72% Of Utahns Support Safe Access to Medical Cannabis


Should doctors who specialize in treating serious illnesses like cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s be allowed to recommend cannabis, sometimes referred to as marijuana, as a treatment for their patients with serious medical conditions, or not?

SALT LAKE CITY — New poll results indicate that a strong majority of Utahns support medical cannabis, with widespread support across every demographic. A Y2 Analytics Poll (see topline results here) shows that 72% of likely voters in Utah believe certain doctors should be able to recommend medical cannabis to their patients with serious conditions—an even higher number of Utahns support Healthy Utah or "Right to Try" legislation that has received near-unanimous support from the legislature.

Additional findings from the poll, jointly sponsored by Drug Policy Project of Utah and Libertas Institute, include:

  • Majority support for medical cannabis use is consistent across every identified demographic group, including 66% of Republicans, 67% of self-described LDS or Mormon respondents, and 64% of respondents over age 65.
  • 52% of respondents know someone with cancer, epilepsy, or Alzheimer's—some of the illnesses that would qualify for medical cannabis under Senate Bill 259. Among those who personally know a patient of one of these serious illnesses, 74% support allowing specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis to their patients
  • Only 15% of respondents agree that people with serious illnesses should be punished under Utah state law for using cannabis to treat their condition; 77% disagree with punishment for medical cannabis use.
  • 66% believe it should be legal for people with terminal illnesses to use drugs recommended by their doctor but that have not been approved by the FDA; 28% disagree. Despite this lower number, legislation to facilitate this access is receiving near-unanimous support from the legislature.
  • 80% of likely Utah voters disagree that cannabis is more dangerous than drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.


"These results confirm what we've seen in other states: that when people learn about the stories of legitimate suffering and need for medical cannabis, they grow concerned with laws that impede access to the beneficial use of this medical product," said Christine Stenquist, president of Drug Policy Project of Utah. 

Stenquist's story—and public admission to the illegal use of medical cannabis—has now been widely reported by the media.

"Medical cannabis in Utah can—and will—save lives," said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. "It can't wait a year. It can't wait for the federal government. It can't wait for FDA approved studies. It needs to happen now, and these poll results are a welcome confirmation that most Utahns agree."

This poll of 400 likely voters was conducted Feb 26-28, 2015 and carries a +- 4.9 percentage points margin of error. Live callers conducted the interviews over both landline phones and cell phones.


About Y2 Analytics

Y2 Analytics is a survey research and data analysis group consisting of a partnership between Dave Hansen, Quin Monson and Kelly Patterson. Together they have many years of academic and political polling experience in Utah and throughout the United States.

About Drug Policy Project of Utah

Drug Policy Project of Utah is a registered Utah non-profit working to reform state drug policies, promoting sensible changes to the law that facilitate legal access to medical products that can improve and even save lives.

About Libertas Institute

Libertas Institute’s mission is to advance the cause of liberty within the State of Utah by supporting and defending individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise. The Institute promotes liberty by generating non-partisan analysis and commentary on public policy issues relating to Utah, and recommending our findings to opinion leaders, policy makers, media, and interested Utahns.