Patients, religious leaders, politicians and representatives from some medical cannabis advocacy groups in Utah recently came together to announce that a compromise had been reached to draft a law which would legalize medical cannabis whether the ballot measure (Proposition 2) succeeded during the midterm elections or not.
This compromise deal seems to have been arrived at after Prop 2 polarized the conservative community and threatened to alienate major sections of the community, such as the Mormon Church.
The compromise deal seeks to allow only six “medical cannabis pharmacies” to operate out of which one would be run by the state while the other five would be privately operated. Prop 2 suggested that there would be a medical cannabis dispensary for every 150,000 residents of the state. This would result in more dispensaries than the compromise deal is allowing.
Secondly, the compromise deal wants to prevent people from growing their own cannabis. Prop 2 had indicated that patients could grow their own cannabis and use it in case they couldn’t access medical cannabis at legal dispensaries.
The compromise deal seems to have attained some degree of success in bringing different parties to a middle point on cannabis. For example, the governor of the state expressed his support for the compromise although he was vehemently opposed to Proposition 2.
However, that compromise deal still has critics from both sides of the cannabis divide. For example, opponents of legalization feel the compromise doesn’t go far enough to quell concerns about the possible dangers that may result when medical use cannabis is legalized.
Similarly, advocates of legalization feel that the compromise deal bears the signature of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church which seems to have approved the legalization but ensured that there are so many restrictions that access will be limited heavily.
Critics of the church say it played the same tactics over LGBTQ issues when it appeared to consent that they deserved to be treated equally, but at the same time created a loophole which allowed members of the church to refuse to preside over LGBTQ marriages due to religious conflict issues. In other words, the Mormon Church said it recognized the LGBTQ members of the community but it would not wed them. What kind of recognition is that?
The compromise deal will be sent to the elected representatives of the people for debate and modification before it is passed into law. In the meantime, both sides are still campaigning heavily either for or against Prop 2. That ballot measure carries huge implications since the outcome of the poll would influence the final provisions of the law enacted to legalize medical cannabis.
Cannabis industry participants like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) can only pray that any decision made puts patients first instead of addressing the interests of different groups that may contradict the interests of the intended beneficiaries of the medical cannabis law.
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