When three out of four Utah voters say they support legal weed, I guess you can say America is waaaay past the tipping point when it comes to marijuana legalization.
According to a new poll conducted by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, 75 percent of Utahns are keen on the idea of a proposed 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state. And it’s not just progressive Democrats behind it.
Among Democrats, 93 percent support legalization. Even Republicans — at 65 percent — are in favor. the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
“Things are trending in the right direction,” said DJ Schanz, executive director of the Utah Patients Coalition, the group organizing the ballot initiative.
“It’s a positive change in our state and across the country. We’re seeing such a positive [stance toward medical marijuana],” said Christine Stenquist, president of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE), which is working to educate Utah voters on medical marijuana.
Members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also voicing their approval. In another poll, 63 percent of Utahns who are “very active” in the Mormon Church support the legalization of medical marijuana for specific diseases and/or pain relief.
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Even conservative Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has shifted gears and is now advocating marijuana legislative reform. As Tom Angell reports in Marijuana Moment:
“The evidence shows that cannabis possesses medicinal properties that can truly change people’s lives for the better,” Hatch said last month when introducing legislation to remove roadblocks to studies on the drug’s medical potential. “I strongly support research into the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and I remain committed to helping patients find the help they need, whether they suffer from cancer, severe seizures or any other chronic disorder.”
In the days since that Senate floor speech, Hatch has spoken about medical cannabis at seemingly every opportunity. In tweets, press releases, committee hearings and videos, the senator and his staff have consistently maintained a focus on marijuana issues.