Opponents of medical cannabis legalization in Utah must reckon with popular support for legislation. And now, they must reckon with the possibility that a legalization initiative is going to pass in November 2018.
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act will be identified by its new designation – Proposition 2 — on the ballot in the Beehive State.
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox, cleared the citizen initiative on medical marijuana Friday, June 29, 2018 for vote and gave it the ballot designation.
Proposition 2 remains extremely popular among the electorate. Despite the efforts of the Mormon church and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert to undermine the validity of the state’s medical marijuana initiative, 66 percent of recently polled voters said they still plan to vote yes on Proposition 2, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The initiative has been maligned by the Utah Medical Association, which issued a statement supporting its position that “the current proposed initiative is policy pushed by the marijuana industry, for the marijuana industry.”
“Although UMA supports the use of FDA‐approved cannabis‐based medicines, this initiative is not about medicine,” the statement said.
Utah voters, however, have routinely supported the idea of legalizing medicinal cannabis. In February 2017, a poll from Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates found that 69 percent of Utah’s voters supported medicinal cannabis, with 18 percent opposing it and 13 percent undecided. And in July 2017, medicinal cannabis had the overwhelming support of more than 75 percent of Utah’s electorate, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Support for medical marijuana remains high despite criticism from the Mormon church. 2/3 Utah voters back legalizing medical marijuana in the state, according to a new #HinckleyInstitute @SLTrib poll @TaylorWAnderson https://t.co/ANwVISrfDF
— Hinckley Institute (@hinckleyinst) July 2, 2018
The new poll indicates that, while the Mormon church, UMA, and Gov. Herbert may distrust the intention of Proposition 2, the voters remain ready and willing to pass it.