Vanessa Kyrobie is a wife and mother of two children, one boy and one girl, living in Utah. She reports that using medical cannabis has changed her life drastically, and that without it, she may not be here today.
Suffering from a bacterial brain infection, Vanessa’s symptoms include nerve pain, intense body aches, nausea, headaches, insomnia, and more. She is prescribed to take nine different pharmaceuticals every single day to treat her debilitating symptoms, and those pills come with adverse side effects.
The infection left her “essentially bed-ridden,” for a period of time, and her symptoms were so devitalizing that she contemplated suicide. “The nausea was pretty intense, and the pain in my body was beyond unbearable, level eight, nine, 10,” Vanessa said. “I honestly feel if it wasn’t for medical marijuana, I wouldn’t be here.”
“Gabapentin was for nerve pain, Microzene was my anti-nausea,” Vanessa explained. “I haven’t used any of these since switching to medical marijuana.”
Medical Marijuana in Utah
Preferring to vaporize and eat gummies containing a five to one ratio of CBD to THC, now that it is legal in Utah, Vanessa uses medical cannabis three times per day.
Refusing to break the law, Vanessa waited until December 3, 2018, the day the Utah Medical Cannabis Act went into effect, to begin using medical marijuana. Her quality of life has increased dramatically in the short time since implementing this alternative treatment plan that was recommended by her doctor.
“I’m actually having more energy, and I’m sleeping better,” Vanessa said. The pain is now down to level three and four. It’s been life changing for me.”
Medical marijuana will not be available to patients in the Beehive State until 2021 when the “pharmacies,” which will distribute the medication, are expected to open. In the meantime, if a patient is caught bringing medical cannabis into Utah from a neighboring state like Nevada or Colorado, he or she will not be prosecuted as long as it has been recommended as treatment by a physician.
Photos courtesy of KUTV
Utah voters approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana on Tuesday.
With 74 percent of precincts reporting, the initiative, Proposition 2, is up 53-47 percent, and NBC News and other outlets have projected it passed.
“The passage of Proposition 2 illustrates just how broad support has grown for medical marijuana in the U.S.,” Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement to Marijuana Moment. “Even in socially conservative states like Utah, most voters recognize marijuana has significant medical value, and they believe it should be available to patients who could benefit from it.”
But because the main campaign behind the measure reached a deal on compromise legislation with opposing groups last month, legal medical cannabis was in effect an inevitability in the state. Under the agreement, state lawmakers will soon convene a special session to enact a law allowing patients to access medical cannabis.
Here’s what Proposition 2 would have accomplished, as written.
Under the measure, individuals with certain qualifying medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy or post-traumatic stress disorder can obtain a recommendation for cannabis from a physician. There’s a separate process, which requires approval from a five-member board of physicians, that patients can go through to get a recommendation if their condition isn’t listed.
Patients won’t be allowed to smoke cannabis. They can purchase up to two ounces of unprocessed marijuana or a marijuana product containing no more than 10 grams of THC or CBD during a 14-day period.
There is a provision that allows medical cannabis cardholders to grow up to six plants for personal use if they live more than 100 miles from a dispensary—but that doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2021.
Patients won’t be subject to state or local marijuana taxes under the law. Rather, the program will be funded through licensing and registration fees imposed on cannabis businesses.
The main campaign backing the measure was the Utah Patients Coalition, which received support from advocacy groups including the Marijuana Policy Project and TRUCE Utah.
Drug Safe Utah, an anti-legalization group that counted the Utah Medical Association, the Mormon Church and others as coalition members, was the main opposition committee. It was accused of spreading misinformation about the measure.
Following the compromise deal, however, fundraising on both sides slowed or ceased—with the exception of Drug Safe Utah, which reported significant contributions in the last half of October.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the latest election results information.
Follow Marijuana Moment’s election live blog for the latest updates on cannabis ballot measures and congressional races here.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Utah Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Legalization Ahead Of Compromise Deal
Newly filed campaign finance reports show that Utah political issues committees (PICs) supporting and opposing the state’s medical marijuana ballot measure have for the most part been winding down fundraising and spending after a legislative compromise deal was made between various stakeholders in early October.
One anti-cannabis committee, however, has continued spending big against the initiative despite the agreement.
Earlier this month, the pro-medical-marijuana Utah Patients Coalition announced that it had come to an agreement with the Utah Medical Association, Mormon church leaders and elected officials to craft and pass a medical marijuana law via the normal legislative process regardless of the result for Proposition 2, which remains on the ballot. Whether the measure passes or fails on Election Day, state lawmakers will hold a special session to work out details for how to make Utah the next medical cannabis state.
At the time of the compromise deal announcement on October 4, the Utah Patients Coalition said it would “de-escalat[e]” media buys in favor of Proposition 2. National advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) similarly said it would “walk away” from further activity in the state.
The latest financial reports filed in accordance with an October 30 deadline confirm that MPP’s last in-kind support reported was on September 28, a week before the compromise was publicly announced. The reports also show that since October 4, the Utah Patients Coalition has not made any media buys, although it did purchase $5,664 worth of yard signs. In total, it spent $34,090 through most of October, $18,204.26 of that since the deal announcement. The group raised $13,904 this month, but only $1,404 of that came in after compromise was reached.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also stated that it would dial down opposition to the proposition in light of the deal. The main PIC that opposes the cannabis ballot measure, Truth About Proposition 2, reported just $190 in cash contributions from September 27 to October 25. They spent only $1,010 this month. The group also recorded $28,036 worth of in-kind services from Walter Plumb, who previously made major cash and in-kind donations to the committee and to another anti-Prop 2 PIC, Drug Safe Utah AKA Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Utah.
The exception to the slowdown is Drug Safe Utah, which reported two sizable contributions in the last half of October. The Utah Medical Association, which had provided $35,000 in staff time to the PIC throughout the year, provided $21,129 in cash on October 16. And NuSkin millionaire Steve Lund’s wife Kalleen Lund contributed $50,000 on October 19. Plumb is recorded as contributing $10,000 in in-kind hours.
The PIC made giant media buys on October 3, the day before the deal was announced, purchasing $241,209 in ads. It spent another $13,217 for ads on October 16, and $6,300 on October 22. It also paid $22,000 for a survey on October 22. In total, Drug Safe Utah spent $425,169 in the last month, $161,906 of that since the compromise was reached.
Another PIC supporting medical marijuana, Patients and Families For Prop 2, hasn’t filed any financial reports in 2018.
It remains to be seen how voters will decide on the ballot measure on Election Day in light of the legislative compromise deal, and messages they have received during the course of the campaign. Support for the initiative, which had polled as high as 64 percent at one point, has waned over the last several weeks. According to a survey released October 16 by the Salt Lake Tribune, 35 percent strongly support the proposition, 16 percent somewhat support, 15 percent oppose somewhat and 31 percent strongly oppose, with three percent undecided.
This story has been updated to include information from Drug Safe Utah’s newly filed campaign finance reports.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Utah Medical Marijuana Campaign Funding Mainly Slows Down Following Compromise Deal
A majority of registered Utah voters support the legalization of cannabis, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted from January 6-13, found that 61 percent of Utah voters approve of expanding the legal right to medical cannabis while only 33 percent disapproved. Seven percent remain unsure.
The numbers represent a significant boost for medical cannabis among the state’s voters: A similar poll taken in 2014 found 51 percent of Utah voters supportive of legalized medical cannabis while 41 percent disapproved. Eight percent were unsure.
Even Utah’s governor, Republican Bob Herbert, has expressed openness to expanding access to medical cannabis in the state, albeit with strict provisions on its growth and distribution.
“The discussion is now at hand, the time is nigh to see if we can find a pathway forward on this,”
he said. “But I’m not interested in having Dr. Feelgood out there saying, ‘Yeah, yeah, que pasa? Here’s your doobie for the day and you’ll feel better.'”
Several bills will appear before the Utah legislature in the next legislative session that would broaden access to medical cannabis throughout the state. Proponents of the measures are optimistic about their chances.
The survey was conducted by SurveyUSA from Jan. 6-13 among 989 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.