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Medical marijuana bill passes in Utah after compromise gains support from Mormon church

Utah has passed sweeping changes to a new voter-approved medical-marijuana ballot measure under a planned compromise that secured support of the influential Mormon church but sparked a backlash from advocates.

Supporters of the compromise cheered the vote, saying it would help suffering patients while creating safeguards against broader recreational use.

“I believe this agreement was a landmark day for our state, and we are helping people,” said outgoing Republican House speaker Greg Hughes, who sponsored the legislation and helped bring together the players for talks.

The plan for changes was announced before Election Day as part of a broad compromise that won the backing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The changes ban many marijuana edibles, prevent people from growing their own marijuana if they live far from a dispensary and narrow the list of eligible medical conditions for which the drug can be obtained.

Smoking marijuana was not allowed in the original ballot measure and won’t be under the new version.

Democrats argued the measure’s passage with 53 per cent of the vote shows people want it as written, and they proposed leaving the original language intact. Republicans overwhelmingly voted down the idea. [Read more at The Independent]

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