Introduction

Utah Patients Coalition (UPC) is leading a 2018 ballot initiative campaign to establish a medical cannabis program for sick and suffering Utahns. We are a coalition of patients, caretakers, and advocates.

Right now, Utah patients battling cancer, seizures, and other life-threatening conditions must break the law in order to relieve their pain and suffering. By passing the medical cannabis ballot initiative next year, Utah can end this cruel and unjust policy.

This campaign is supported by several organizations including TRUCE (a Utah patients group), Libertas Institute (a Utah think tank), and the Marijuana Policy Project (the nation’s leading marijuana policy reform organization).

UPC is a political issues committee established under Utah state law. You can view all our campaign filings here.

 

The signature drive

In order to qualify for the 2018 ballot, our campaign must collect over 113,000 signatures from registered Utah voters by April 2018. Check back soon to learn about how you can volunteer for the signature drive.

 

Legislative efforts to establish a medical cannabis program in Utah have not succeeded

For many years, patients, caretakers and citizens have advocated that medical cannabis be made legal by the Utah Legislature when a physician determines it could help treat serious diseases and illness.

In 2014, Charlee’s law passed through the legislature with near unanimous support. Sponsored by Rep. Froerer, HB 105 made it legal for patients to possess and use low THC cannabidiol when directed by a doctor.  Since this first victory for patients, cannabis legislation to provide relief has progressed slowly.

In 2015, and 2016 the legislature considered The Medical Cannabis Act, sponsored by Senator Mark Madsen, that would have legalized doctor recommended medical cannabis for nine specifically listed medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, AIDS chronic pain, PTSD and others (See line 800 of SB 73 for the full list). In 2016, it passed favorably through the Senate, but was defeated in the House.

After the 2016 legislative session, Senator Madsen, sponsor of the bill and a patient himself, decided not to seek re-election. In 2017, a medical cannabis legalization bill was not considered by legislators and the many patients who had worked tirelessly for control of their own medical decisions decided they could not afford to wait any longer.