ST. GEORGE – Supporters for medical marijuana recently got the green light from the Utah lieutenant governor’s office allowing them to gather signatures needed for a ballot initiative aimed at putting the measure to a vote in the 2018 election.
Petitioners with the Utah Patients Coalition must collect a minimum of 113,000 signatures in 26 of the state’s 29 senate districts by January to get the proposed Utah Medical Cannabis Act on the ballot.
The group has scheduled a petition drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1731 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.
If passed, physicians would be given the go-ahead to prescribe cannabis for certain specified medical conditions. Some of the proposed qualifying medical conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and autism. Recreational use would remain illegal.
The proposed initiative would allow limited numbers of dispensaries and cultivators. The placement of those facilities would be largely dictated by local zoning laws governing the footage between the buildings and any nearby schools or churches.
The drug would be highly controlled by the state and would likely have an established cap on the amount of medical cannabis patients can transport bringing it in line with a common 30-day supply on pharmacy drugs.
Public use would be prohibited as would driving while intoxicated by medical cannabis. Likewise, home cultivation and smoking marijuana by patients would not be permitted.