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Utah’s Medical Marijuana Proponents Change Gears, Will Push Ballot Initative

Conceding the Utah Legislature is unlikely to pass a bill legalizing medical marijuana, Utah patients who have been using the plant along with backers of legal cannabis ­— including several wealthy and well-connected Utah businessmen — plan to launch a ballot initiative that would let voters decide whether to make Utah the 24th state to legalize the drug for medical purposes.

The medical-marijuana proponents had been advocating for Sen. Mark Madsen’s SB73, which would allow patients with a series of conditions “whole-plant” access, meaning they could use products that contain THC. But that bill faced an uncertain future even before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah’s predominant faith, issued two statements in a week opposing the measure.

Now Madsen’s bill appears almost certain to fail in the House, assuming it can get through the Senate later this week, and its backers are turning to an initiative as their only remaining option. [Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune]

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