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Medical marijuana bill heading to Utah House after passing 17-12 in Senate

SALT LAKE CITY -- Against all odds, a medical marijuana bill is advancing in the Utah State Legislature.

The Utah State Senate voted 17-12 to approve Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs. It allows patients with certain ailments (such as cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and chronic pain) to use marijuana edibles, extracts and oils under the direction of a doctor.

Madsen said during Thursday's debate his latest version of the bill clears up the definition of "cannabis", and adds child-proofing standards, dosing regulations and other considerations.

FOX 13 News' Ben Winslow reports a huge cheer erupted among those watching from the gallery as the vote was passed, and the topic has been the subject of several heated debates this legislative session.

Some supporters of the bill, like Enedina Stanger, were emotional after the vote.

"I am so excited, this is such a miracle, this is all because of God," Stanger said through tears. "It was a hard battle, but it was just because of the miracles and by the love of human beings that we got this through today. I'm so excited."

See the vote breakdown for SB73:

The bill will now go to the Utah House of Representatives for a vote. Advocates for the bill say the measure will face opposition in the house, but proponents said this most recent vote gives them hope that they can rally the necessary 38 votes to get the bill passed.

A robust debate took place earlier this week for SB73, click here for details. 

Madsen watered down his bill after opposition from Senate colleagues and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Monday, the LDS Church softened its opposition to SB73, but still didn't give its blessing to the legislation.

Earlier this week, the Senate voted 18-8 to pass Senate Bill 89, sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, a competing bill that would allow for an extract to treat medical conditions. That bill, which is more narrow in scope than SB 73, also goes to the House for consideration.

14 comments

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  • Sierra

    I believe this harmless plant should be legalized to help with not only medical issues but it can be used for so much more.

    • bob

      Isn’t it amazing that the plant you like to smoke just happens to produce totally harmless smoke that doesn’t contain any carcinogens and doesn’t cause addiction and doesn’t damage brain cells?

      What are the odds?

  • Bishopbob

    oh no, there will be so may overdoes in the state because of this! What are we thinking? WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN

    • Michael

      Really?… Are you aware there is no way you can overdose on cannabis and no there is no record of death from it? Look it up if you don’t believe. I’m an epileptic that takes synthetic man made drugs because that is my only option right now, this affects my family and me significantly because of the horrible side affects. As far as being safe I can easily OD on my medications if I am not careful. Also what about the severe opiate addiction that Utah let alone the US has? There is a person that dies every 30 seconds from overdose everyday just from this problem. You’re thoughts are in the wrong place and frankly I’m insulted by you’re ignorance towards cannabis, drug addiction, and suffering conditions that you probably are fortunate enough to not experience.

  • bob

    I’m all for any drugs being legal as long as they go through the same FDA approval process.

    I’ve yet to hear a stoner explain, logically, why their drug of choice should get a free pass.

  • bob

    As a libertarian I believe that ALL drugs should be legal and completely unregulated for consenting adults, and that it should be ILLEGAL to spend a single penny of tax dollars on treating the results or providing welfare to users.

    That would be freedom for EVERYONE, not just stoners.

  • Lindsay

    Just remember not everyone in Utah is LDS. And the LDS church should not be allowed to control our government. It should be all the people get treated equally. Marijuana is not harmful!

  • Christian waisath

    I think it’s rediculous that the church even gets thier voice heard. What ever happened to separation of church and state.

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