House Democrat Calls for Cautious, Thorough Exploration of Alternative Treatments Including Marijuana

In light of a legislative interim committee's focus on the potential benefits and drawbacks of medicinal marijuana, House Democratic Whip Rebecca Chavez-Houck spoke today in favor of carefully exploring such medical alternatives.

She said, “The medical community is constantly discovering new ways to improve people's health and to prolong longevity. The Right to Try legislation that we passed last year is an example of government getting out of the way of providing patients viable options for care. Tempered regulatory oversight of nutraceuticals is another example. It is incredibly important that as medicine advances, laws do too. More and more research is being done on the benefits and side effects of medicinal marijuana. We need to be open to the wide scope of research on this issue. We need to be ready to base judgements and laws based on hard facts, checked again and again by extensive research.

For me, this is about providing a flourishing continuum of care, one that is updated regularly as new information becomes available. Our federal Representatives and Senators are looking closely at this issue and how it relates to patient care. Movements like those supporting the new Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act require current medical knowledge and new research in treating patients in the best possible way. Research like this is vital as we continue to wait for affordable access to health care in Utah.”