2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

Annotations #1

Utah Proposition 2, Medical Marijuana Initiative (2018)

Utah Proposition 2

Flag of Utah.png

Election date

November 6, 2018




On the ballot


State statute



Utah Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative is on the ballot in Utah as an initiated state statute on November 6, 2018.



vote supports legalizing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses.


vote opposes legalizing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses.

The title used by proponents and by state officials for this initiative is Utah Medical Cannabis Act.[1]


What would Proposition 2 do?

Proposition 2 was designed to legalize medical marijuana for individuals with qualifying conditions. Individuals could receive a medical marijuana card with a recommendation from a physician. Under the measure, a medical marijuana cardholder could not smoke marijuana or use a device to facilitate the smoking of marijuana. During any one 14-day period, an individual would be allowed to buy either 2 ounces of unprocessed marijuana or an amount of marijuana product with no more than 10 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol. After January 1, 2021, individuals with medical cards would be allowed to grow six marijuana plants for personal use within their homes if there are no dispensaries within 100 miles.

Compromise legislation

Negotiations between Utah legislators and Proposition 2 supporters (including the Utah Patients Coalition and Libertas Institute) and opponents (including Drug Safe Utah and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) resulted in an agreement on potential compromise legislation on October 3, 2018.[2]

The agreement concerns legislative alterations to Proposition 2 to be addressed by the legislature after the November election if the measure is approved. Click here to read more.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) called for a special session of the Utah Legislature after the November election to create a medical marijuana policy for Utah regardless of whether or not Proposition 2 is approved by voters. Herbert said, "Whether it passes or fails, we're going to arrive at the same point and conclusion, which is going to be (of) benefit to the people of Utah." [3]

What is the legal status of marijuana in Utah?

As of 2018, Utah has not yet legalized recreational marijuana. In 2014, Governor Gary Herbert (R), who opposes Proposition 2, signed a bill which legalized possession and use of low-THC CBD oil, one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana, by registered patients suffering from intractable epilepsy with a physician's recommendation. However, the bill included no provision for patients to legally acquire the oil within the state. In the 2018 legislative session, the state legislature passed and the governor signed a bill, called the Right to try bill, to allow terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana—which would be cultivated and distributed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. A bill was also enacted which expanded the state's program for cannabis oil. The 2018 law, House Bill 197, authorized and regulated the sale of CBD within the state. HB 197 requires the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to ensure by January 1, 2019, that marijuana (cannabis) is grown in the state of Utah and can be sold to research institutions or terminally ill patients with less than six months left to live.

What is the legal status of marijuana at the federal level?

As of 2018, both medical and recreational marijuana are illegal under federal law. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Presidents Trump (R) and Obama (D) have not prosecuted most individuals and businesses following state and local marijuana laws. On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) rescinded guidelines, known as the Cole Memo, that deprioritized the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where marijuana had been legalized. The DOJ issued the Cole Memo in 2013, following the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. Sessions' DOJ authorized U.S. Attorneys to decide which marijuana crimes to prosecute and directed them to consider "federal law enforcement priorities, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on [communitites]." [4][5] In April 2018, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) said President Trump told him that "the Department of Justice's rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry." Gardner also said, "Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for all." [6][7][8]

Who is supporting and opposing Proposition 2?

How current is this campaign finance information?

Utah Patients Coalition is leading the campaign in support of the measure. Other notable supporters include TRUCE, the Marijuana Policy Project, and the Libertas Institute. Drug Safe Utah and Truth About Proposition 2 are leading the campaign in opposition to the measure. Notable opponents include the Utah Medical Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Utah Patients Coalition had raised $866,176 and spent $817,281 in support of the measure while Drug Safe Utah and Truth About Proposition 2 had raised $960,808 and had spent $650,135.

Proposition 2 — Medical marijuana

This initiative would put into state law a system that would allow people suffering from certain diseases and medical problems to obtain first a doctor’s recommendation and then certain substances derived from the cannabis plant from privately run dispensaries.

The promise of medical marijuana to provide relief from serious and chronic conditions that include epilepsy, cancer, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s and other maladies is not in question. Which is why some form of legal marijuana, either limited to medicinal uses for recreational use by adults, is now the norm in 30 states. Colorado and Nevada have gone fully to allowing marijuana for recreational use, while Arizona and New Mexico have allowed medical marijuana.

While there have been problems in those states, and will doubtless be problems here, the now-irreversible nationwide trend is for the legalization of cannabis in one form or other. And there is no reason why Utahns suffering from many different woes should have to wait any longer than anyone else for relief.

A closed-room deal cooked up recently by the governor and leading lawmakers — in talks with some of the leading bakers of Prop 2 — may well prove to be as good or better in both making medical cannabis available while other uses less likely. But voters should back Prop 2 anyway, lest our leaders find more reasons to drag their feet.

SALT LAKE CITY — A new Deseret News poll shows 64 percent of likely Utah voters support Proposition 2, the state's medical marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

Thirty-three percent of respondents to the poll, conducted on behalf of the newspaper by, said they oppose Proposition 2.

Perhaps most noteworthy, just 3 percent said they were "not sure" whether they support or oppose the measure, indicating the vast majority of Utah voters are cognizant of the issue of medical marijuana legalization and have taken a position on the initiative.

“This is a polarizing topic causing people to break one way or the other. … Overall we see a hardening of opinions after exposure to information rather than uncertainty on the topic," said Cory Brown, vice president of custom research for HarrisX.

The findings also show 43 percent of respondents "strongly support" the initiative while 21 percent "somewhat support" it; 21 percent "strongly oppose" it and 12 percent "somewhat oppose" the ballot initiative.

The finding of overall support is identical to a Utah Policy poll conducted in August, in which 64 percent of respondents favored the initiative.

The support for Proposition 2 was strikingly consistent across several groups in the new Deseret News poll. For example:

• Support for the measure is equal among men and women — 65 percent among women and 64 percent among men.

DMU Timestamp: September 17, 2018 17:21

0 comments, 0 areas
add area
add comment
change display
add comment

Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

Logging in, please wait... Blue_on_grey_spinner