ST. GEORGE – Delegates heading to northern Utah for the state GOP’s reorganizing convention will get to consider if the party should support the use of medical cannabis.
Opening with the statement that “Utah has the seventh highest opiate overdose death rate in the nation,” the resolution, if passed, would signify the Utah Republican Party “supports the right of an individual to use medical cannabis as treatment for a diagnosed condition when properly directed by a physician.”
The resolution states that medical cannabis is supported by a majority of Utah residents and also makes note of a resolution passed by the Legislature encouraging Congress to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II. Doing so would allow more research to be done on the drug’s “potential medical benefits.”
However, the resolution also states there is already “ample evidence” that medical cannabis is an effective alternative in relation to alleviating chronic pain and seizures brought on by certain medical and neurological conditions.
Medical cannabis has also been touted by supporters as a viable alternative to opioid-based medications.
According to Fox 13 News, some of the sponsors of the resolution are known to be involved in trying to get state lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.
With the exception of a cannabis oil extract used to treat epilepsy (and has to be obtained in states where it is legal to sell), use of cannabis for medicinal purposes remains illegal in Utah.
Previous attempts have been made in the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana, but thus far those efforts have come up short.
To this end a group called Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education, or TRUCE, has begun an initiative to get the legalization of medical marijuana question on the 2018 ballot. Leaders of the group have said that Utah lawmakers have dragged their feet too long, so now it’s time to let the voters decide.
The Utah Republican Party’s reorganizing convention will be held May 20 at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy.
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