Following years of work by proponents to provide medical marijuana for the benefit of those suffering from pain and other debilitating health issues, and following months of heated and divisive dialogue between opponents and proponents of Proposition 2 -- The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, a compromise was reached and announced today by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Utah Senate President Wayne L. Niederhauser, Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, and key players from both sides of the issue.
The compromise, brokered by Speaker Hughes, will appear in the form of a newly drafted bill file also entitled, Utah Medical Cannabis Act, that will be discussed, debated and voted on by members of the Utah Legislature following the November 6 election in a Special Session. Governor Herbert announced today he plans to make the formal call for the Special Session.
The compromise came together after many hours of heated discussion and debate on what both sides of the issue wanted. According to Speaker Hughes, the common ground centered on the desire of all parties to provide the benefits of medical marijuana to those people in need and who could benefit.
The special session will address the bill regardless of the outcome of the people's vote on Proposition 2 on Election Day.
I have always supported the on-going work to find a medical marijuana solution that is good and beneficial for all Utahns suffering from pain and other conditions and believe this new bill will accomplish that. In fact, I am thoroughly convinced the bill will be good for patients in need, good for the State of Utah, and good for the people of Utah. I believe it will both serve the state and set an example of good practices for other states.
I was and remain opposed to Proposition 2 -- it is clearly not the best solution. Proposition 2 is poorly written and could potentially cause harm to many Utahns and increases the likelihood of marijuana abuse. I added my voice to the many others urging the people of Utah to Vote No on Proposition 2.
I just received the language of the compromise bill for my review and will write more about it after I have thoroughly reviewed it.
For now, let me be clear. This compromise was made possible because opponents and proponents finally sat down and worked out a great policy plan to serve the people of Utah. I respect the positions of both sides, and I'm grateful they worked together to find a position that works for all sides -- everyone.
I am disappointed in the level of divisiveness, anger, attacks and lack of civility from both sides that has occurred over the past few months around this and other issues. We the people of Utah are greater than this, and the fact that the key players of this issue finally sat down and did the hard thing -- finding and determining the correct policy -- proves we as a people and as a state can accomplish great things. We've done it before, we are doing it now and we will do it again and again in the future.
I am eager to move forward in this direction. The people who can benefit the most are now looking at weeks instead of months or even years of uncertainty before receiving the benefits of marijuana.
Whether you vote for or against Proposition 2, please vote. Either way, please join me in supporting this new bill. And encourage and push our federal elected officials to change federal law on marijuana from a schedule 1 to a schedule 2 drug. At the federal level, marijuana is against the law -- an unenforced law. Let's get it changed.
Governor Herbert called a special session of the Utah legislature for this Wednesday, July 18 at 2:30 pm. It is the 2nd special session of the 2018 legislature. See the Governor's proclamation.
A. Cory Maloy
A. Cory Maloy (R) was elected to the Utah House of Representatives for District 6 on Nov. 8, 2016