A new organization dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana in Utah launched today. UtahCARE is a grassroots organization and, according to their Facebook page, the mission of the Utah Cannabis Awareness, Respect & Education (UtahCARE) is to:
"Educate citizens, elected officials and the media concerning the impact marijuana (cannabis) laws have on society and to provide comprehensive draft legislation to help guide our legislators in decision making concerning marijuana law reform".
"Simply put, we oppose criminal penalties against those who may benefit from medical marijuana".
"We advocate for 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".
Therefore, UtahCARE offers the following information that will help to guide the reform of current policies and suggest every Utah lawmaker review and submit questions or concerns.
In order for Utah law to provide effective protection for seriously ill people who engage in the medical use of marijuana, a state law would:
- Define what is a legitimate medical use of marijuana by requiring a person who seeks legal protection to (a) have a medical condition that is sufficiently serious or debilitating, and (b) have the approval of his or her medical practitioner;
- Avoid provisions that would require physicians or government employees to violate federal law in order for patients to legally use medical marijuana;
- Provide at least one of the following means of obtaining marijuana, preferably all three: (a) permit patients to cultivate their own marijuana; (b) permit primary caregivers to cultivate marijuana on behalf of patients; and (c) authorize non-governmental organizations to cultivate and distribute marijuana to patients and their primary caregivers.
UtahCARE intends to help implement a series of sensible restrictions, such as prohibiting patients and providers from possessing large quantities of marijuana, prohibiting driving while under the influence of marijuana, and other reasonable guidelines.