Why critics are wrong about opposition to Prop 2

On August 23, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its opposition to Proposition 2, the citizen initiative seeking to create a state marijuana program. Speaking on behalf of the Church, Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy said, “The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy.” He continued, “Our hope and expectation is to bring the broader community together, including all those who have a lot of experience and understanding in what we can…

Potheads make bad laws

Now that the Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative has inched closer to obtaining a spot on the November statewide ballot, it is a good time to get absolutely real about what policies, and their societal effects, are at stake. Supporters of the measure argue that good people are being forced to break the law just to relieve chronic pain. Opponents argue that this initiative is simply the first step in a broader campaign to legalize pot, as in Colorado. So who is right? Every statewide ballot initiative permits supporters and opponents…

Pot of gold

“But let me get to the point. Let’s roll another joint. And turn the radio loud. I’m too alone to be proud.” —from the song “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, by Tom Petty (RIP) I often refer to Utah as a theocracy. I am of the belief that a majority of the elected politicians in Utah believe that their first priority is to promote and implement the moral tenets espoused by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To me, this is un-American. It is more than allowable…

Medical marijuana in Utah: an analysis of Senator Mark Madsen’s SB73

The ongoing battle between supporters and detractors of Sen. Madsen’s SB73 “Medical Cannabis Act”, or medical marijuana, seems to be always framed as ‘those who support medical treatment’ versus ‘people who hate sick people’.  While there are the zealots in every campaign, this axis is a mere distraction from the real issue.  The bill, as drafted, is riddled throughout with inaccuracies, mistakes, and unintended consequence to the extent that the bill should not be supported; not because of its subject matter or aim, but rather because of its legislative inadequacies.…

Sen. Daniel Thatcher: To vote yes on medical marijuana, we need reliable data

To vote yes on medical marijuana, we need reliable data. We won’t have that until the Federal Government reclassifies marijuana and the FDA can properly research it, including what conditions are helped, dosage, potential side-effects, and warnings against drug interactions, just like any other drug. Throughout this process, I have seen individuals being shamed and attacked for holding differing opinions. These tactics are causing many good people who hold strong and valid opinions to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. This does not make for good policy. I…

The Mero Moment: Deceptive Rhetoric from Utah’s Pot Lobby – January 7, 2016

By October 1987, the disease AIDS was still a mystery for the medical profession and for most Americans. AIDS gained a higher profile as it began to take the lives of several prominent people in the entertainment industry. In Congress at the time, a representative from West Hollywood, Henry Waxman, was chairman of the House subcommittee on Health and Environment, the subcommittee assigned to look into the problem of AIDS. Waxman was a dedicated liberal and loyal friend of the entertainment industry. In October 1987, Waxman moved the first congressional…

Eight Stories Getting More News Coverage Than Justin Miller

You’d think that the story of a sitting member of the Utah House of Representatives embezzling a good $34K from one of the state’s brightest political stars would end up creating an endless stream of front page news. Instead, the Utah media got in their initial stories and have been almost entirely silent. Even folks like Paul Rolly and Pat Bagley who delight in poking powerful people in the eye have been keeping their mouths shut (because I suppose it’s only interesting if a Republican does it). But, apparently, other…