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House Committee Rejects One Medical Marijuana Bill, Passes Another

Andrea Smardon
Lissa Lander joins Representative Gage Froerer and Senator Mark Madsen to speak in favor of Senate Bill 73, but the committee voted against it.

One medical marijuana bill appears to be dead in the Utah legislature, while another advances to the House floor.

These two medical marijuana bills have both already been approved by the Utah Senate. Republican Brad Daw is the House sponsor of the more limited bill, SB89 which would allow for the use of cannibidiol only. He says the fact that the Senate approved both bills conveyed a message.

“The message was we prefer the regulatory framework and the controls in 89, but we think we need to stretch it out a little bit more,” Daw says.

The House Health and Human Services committee approved a proposal that was described as a merger between the two bills. It changed SB89 to allow access to a broader group of chemicals in the marijuana plant at restricted ratios. The committee approved the new version of SB89 and then rejected the broader bill, SB73.

“I think it was a placebo bill from the beginning and it was intended to torpedo my bill, and I don’t think the people are going to stand for it,” says Senator Mark Madsen, sponsor of SB73. “I think there is going to be a referendum. Let the political consequences fall where they may.”

Lissa Lander suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She says she’s heartbroken that Madsen’s bill won’t be considered on the House floor. She says she’s not sure the bill that passed the committee would allow her to use marijuana in a way that would help ease her pain.

“I’m frustrated that it’s legislators up here deciding the ratio that I’m allowed to use instead of my doctor,” Lander says. She says she will likely be joining the effort to get a medical marijuana question on the upcoming election ballot.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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