Hurdles expected for Utah's medical marijuana research law

Hurdles expected for Utah's medical marijuana research law

Published on 6/18/17

While over half of the United States have updated their laws to at least allow limited forms of medical marijuana for patients, states like Utah find lawmakers dragging their feet and getting nowhere. Rather than follow the majority of the country in allowing patients access to relief, they have taken the painfully slow route of letting colleges and institutions study the impacts of the medical marijuana before any changes can happen. For scientists to even begin conducting research, it can take over 6 months just to file the paperwork and apply for marijuana research, let alone the years it can take for a study to be completed and then be reflected in legislation. Americans have voiced their needs over and over again throughout the country by legalizing the drug, and it's time for the rest of America to follow. Too many have either uprooted their lives to move to an area with access, or will just wait in pain and be hopeful that their legislators will do what's best for them.  

The wait for legalization has sent Rice on regular trips to Colorado to get cannabis to treat his 24-year-old daughter Ashley.

Nearly every drug they've tried, including cannabidiol, has failed to stop all of her seizures. Rice said the only time his daughter has a completely seizure free day is when he takes her to Colorado, where marijuana is legal, and gives her cannabis twice a day.

"Epilepsy is a deadly disease," he said. "Every seizure takes away a little bit of her brain."

Lawmakers and advocates have pushed for the drug to be declassified and grouped with such drugs as cocaine and opiates, which have medical uses but are still illegal for recreational use.

Researchers now have to file applications with multiple federal agencies before they can request cannabis products from a university in Mississippi that remains the country's sole source of pot for federally approved research.

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