilson, a local resident whose daughter passed away due to complications from a brain tumor and David Doddridge, a retired narcotics officer.

In the press release Sen. Madsen said:

“I’m eager to participate in these meetings. For Utahns like me who sincerely believe in individual liberty and limited government, and who are interested in learning about medical cannabis, these public forums will be invaluable. People need to become informed and weigh in if we are ever going to stop government from making decisions for people that are better left to them and their physicians.”

A recent poll has found that there is broad public support in Utah for legalizing medical marijauna — 72 percent of the public supports it, Boyack said, but he added, while there is definite support they are hoping to get more people involved with showing their support to their legislators.

“Ultimately this is a human issue. When you share the stories of those who are suffering it becomes hard to say ‘no’ to them,” Boyack said. “Think of how many people it will affect. Not only 10s of thousands of Utahns but their spouses and families.”

A new version of the bill will be introduced in the 2016 legislative session, Boyack said and both he and Sen. Madsen are excited to share what is being planned.

Thursday’s forum is free for the public to attend though online preregistration is requested. Full versions of all the forums are available on YouTube.

Ed. note: The fourth and final substitute of SB 259, the Medical Cannabis Bill, failed in the Utah Senate 14-15 on March 9. Southern Utah Sens. David Hinkins and Steve Urquhart voted in favor of the bill while Sens. Ralph Okerlund and Evan Vickers voted against it, although Okerlund voted in favor of the second substitute bill earlier, on March 3 vote – which also failed. The bill never made it to the Utah House of Representatives.

Read more: Senate kills medical cannabis bill

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

Event details

  • What: Medical Cannabis in Utah: St. George Public Forum
  • When: July 16, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George
  • Cost: Free
  • Additional information: Register here


  • Medical Cannabis in Utah: St. George Public Forum | Facebook event page
  • Medical Cannabis in Utah: Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Banking Regulations | Watch the forum on YouTube
  • Medical Cannabis in Utah: Healing, Curing, and Alleviating Medical Conditions with Cannabis | Watch the forum on YouTube

Related posts

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  • Brian July 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    If you look at the wording of the poll 72% in no way represents the reality of how people in Utah feel about legalizing pot, or the reality in states that have legalized pot. They left out several questions: “Do you realize that anyone who coughs in the presence of their doctor is given a medical marijuana card in Vegas?”, “Do you realize that pot today has up to 10 times the THC of the pot smoked by Ed Kociela in the 60’s?”, and “Do you realize that pot saps you of your motivation to do just about anything productive?”. See and Ironic that smoking dope saps you of dopamine…

  • Brian July 13, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I fully support the liquid medication that benefits sick kids (it has about .3% THC, isn’t smoked, and really can’t be abused), but am vigorously opposed to legalizing pot the way they have in Colorado and other states (where you grow it and smoke it, or sell it to others that smoke it). Warehouse space in Vegas right now is getting snatched up and filled with pot plants to feed the demand from pot heads. Maybe a very small fraction is actually going to legit medical cases.

  • ladybugavenger July 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Legalize Marijuana for recreational use in all 50 States!!! Tax it! And give law enforcement more time to focus on other crimes.

    • Brian July 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      If we lived in a society where you had the freedom to succeed OR fail then I’d agree with you completely. But true liberty for all is only possible when people are held accountable for their actions, and this includes the consequences of doing nothing. If you have some punk in his 20’s living in his parents basement or stacked in an apartment with a bunch of friends, smoking dope all day and playing video games, why should taxpayers be paying his student loans, health care, food, subsidized housing, etc? If the nanny state has to pay for your crap the nanny state also gets to say how you live your life, which is why I hate everything about the nanny state. But you can’t legalize weed AND pay for everything and expect there to be a United States for your grandkids to inherit. If you need more proof look at California, they have everything going for them except their policies, which is why they’re broke and productive people and businesses are leaving the state like crazy.

  • tiff July 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I’m all for legalizing it and letting people buy it in whatever strain they need depending on their medical needs, some need the thc for cancer treatment, others just need cbd for pain management. And for those that want to grow it to make their own oil, let them. Those that want to smoke it to get high will find a way to get it whether it’s legal or not.

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