Poll: Most Utahns want medical marijuana legalized

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SALT LAKE CITY — It didn't go anywhere in the legislative session, but a new poll shows if a majority of Utahns get their way, medical marijuana will eventually be legalized in the Beehive State.

A poll released Wednesday says two-thirds of the state is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. Some say it's not that easy to just legalize it, but others argue it's time to help patients.

“There is movement and there is hope,” said Christine Stenquist, President of TRUCE and candidate for the House of Representatives.

For years, Christine Stenquist has advocated for Utah patients like herself in need of medical marijuana.

“Someone told me three years ago this would never happen in Utah. Utah would be the last state that would ever adopt such a program,” Stenquist said.

But a new poll published Wednesday by Dan Jones and Associates shows only 28 percent of Utahns oppose legislation and 66 percent are in support of medical marijuana.

“I think it’s reflecting 'Do people want to help other people in pain?' and of course they do,” said Derek Monson, Director of Public Policy at The Sutherland Institute.

The numbers aren't surprising to The Sutherland Institute, a conservative public policy think tank, but they argue it's not as simple as passing a bill.

“What the poll didn’t get into is some of the deeper realities of that were being debated at the Legislature: What do you do about THC? How do you distribute? Is it prescribed by doctors? Do you do it with a pharmacy? Through an independent shop?,” Monson said.

Stenquist says focusing on made-up problems is keeping people in pain.

“We don’t have time. A lot of patients don’t have time. We’ve had people who have fled since the session because they need access and they needed it now,” Stenquist said.

Twenty years ago, doctors found Stenquist had a brain tumor. Complications in surgery left her with chronic migraines and pain. Pain that didn't go away until she got medical marijuana. She doesn't want others to have to wait for that relief.

“That’s a little concerning because what that almost says is we need to help people we can see in pain, even if it causes pain to others, and I don’t know how you can reasonably maintain that position,” Monson said.

Stenquist hopes to see the favor rates keep growing.

“I don’t think we’re going backwards on this issue. We will only be going forward,” Stenquist said.

Stenquist says she is working to help shape a bill for 2017 and she's working with a ballot initiative group. She is also now throwing her political hat into the ring, running for the House to give patients a voice.

Click here to see the full results of the poll.

13 comments

  • Timothy Larsen

    Excuses,look what other states have implemented,not that difficult, roads will be fixed , crime will be down and children will have best teachers and technology!, not gonna get lottery so take care of people that can help especially children with multiple seizures! Wake up Utah, get with the times this drug has been misrepresented for many years ,, time to wake up.

  • Brian Kelly

    Politicians who continue to demonize Medical Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days Are In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Legalize Medical Marijuana Nationwide!

    • Brian Kelly

      When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

      Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

      Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

      Support Medical Marijuana Now!

      “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

      “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

      “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

      “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

      “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

      “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

      “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

      • Brian Kelly

        There is absolutely no denying that the vast majority of Americans support providing full, safe, legal access to Medical Marijauana Nationwide.

        Pennsylvania: Franklin & Marshall College
        A record number of Pennsylvania voters, 84 percent, favor legalizing medical marijuana for adults if a doctor recommends it.

        Harris Poll
        Eighty-one percent of respondents, including super-majorities ofDemocrats, Republicans, and Independents, expressed support forlegalizing marijuana for medical treatment.

        Virginia: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Fifty-four percent of voters support “allowing adults to legally
        possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Nearly nine out of ten Virginians support legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

        Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Voters in three critical swing states support legalization and
        super-majorities in all three states endorse allowing doctors to
        recommend cannabis therapy.

        Pennsylvania: Robert Morris University
        The survey showed 67.5 percent of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

        Iowa: Des Moines Register Poll
        Seventy percent of Iowa adults say they favor legalizing marijuana for medical uses.

        North Carolina: Public Policy Polling
        Nearly seven out of ten North Carolinians support a doctor’s right to prescribe marijuana to patients in need.

        Third Way
        Fifty percent support legalizing recreational marijuana for use by adults; 78% are in favor of allowing individuals to use marijuana for medical purposes if a doctor recommends it.

        Florida: Gravis Marketing Poll
        More than 60 percent of Florida voters say that they support Amendment 2, a proposed constitutional amendment to permit cannabis therapy to qualified patients.

        Florida: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Fifty-five percent of voters support allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

        Connecticut: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Nine out of ten Connecticut voters support legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and a majority support allowing adults to possess the plant for any purpose.

        Minnesota: KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll
        Sixty-eight percent of Minnesotans believe marijuana should be legal for medical purposes.

        WebMD Survey of Doctors
        A majority of doctors say that medical marijuana should be legalized nationally and that it can deliver real benefits to patients.

        Virginia: Quinnipiac University
        Virginia Voters Back Medical Marijuana with 84% support.

        Iowa: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Iowans overwhelmingly support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use.

        Maryland: Goucher Poll
        Ninety percent of Marylanders support the use of marijuana for medical purposes, if prescribed by a doctor.

        Pennsylvania: Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics Poll
        A strong majority (85%) of Pennsylvania voters say that patients should be allowed to use marijuana when prescribed by a doctor.

        Ohio: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Eighty-seven percent of Ohio voters support the use of medical marijuana.

        New York: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Voters in New York support the legalization of marijuana for both medical (88%) and personal (57%) use.

        North Carolina: Public Policy Polling
        A recent Public Policy Polling survey found 63 percent of North Carolina voters believe doctors should have the right to prescribe marijuana for medical use.

        Florida: Quinnipiac University Poll
        Eighty-two percent of Florida voters support the medicinal use of marijuana.

        Oklahoma: SoonerPoll
        Seventy-one percent support allowing seriously ill patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes with a physician’s recommendation.

        Fox News Poll
        Eighty-five percent of voters favor medical marijuana.

  • Brandon

    I love how this guy compares physical pain to percieved, potential financial injury. As if the two things are even comparable. Creating a system that excludes the pharmacy industry while creating a whole new, profitable, legitimate industry that offers opportunity to anyone who can qualify for the licensing, hardly qualifies as causing pain to other people. That’s really where the debate for mmj in Utah is at, that and how to legalize it while simultaneously removing as much of the THC as the people will let them get away with. Wouldn’t want mmj in Utah to work to well, and relive peoples pain too effectively…….that might cause pain to someone else (or at least to their bottom line)

  • Carole

    So since I am someone who was never contacted and figure there are many more like me, I am strongly in SUPPORT of legalizing medical cannabis. I have seen the results of medical cannabis and they are amazing. Medical cannabis is a great alternative to opioids, which are very addictive, and other medications that have serious side affects. We need to work on electing representatives and senators that will listen to their constituents and will vote accordingly. We need to bring back for this next year a bill similar to SB 73 and not the SB 89 (which was too constrictive for number and types of patients) so that all patients who can benefit from medical cannabis are allowed to be able to obtain it. The other that needs to happen is that medical cannabis needs to become legal on the federal level as well.

  • bob

    I want it legalized if it goes through exactly the same testing and FDA approval process as any other drug. No more and no less. I see no reason why it should get a free pass.

    • Carole

      In order for it to go through FDA it would then have to go through big pharma. Big pharma will not unless they can change it so they can patient their product since any other way would not be profitable for them. The problem with that is that big pharma (see their record) does not create anything that does not HARM US.

  • Trollasaurus

    We don’t need legal weed…it’s good for society when people overdose and kill themselves. Is called natural selection. We already have enough people that don’t contribute to society….bunch of free loading liberals.

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