Weekly Survey: Will Utah Ever Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, is proposing legislation to make medical marijuana legal in Utah. Our "Political Insiders" think it's not an issue of "if" but "when" that happens.

59% of the Republicans on our panel think the legislature will legalize medical marijuana in two to five years. 48% of the Democrats and 58% of our readers also believe it will come within 5 years. Only 14% of Republicans, 9% of Democrats and 16% of our readers say it will happen this year. 

15% of Republicans, 8% of Democrats and 12% of our readers say the legislature will never legalize medical cannabis.

Selected anonymous comments:

"They will eventually legalize some forms of medicinal marijuana — just not a form that can be smoked."

"Sen. Madsen has carefully crafted this bill. It rightly distinguishes smoking 'weed' from ingesting or inhaling cannabis oil. The legislators and public need to become more informed. Seems to me a simple enough notion. I hope it passes this year but think that education part will take awhile."
"Hopefully this year, but I doubt it. Utah tends to be behind the times on social freedoms."
"As long as it is prescribed by a doctor and dispensed through pharmacies, I don't see the harm. There are far more dangerous drugs prescribed to people."
"Legalized pot? Gay marriage? What is happening to the Utah I used to know and love?"
"I hope NEVER!!! It leads to legalizing if for recreational use."
"Evidence shows that the drug can be an effective treatment in limited cases. It will and should be tightly regulated so a few loose doctors don't turn it into recreation."
"It helps that a conservative is behind it. However, it bolsters my working theory that conservatives only become interested in something that relieves suffering when it affects themselves or their families."
"Let Utahns access the medicinal benefits of marijuana under the supervision of doctors, but keep a tight lid on it so as not to create any more pesky Democrats via recreational use."
"If one of the most abused and dangerous drugs OxyContin can be legal, certainly marijuana can be. The former leads to heroin abuse. The latter only leads to the abuse of the Taco Bell drive thru window."
"Although members of the right wing party may agree with some of the medical benefits, they have stated they want to prevent this bill from going through because they believe it will open the door for recreational use to be legal in Utah."
"He should have brought it out earlier in the session. Unfortunately, its such a big policy shift the Senate won't let it out without a lot more time. Next year, Senator Madsen."
"Are you kidding? We can't even buy a decent bottle of wine in this state."
"Based on what other states have experienced, this is a slippery slope. Lawmakers ought to proceed with caution and assure that only those with serious medical needs are allowed to use it."
"It's really a no-brainer compared to all the dangerous pain medications being prescribed currently."
"Why not, Utah led the U.S. out of prohibition and helped give so many people civil unions across the nation, it's a natural fit for Utah to lead they way on this."
"They just have to live with the idea for a year or two, then they'll feel more comfortable with it."