May 28, 2018, Utah
The fight over making medical cannabis legal in the state has entered its next phase in Utah because the proponents and opponents are going to settle their difference on the issue of MMJ public ballot in the local court.
An MMJ cannabis group Utah Patients Coalition (UPC), which has been supporting medical cannabis initiatives for some time, has challenged a lawsuit for the postponement of the public ballot on the legalization of medical marijuana. UPC maintains that they have put a significant amount of resources to push for the public ballot on MMJ this November. They asked the court to intervene and rule out the lawsuit that wants to proscribe people from giving their verdict on MMJ legalization.
DJ Schanz, one of the coalition’s directors, has given a very strong statement regarding this fight. According to him, the opponents of MMJ want to get a verdict from a single person (a judge), but they want to decide that fate of medical cannabis through the court of public opinion.
A Violation of Federal Laws
The lawsuit against the public ballot has been filed by Drug Safe Utah, a group working nationwide against cannabis legalization. The legal counsel of the group asserts that legalizing medical cannabis will be in the direct violation of federal laws. The state employees have to work against federal laws to devise MMJ program, which itself will be considered as an act of abetting. Therefore, the group wants the court to issue an emergency order to block the question from becoming a part of the upcoming ballot.
Medical marijuana has received a legal status in thirty states. But in Utah, it has caused a drawn-out fight among different groups. According to experts of the local political landscape, the opposition to medical cannabis is mainly being derived from the Governor’s office.
A few days ago, Drug Safe Utah also conducted a campaign to convince the residents to rescind their signatures from the petition. However, they failed to do it and therefore went to the state court to stop public ballot on the legalization of medical cannabis. It is worth noting that the proposed question on medical marijuana wants a basic legalization of the strain. It demands the legalization of strain for certain medical condition in topical forms.
MMJ Opponents Might Lose Legal Battle as Well
Professor Robert Mikos is a law expert with particular expertise on drug laws. According to him, the rationale of Drug Safe Utah to block public ballot on MMJ is a bit of stretch. To say that it’s the violation of federal law implicates that the majority of states have already revolted against the federation. He has also mentioned the recent ruling of the Supreme Court to allow states to make their own betting laws, which shows improved federal forbearance for state autonomy.
The court will have a hearing on the lawsuit soon. It will be interesting to see how this legal battle pans out. We hope that rationality prevails in Utah like it has been triumphant in thirty other states.