Medical Marijuana

The Issue

Utahns should have access to healthcare options that are safe and non-addictive. From 2012-2014, Utah ranked 4th in the US for drug poisoning deaths. In 2014, 24 Utahns died every month from prescription drug overdoses. Most Utahns who die from drug poisoning suffer chronic pain and take prescribed medications, which can be addictive, dangerous, and fatal if misused.

Twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam have adopted laws that allow patients with certain conditions to use medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. Utah is not yet one of those states.

Our Position

Medical marijuana can help modernize healthcare for many Utahns. In the last ten years, science has validated the use of medical cannabis. The American Medical Association called on the federal government to reconsider cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug.

Available prescription drugs, such as opiates, often come with far more serious side effects than medical marijuana. Medical marijuana offers a safe option that allows pain patients to reduce or eliminate their use of opiates. Medical cannabis laws have been linked with a 25% decrease in fatal overdoses from opiate-based painkillers in their first year.

We believe in providing open and safe access to patients who could benefit from this medication.

Accomplishments

The CARERS Act (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act)

was introduced in the United States Senate in March 2015 by U.S. Senators Booker, Gillibrand, and Paul. It is the most comprehensive Senate legislation concerning medical cannabis. It allows for patient protection in states where medical marijuana is currently legal, greater medical research, and the reclassification of cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug. Christine Stenquist, running as a Democrat for House District 17, met with the Utah Congressional delegation on June 24 to advocate for the CARERS Act.