Will there be a compromise on medical marijuana? Our ‘Political Insiders’ are doubtful

Our “Political Insiders” mostly think legislative leaders will be unable to craft a compromise between proponents and opponents of Prop. 2. 

As UtahPolicy.com first reported last week, House Speaker Greg Hughes was working with the LDS Church and backers of Prop. 2 to find a middle ground on legalizing medical marijuana in Utah. The LDS Church has come out in favor of expanding legal access to medical cannabis but opposes the initiative.

Our “Political Insiders” say efforts to craft some sort of compromise that’s acceptable to both sides will likely fail, but the Democrats on our panel aren’t so sure.

  • 62% of the Republicans who responded to our question said there would be no compromise.
  • 60% of the Democrats on our panel said there would be a compromise
  • 64% of our readers did not think the groups would be able to find a middle ground.


Selected anonymous comments:

Our habit in Utah is to call a special session only when there is very broad support for all the details of some proposal. I think that the kinds of things that will need to get worked out in a compromise on Medical Cannabis will be able to get enough support to pass in a general session, but there will still be some opposition and ongoing debate, so I would expect it to be taken care of in the next general session.

Not gonna happen. Shouldn’t happen. Let the people speak, and then the legislature will adjust in 2019.

It’s possible, but I kind of doubt it. The legislature had many years and many opportunities to compromise and bring real relief to patients. They failed, which is why we have a ballot initiative that goes a bit too far. They have created a lot of mistrust on the issue, and the vocal opponents with their blatant lies and half-truths aren’t helping the matter. I believe supporters will continue to harbor mistrust for opponents, and opponents will double-down on their position, urging the legislature to undo the will of the people. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if we see a repeat of what the legislature did with the asset forfeiture initiative in 2000, sans agreement.

The best possible solution would be for the legislature to do its job. The ballot initiative makes it so the legislature has to step up to the plate. The best thing that could happen for the state and all interested parties both pro and con would be a gathering and a coming together where everyone agrees medical marijuana is first and foremost and recreational marijuana is not right for the state of Utah. In states where recreational marijuana has been approved homelessness has gone up dramatically. We don’t need more homeless in Utah.

Supporters have polling on their side. Why compromise?

There isn’t enough time for a compromise before the election. The vote will come down to whether the public trusts or believes the Legislature will ever do anything on this issue if the initiative fails. I’m personally a voter who does not have that trust or belief, so I’m voting yes.

That ship has sailed

Most of the proponents of Prop. 2 want medical marijuana, while most of the opponents fear recreational marijuana. That combination sounds like great territory for a compromise: medical uses OK, recreation not.

Proponents have been trying for years to get a meaningful agreement for compassionate care with a legal cannabis option. Opponents, who may have some legitimate concerns, have decided to use fear to control the message. When polls showed they were not in the majority, they started to change the dialogue. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if it’s the patients that they are concerned about or if it’s their own political future.

Medical marijuana only moves forward if/when the LDS church allows it.

The LDS church is treating medical marijuana as it does alcohol; their argument that it will lead to more children using and having access is like their Zion Curtain law-if children see alcohol being poured then they will want to use it. Medical Dispensaries in other states are tightly controlled, and this bill has even more controls. I have yet to hear what measures the LDS church wants for it to be legal? They are only pandering to their members by making this statement.

There’s no deal to strike because the proponents of Prop. 2 are not really looking for what the opponents are willing to concede. It hasn’t been about medical marijuana, and that has become even more evident by their hesitation to strike a deal. Ultimately, they hold little power as the law will be either passed or changed right after the election.

That would be the best outcome for Utah if they could. Opponents and proponents of Prop. 2 are too far from the center of this issue to come up with effective medicinal cannabis policy on their own.

The issue is much too emotional for a compromise. I predict the Prop. will pass and will be immediately undermined and possibly reversed by the legislature.

I don’t think that the voters are stupid enough to pass this really bad initiative, so changing it will be a moot point.

If it passes, the legislature will 1) freak out, and 2) have a special session that excludes all Prop. 2 opponents. If it doesn’t pass, the legislature will do absolutely nothing, which is what they’re best at.

Politically I don’t think the Legislature can afford the backlash that will occur if they don’t get a workable, realistic medical marijuana law on the books.

I am optimistic enough to think that a compromise can be reached on Prop. 2. The initiative itself, I feel does not remove my fears that cannabis might get into the hands of people for recreational use, which I don’t want to see.

The only way a well reasoned medical marijuana law passes is if the new Legislature is forced to openly deal with the current initiative. When Prop. 2 passes it forces the issue out front into the public eye. Changes will be made, but they will be more progressive and sensible because we all get to see the process and pressure legislators for what we, or at least the supporters of Prop. 2, believe should be included. Medical marijuana has some valid attributes and its too late to turn back on the accumulated knowledge and truth of the matter. Prop. 2 passes and sets up the effort to gain a legitimate publicly devised legislative compromise.

I hope the legislature finds a better alternative to Prop. 2, but I think it will be a close thing at the ballot regardless.

The proponents want to ultimately shove recreational pot down our throats, regardless of what the population really wants.

Signatures have been gathered and the initiative is on the ballot. Put it to a vote and let the people decide!!

I don’t think Herbert will call them into session to deal with a compromise. He’ll let them wait until January to spite the legislature for the proposition to allow them to call themselves into session.