Prop. 2 sponsors file election complaint over radio ad about medical marijuana

SALT LAKE CITY — Sponsors of Proposition 2, the medical marijuana ballot initiative, have filed a complaint with the Utah Lt. Governor’s Office against their opponents.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, the Utah Patients Coalition centers its anger on an advertisement airing on radio stations that declares “Prop 2 is actually about recreational use and not medical.”

The ad was paid for by Drug Safe Utah, which is a coalition of groups including the Utah Medical Association, the Utah Eagle Forum, the Utah Sheriff’s Association, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and a large number of state lawmakers, who oppose Prop. 2.

Listen to the ad here:

The Utah Patients Coalition said some radio stations have already pulled the ad in response to complaints.

"DSU has published a false statement in relation to Prop 2, a ballot measure, that will affect how people vote in the November election. We therefore request the Elections Division to order DSU to immediately cease and desist all such claims regarding Prop 2 being an attempt to legalize 'recreational use,'" the complaint reads.

The Lt. Governor's Office confirmed it had received UPC's complaint and was reviewing it.

Drug Safe Utah representatives issued a statement in response to the complaint, saying in part: “Drug Safe Utah stands by its public statements and ads and will respond to this effort to silence debate. Proposition 2, which was drafted in part by the marijuana industry, contains none of the traditional safeguards of medical practice; instead, it makes recreational marijuana easily accessible."

The full statement from DSU is included at the bottom of this post.

The complaint comes as a new poll released Tuesday shows two-thirds of Utahns still support Prop. 2. UtahPolicy.com reported an eight percent decline in support for Prop. 2 as a result of the LDS Church weighing in. Among "very active" Mormons, the Dan Jones & Associates poll found the number of people who favored Prop. 2 dropped from 59 percent in favor (and 38 percent opposed), to now 52 percent opposed (and 45 percent in favor).

Read the Utah Patients Coalition complaint here (refresh the page if it doesn't immediately load):

The full statement from DSU is below:

“Drug Safe Utah stands by its public statements and ads and will respond to this effort to silence debate. Proposition 2, which was drafted in part by the marijuana industry, contains none of the traditional safeguards of medical practice; instead, it makes recreational marijuana easily accessible. Under Proposition 2, an individual could go to optometrists, podiatrists, dentists and Pas and others, as well as doctors to get a “medical referral” card to then take to a pot shop to be filled, not by a pharmacist, but by any employee over 21 years of age, with no medical training, where they can buy any form of recreational marijuana in any intensity and dosage, up to the equivalent of 120 joints every two weeks. Unlike prescribed medicines, there is no dosage, no physician follow up required, no disclosure of risks. This creates an environment for recreational marijuana to flourish.

Doctors in Utah can prescribe or recommend medicinal marijuana. The Utah Legislature, for example, passed HB 195 and 197 in 2018 allowing physicians in Utah to recommend marijuana-based medicines to terminally-ill patients in the last six months of their lives so long as in medicinal form. Physicians can prescribe marijuana-based drugs approved by the FDA, which include the following: Epidiolex (for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older); Marinol and Syndros (for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients); and Cesamet. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm421168.htm#notapproved You can now buy CBD oil, a marijuana extract medicine, over the counter in Utah. The Utah Legislature authorized such sales in SB 130 in 2018.”

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