January 2016 Update

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January has been an incredibly productive month for the Drug Policy Project of Utah. As our organization continues to grow, we are engaging people across the State of Utah in our efforts to reform drug laws. With the opening of the Utah legislative session on January 25th, our work has increased significantly and we are working on several legislative priorities including reducing Utah’s drug overdose epidemic and creating a medical cannabis program. Here’s a rundown of our work since our last newsletter.
Politics vs. Patients Events:
We planned and held two Politics vs. Patients education events in Kaysville and Ogden. Together these events drew over 100 people where we provided analysis of both proposed medical cannabis bills.  Read More: Standard Examiner

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We also hosted Dr. Sue Sisley for a roundtable conversation about her work trying to study the effects of medical cannabis on PTSD. Her research offers hope to the thousands of veterans suffering from PTSD but due to legal complexities she has not been able to begin her study despite the fact that it has been several years since the Food and Drug Administration approved it. We also spent time introducing her to legislators during her visit and having a conversation about her experiences. Read more: Standard Examiner

Legislative Updates:

Yesterday the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee advanced two different proposals to establish a medical cannabis program in the State of Utah. We were present at both meetings and provided information from our new Cannabis Medical Research Center to legislators on both committees.

Senate Bill 73 – Would establish a robust “whole plant” medical cannabis program that allows patients with a range of conditions to access cannabis as a medical treatment through dispensaries throughout the State of Utah.

Senate Bill 89 – Would establish a smaller medical cannabis program that would provide patients with qualifying conditions to access high CBD, low THC medical cannabis for treatment. 

We supported moving both bills to the full Senate to allow for rigorous debate. We believe that rigorous debate will only improve both bills.

Read more: Standard ExaminerSalt Lake Tribune, and Fox 13.

Upcoming events: 


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Next week, we are participating in Nonprofit Day on the Hill. Please join us to learn about the legislative process, get a tour of the Capitol, and send a message to your legislator that you support drug policy reform in the State of Utah. RSVP here.

Other News:


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Because of the massive amount of bad information and negative opinions being circulated in media outlets statewide, we have started a Rapid Response Team to react to bad media coverage. Recently Senator Vickers and Representative Daw stated that people and patients supporting full medical cannabis legislation are lemmings and we responded. We’re committed to responding to and combatting misinformation about drug policies, wherever they exist. 

If you see bad media coverage, let us know. Send the link to contact@dpputah.org and we will respond with the facts.

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We’ve also launched our new Cannabis Medical Research Center, which we hope will be your source for medical research on cannabis. Read more.