Despite Strong Opposition, Utah Approves Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative

The Utah Patients Coalition collected over 150,000 signatures in favor of allowing residents to vote on a comprehensive medical cannabis program this fall, but many important figures in state politics, including Gov. Gary Herbert, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the Utah Medical Association have all come out against this initiative.

In order to qualify for inclusion on a Utah state election ballot, a petition must have over 113,000 voter signatures, and must also meet specific thresholds in 26 of the state’s 29 Senate districts. Despite the lawsuit, Cox approved the medical cannabis initiative this week, counting a total of 153,894 final valid signatures and 27 out of 29 valid Senate districts. Opponents of the initiative were only able to get 1,425 signatures removed from the petition. Schanz added that he expects that Beehive State voters “Will side with patients as they vote in November to allow them to legally and safely access medical cannabis under doctor supervision and without the fear of criminalization.”

Still, a number of prominent state politicians are continuing to voice their opposition to the ballot measure.

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