Proposition 2 was presented in this years ballot to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state of Utah. Should Proposition 2 pass medical marijuana will be made available to citizens with qualifying medical needs. Now on the surface it’s hard to disagree with Prop 2 without being seen as the antagonist. However behind the surface lies a deep debate on the regulations and possible outcomes of legalizing marijuana in any form.
With only 3% of voters being undecided towards proposition 2 voters are clearly split on both sides of the issue for many legitimate reasons from both sides. With 57% of voters the biggest concern raised by the legislation is the possibility of it clearing way for recreational marijuana. Following the examples of other states that initially legalized marijuana for medical reasons, and after faults in regulations had no other choice to legalize it recreationally to at least be collecting income tax on a problem they had already created. Currently the legislation only allows for ingestion of medical marijuana, however card holders who live outside of a 100 mile range of a dispensary would be allowed to grow up to 6 plants. The fact of allowing certain people to grow on their own raises deep concern in that it is nearly impossible to regulate growing and to assume that the product of growth would not be facilitated to smoke or use by other forms of ingestion considered illegal in the boundaries set by the law.
Medical marijuana is used to help medical issues such as epilepsy, MS, and ALS. No one denies that people with these conditions can greatly benefit from the use of medical marijuana, however studies have found that over 80% of people who apply for medical marijuana have legitimate conditions warranting its use. Many of the states who pioneered the legalization of medical marijuana have seen irreversible issues created by it’s inevitable path towards being used recreationally. Some of the detrimental impacts include a rise in unemployment and companies leaving the state due to a lack of reliable workers who can pass a drug test, leading to a substantial drop in growth, commerce and state income tax. Although we won’t know till November when the official votes are counted, Proposition 2 holds far more depth to its effects than simply allowing need based medical marijuana.
Photo by Damian GadalTags: Judge Memorial Catholic High School