October 1, 2013 was a day of historical significance in the movement to legalize medicinal cannabis in Utah. The grassroots organization UtahCARE was featured live on local television station ABC4 News at 4 (click this link for the video) in which Elizabeth Osborn, a founding member and spokesperson, was interviewed by anchor Brian Carlson.
Ms. Osborn stated that UtahCARE (Utah Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education) has a mission:
"to educate Utah citizens, elected officials and the media concerning the impact marijuana (cannabis) laws have on society and to provide comprehensive draft legislation to help guide lawmakers decision making concerning marijuana law reform".
According to their Facebook page, UtahCARE simply “oppose criminal penalties against those who may benefit from medical marijuana”.
They advocate for the compassionate medical use of cannabis and a regulated system that allows licensed, medical doctors to recommend therapeutic marijuana to their patients diagnosed with specific diseases and/or medical conditions, without the threat of criminal or professional repercussions, and allows for a supply of legally available cannabis to patients without the threat of arrest, prosecution and incarceration.
UtahCARE offers the following information that will help to guide the reform of current policies throughout Utah.
Background on Medical Cannabis Therapeutics
Varieties of the cannabis plant, both in the forms of marijuana and hemp, have been safely used by mankind for thousands of years. In the early 20th century cannabis was legal in America and used in various preparations as a medicine and for its fibers and hundreds of other products as it is one of the most versatile natural products in the world.
Today, in 20 states and the District of Columbia, citizens have access to legal medical marijuana by doctor recommendations. More than 100 million people or 34% of Americans live in states with medical marijuana and many other states are in the process of introducing legislation to allow legal access. The issue is critical, nationwide debate which has now come to Utah.
Cannabis has been proven as an effective treatment for numerous conditions (see image in attached slide show) including HIV/AIDS, Gliomas, Alzheimers Disease, Fibromyalgia, Dystonia, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Chronic Pain, Tourette’s Syndrome, Hepatitis C, Diabetes, Pruritus, Osteoporosis, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Incontinence, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MRSA.
THC is also effective in managing many psychological conditions, including Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Facebook page for UtahCARE features evidence of the benefits of cannabis, from scientific studies to testimonials from patients. The group had planned to obtain signatures and educate the public during the 2013 Fall General Conference of the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, however, out of respect to and due to specific requests, they chose instead to attend a local Farmers Market and the Utah Undie Run.
Anyone with questions or who would like to sign the petition is encouraged to attend or send an e-mail to UtahCARE@gmail.com.
If you would like to receive articles similar to this delivered directly to your in-box, simply click the link below to subscribe.