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Medical Marijuana Bill Defeated in Senate

Madsen.jpg
Brian Grimmett
/
KUER file photo
Sen. Mark Madsen presents SB259 on the Senate Floor

A bill that would have made the use of medical marijuana legal, failed to make it out of the Senate in an extremely close vote Monday night.

Saratoga Springs Senator Mark Madsen spent much of the general session trying to sell lawmakers on the idea of medical marijuana in Utah. With the vote locked up at 14 for and 14 against, Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser was left to cast the decisive vote.

“President Neiderhauser?”

“No”

Sen. Evan Vickers also voted against the bill. During the floor debate, he pointed out several holes he saw in the legislation that he thought could use more refining.

“I would say that a no vote doesn’t mean that you’re not intrigued with the idea, because many of us are, me included," Vickers said. "It just means that you’re using sound judgment and think that we need to proceed a little slower.”

After the vote, several people who supported the bill gathered outside of the chamber to console each other. Among the group was Tenille Farr, who has used medical marijuana to help her with the symptoms of cancer. She says the defeat leaves people like her wondering what to do next.

“There’s a lot of things that maybe aren’t perfect in the process, but the bottom line is that people need this and it’s time for our government to act and if they don’t act the people will act,” she said.

Lawmakers plan to examine medical marijuana more thoroughly during the interim session. 

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