Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Pushing Forward

Last week, Utah's Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would allow residents to purchase and use marijuana for medical purposes.  Senate Bill 259 is said to create a registry for medical marijuana patients who are legally allowed to possess and use cannabis.  This week, the bill is expected to go to the Senate floor.  

Sen. Mark B. Madsen proposed the bill that will also issue licenses for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries to qualified patients in the state.  Executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Ethan Nadelmann says, "If medical marijuana can advance in Utah ... it can advance anywhere in the U.S."  States across the country have legalized, including one U.S. territory (Guam) and the District of Columbia.  While state medical marijuana programs differ from one another in significant ways, each program is seemingly strict and adequately regulated.  

Recent polls suggest that two-thirds of Republicans believe federal officials should respect state laws on medical marijuana.  Utah is now the latest "red" state to consider legalizing cannabis after Alaska just put its marijuana laws into effect.