Dozens of people, including Utah District Attorney Sam Gill, took to the rotunda of the Utah state capitol to express support for medical marijuana reform legislation currently under consideration by the state government.
“I think the legislature in the 21st century can certainly come up with a pathway to prescription and access to medical marijuana, and we need to recognize our antiquated drug policies as a blanket policy is a failed policy,”
said Gill in an interview. “It does not capture the complexity of individuals who are in our community with medical needs.”
Both of the two bills under consideration by the state legislature would allow certain cannabis-derived products to be distributed in-state through the Utah Department of Agriculture and the Utah Department of Health. The bills differ, however, differ on which products distributors would be permitted to sell.
Gill was flanked by advocates who extolled the practical virtues of medical cannabis, with many offering personal stories as to how their lives were, or may have been, improved through the use of medical cannabis.
“They are the faces and souls and hearts which we are criminalizing as a result of failed drug policy,”
“I will prosecute whoever you want me to prosecute, and I will put in jail whoever you want…But we all have to play a role when it comes to public policy, and I can tell you, from where I stand, these are not the faces of criminals and these are not the people I want to be prosecuting.”
Gill intimated that he could offer leniency in prosecuting an individual for marijuana possession if that person offered proof that the product was being used for treatment.
“We may offer a plea in abeyance,” he said. “We may say you won’t end up with a conviction and go through the processes that are available to you.”