It’s been a rocky road to medical marijuana in the great state of Utah. Since voters passed ballot initiative Proposition 2 last year, the Governor has replaced the bill with another MMJ initiative and then up and changed the new bill too.
The first time they changed the proposal, the idea was to create a state-run system wherein local health departments would distribute cannabis to patients, with a small handful of private dispensaries helping to carry the load.
They also adjusted the voter-approved proposition by putting new restrictions on cultivation and qualifying conditions. All these unilateral changes to a bill with popular support prompted a petition against the state by a pro-cannabis group, which was then rejected by the state supreme court.
Now a new change has come to the state’s medical cannabis, again handed down from on high by the Governor’s office. After all that trouble, lawmakers have decided to do away with the state-run system and instead go back to an entirely privatized MMJ market, , according to Salt Lake City’s FOX 13.
They may have had no real choice in the matter. Just last month, district attorneys from both Salt Lake County and Davis County announced that they had advised local health officials not to hand out medical marijuana out of fear they could be charged by federal prosecutors for distributing a controlled substance.
Some supporters of the original MMJ bill are happy about the change, since it’s now a little closer to what voters had in mind when they turned up to the polls last year. But, who knows, the Governor may soon turn around and say he’s going to personally give out weed instead of forcing voters to go to licensed dispensaries.Photo via Flickr user Andew Smith