- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on two competing programs Utah lawmakers are considering to allow people to use marijuana for medical reasons. (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

A panel of Utah lawmakers has approved a bill that would allow tens of thousands of residents with chronic or debilitating conditions to consume edible pot products but bans smoking pot.

Members of the Senate judiciary and law enforcement committee voted 4-1 in front of a packed committee room and two overflow spaces. It was the second marijuana plan approved today.

A slew of patients, caregivers and doctors spoke to the drug’s track record as a safe and effective treatment, one without the addictive qualities and side effects of certain approved drugs.

Critics highlighted the lack of research surrounding marijuana, arguing that it’s a gateway drug.

This is a revival of a plan voted down by lawmakers last year.

It now moves to the full Senate, where lawmakers will also consider the more restrictive marijuana plan.

___

4:05 p.m.

The more restrictive of Utah’s two medical marijuana proposals has won early approval from state lawmakers.

A Utah Senate health committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday afternoon. It now moves to the full Senate, where lawmakers will likely be considering a much broader marijuana plan at the same time.

The more limited proposal from two Republicans would allow those with cancer, AIDS and other painful conditions to use a cannabis extract oil that has very low levels of the plant’s psychoactive components.

The program would be tightly controlled but allows the extract to be produced and distributed in Utah.

___

3:15 p.m.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he would like to see more research into the medical benefits of marijuana as lawmakers consider allowing more people to use marijuana products to treat certain conditions.

Herbert said during a Thursday press conference that he would like to see one of the state’s universities conduct their own research on the drug’s effectiveness.

He declined to give his opinion specifically on either proposal.

Herbert says he recently met with Colorado’s governor, who warned him to be cautious when it comes to marijuana legislation.

The proposals are scheduled to be debated Thursday afternoon.

___

9:15 a.m.

Lawmakers on Thursday will debate two programs that seek to allow more people to use marijuana products to treat medical conditions.

Utah has a very limited program allowing those with severe epilepsy use cannabis extract oil obtained from other states, but the state’s conservative lawmakers have been debating for the past year about whether to expand it.

Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, wants to allow those with chronic conditions to consume edible pot products. His proposal would ban smoking marijuana.

A Senate law enforcement committee is set to debate the bill Thursday afternoon.

A more restrictive alternative from two other Republicans would expand Utah’s existing cannabis oil law to allow more people to use the product and allow it to be produced in Utah.

That proposal is scheduled to be debated in a Senate health committee Thursday.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide