Medical marijuana bill one step closer to legalization in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY – The bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Utah is one step closer to becoming law.

Senate Bill 259, sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning with a 3-2 vote.

It would allow for people with debilitating illnesses (such as AIDS, cancer and other qualifying conditions) to possess and use cannabis — in gummy or liquid form.

The senator said he has been treated for back problems requiring him to see specialists across the United States. The doctors suggested medical cannabis as opposed to prescription opioids.

“I think it’s effective,” Sen. Madsen said Wednesday. “It has effective analgesic properties. I observed a dimmunition in my level of pain.”

Under SB259, dispensaries would be licensed by the state to distribute cannabis products. Sen. Madsen insisted that recreational marijuana would remain illegal in Utah, as would smoking it (even if it were medicinal).

Currently 23 states have laws like this on the books, Utah would be No. 24.

MORE: This bill could legalize medical marijuana in Utah


  • Ch!ll W!ll

    I think it should be legal! My mother had a terrible accident a few years ago, and has short-term memory loss. One of the side effects is, she doesn’t feel hungry anymore. When she smokes marijuana, she gets hungry and it solves that serious problem. PLEASE LEGALIZE MAMARIJUANA, it helps so many people.

  • Melissa Lewis

    I think as long as it is controlled for specific debilitating diseases or conditions as specified, it will work. California got it wrong – they made the conditions so broad that all you had to do was say “I hurt my finger” and a doctor could give you a card to go and smoke weed. Many other states got it right — specify the disease, limit treatment to non-smoking alternatives. I’m excited that the bill is moving forward. I know a number of people that this would be grateful for this option and would be helped by the benefits.

    • Rodney

      I actually think California got it more right than most states. Since the federal government has blocked scientific testing since way back in the 70’s there has been no legitimate testing on what it does or does not help. So if we are going to legislate something that we have no legitimate scientific data for who are we, the legislature or anyone else for that matter to say what it does or does not help? If you believe the patients it helps everything from arthritis to cancer etc. Is it more moral for someone to use it for Cancer pain than someone that has an anxiety problem and they need help unwinding after a rough day? Who is anyone to say that they know what treatment is right for anyone if there is no legitimate scientific testing. Its silly to make it a “well I tried it once for this and it worked, but I only tried the Gummies and tincture so thats all we should legalize” issue. Maybe at the very least this will open the door for a realistic discussion on the topic.

  • cassie

    I believe medicinal Marijuana would help with pain pill addictions, and help those who really need it. How do I vote to get this passed? UTAH NEEDS MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

  • jParkton

    I find it humorous you can be drug tested and denied food and other services in Utah for smoking pot but a US Senator freely admits to smoking it on the job. Once again showing us how they are above the law. He would have no problem with the drug war continuing in Utah and costing millions of dollars and destroying families with jail and fines but yes since you now have a back pain I guess it is time to change laws. And if you didn’t? We would still be getting thrown in jail “For the people, by the people” my butt

  • bob

    As long as it goes through exactly the same approval process and is regulated like any other prescription drug, then yes.

    So far the FDA hasn’t even seriously looked at it. Why is marijuana the ONLY “medicine” that is exempt?

  • Adam Stever

    I find it funny that Utahans can be so against something that MAY work. I am against Weed, Pot, Mary Jane etc as long as it is Illegal. Lest we forget alcohol and tobacco is worse for the human body than marijuana. I drink alcohol due to the fact that it is LEGAL. Why aren’t we listening to the people who have benefited from marijuana? Just like OBAMA not listening to the father who’s son was murdered by an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT. People will always hear and stick up for what they want. There is not a whole lot of open mindedness in either argument. So for the gentlemen that says for the people by the people, sir this statement would include people who are for LEGAL MEDICINAL marijuana.

  • Nathan2B

    And not a lot of people realize that when this great country was founded that Hemp/Mary Jane was a REQUIRED Crop. ‘I think saying that Only Edibles or the Oils is the only thing that should be Considered Medicinal is asinine. If it is only those, Most edibles have to be Stored in the Fridge and how many parents have walked in to the kitchen and see kids snooping or rummaging through the Fridge for snacks. I know as a kid whenever my parents told me that something was theirs That made me want to see what it was or try it that much more. I would rather be able to smoke this as a cure for Chronic pain, or Migraines, Fibromyalgia than have to worry about my kids finding a Chocolate or some other form of sweets that may be hidden in a fridge.

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