Recap: Fox 13’s medical marijuana forum

SALT LAKE CITY — Representatives from both sides of Proposition 2 presented their case in a debate at the Salt Lake City public library Wednesday evening.

FOX13's Bob Evans moderated the event, which featured two people against and two people in favor of legalizing medicinal marijuana in Utah.

Those who are advocating for the proposition believe a yes vote will help Utahns who are suffering with chronic pain and serious illnesses.

“Are we really willing to let Utahns with chronic pain suffer for another 30 or more years?” asked Dr. Jim Hutchins of TRUCE Utah.

Christine Stenquist shared her personal story of living with severe pain for years after having a brain tumor removed. She was compelled to fight for this proposition after medical marijuana changed her life.

“The nausea was subsiding. The pain was starting to get under control. After six months of this I was driving again and eight months later, I found my way to Capitol Hill because like my dad told me, if its a bad law, fix it,” Stenquist said.

But those against Prop 2 believe it will start Utah down a path that leads to recreational use of the drug.

“We don’t oppose medical marijuana, we just think Prop 2 goes too far, and there is a better way to do it,” said Jim Jardine of Drug Safe Utah.

Jardine and others who oppose the proposition would like the Utah legislature draw up a plan to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.

“We need to take a serious look and see if we can find the right way to do this,” said Rep. Brad Daw (R-Orem).

Stenquist believes any fears of recreational legalization in Utah are unfounded.

“I would challenge the other side to show me where on earth in this bill is it recreation. I am so tired of hearing that it is recreational,” Stenquist said.

But those on the other side use California and Colorado as examples of states that now have legal recreational cannabis after passing legislation in favor of medicinal cannabis.

“Its controls are so loose that we know that it will not be limited, the distribution of full plan marijuana, to just those who need it,” Jardine said.

A condensed version of the forum will air at 9:30 p.m. Friday.