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Resolved: With the passage of HB105, Utah has embarked down the slippery slope of legalized marijuana.
My response to this is quite simple: only if Utah legislators want it to be.
I’ve never liked the slippery slope argument as it assumes that once in place, “Bill X” will automatically lead to “Bill Y”.
It precludes any possibility of a middle ground or even a revocation of the law that was initially passed; all of which are just as possible as any further push towards *insert ultimate fear here of individuals bringing up the slippery slope argument here*.
If Utah legislators want to legalize marijuana use here in the state of Utah, they will most certainly look to HB105 as a point of reference in passing their bill. However, if they don’t then they simply won’t pass a bill.
Does the passing of HB105 help provide a better pathway for marijuana legalization? Possibly, but the possibility shouldn’t (and apparently didn’t) persuade legislators from passing a bill that was desperately needed. Bills that are passed ought to be examined and scrutinized on their own merits and not based on some unforeseeable distant outcome that may or may not bear out in end.
It has long been my experience in my personal life, in the businesses that I have worked for and started that decisions that were made out of fear usually ended up with unfavorable outcomes.
Too many of our decisions both by legislators and ourselves are fear based and have led to many of the unwanted outcomes and/or overreach by our government. The slippery slope argument is just another fear based tool that many will use to help persuade individuals from choosing a particular course of action.
So has Utah embarked down the slippery slope of legalized marijuana with the passage of HB105? The unsatisfying answer to these type of questions will always be: maybe.