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Utah Attorney General Once Considered Using Mmj.


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US UT: Shurtleff Open To Considering Legalizing Medicinal

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URL: http://www.mapinc.or...1/n382/a10.html

Newshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2011

Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)

Copyright: 2011 Deseret News Publishing Corp.

Contact:male2('letters','desnews.com'); letters@desnews.com

Website: http://www.deseretnews.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/124

Author: Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

 

 

SHURTLEFF OPEN TO CONSIDERING LEGALIZING MEDICINAL MARIJUANA

 

SALT LAKE CITY - Having endured chemotherapy for cancer, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he isn't opposed to exploring the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

 

"I'm open to it now because I've experienced it, and I've seen others suffer," he said Thursday on KSL Newsradio's "Doug Wright Show."

 

Shurtleff said he would consider a law legalizing medicinal marijuana provided it came with proper restrictions like other controlled substances.

 

"Some states haven't had controls, so it becomes kind of a free-for-all," he said. "If you had controls, I don't know why you couldn't do that."

 

But Utah lawmakers who work on health-related issues say there is no appetite for legalizing medicinal marijuana or even talking about it.

 

"I would fight it to the death, said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who heads the Health and Human Services Interim Committee. "I think that opens the door to all kinds of misuse and abuse. I'm 110 percent against it."

 

Shurtleff did not use the drug while undergoing treatment for Stage 3 colon cancer since January. But after becoming severely ill several times, he said he understands why people would turn to marijuana for relief.

 

When he couldn't keep food down and his anti-nausea pills weren't working, Shurtleff said he gained sympathy for those who seek to ease their pain.

 

"If you can't keep those down, what do you do? You just suffer," he said.

 

Shurtleff declared this week that he is cancer-free after undergoing three types of chemotherapy, including one series that caused an adverse reaction in his heart that he says nearly killed him.

 

Though he didn't use marijuana during his illness, he said he did receive opiates at one point to alleviate the nausea.

 

"During the worst part of my hospitalization when nothing was staying inside me, they gave me opiates. I was drinking liquid opium every three hours," he said.

 

Legalizing medicinal marijuana would require action by the Utah Legislature and a legislator willing to carry a bill. Shurtleff didn't rule out approaching a lawmaker with a proposal of his own after further study.

 

"I think that's a tough sell," said Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, adding legalization would send "absolutely the wrong message" to young people.

 

Christensen said the notion might be "kicked around in a lot of places. Utah is not one of those places."

MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.

Edited by greenbuddha
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"I would fight it to the death, said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who heads the Health and Human Services Interim Committee. "I think that opens the door to all kinds of misuse and abuse. I'm 110 percent against it."

Yes, we know, ANYTHING can be misused and abused, and if misuse and abuse happens and its clear that it presents a danger, then take care of that problem, but dont punish a whole group of people because a few abused something or MIGHT abuse something.

 

"I think that's a tough sell," said Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, adding legalization would send "absolutely the wrong message" to young people.

Whats the wrong message? That it is ok for someone who is sick to use a medicine and a person that is not sick cant use that medicine? That a sick person should not get the best medicine for them? That someone can make there own medicine and cure themselves of cancer and treat a whole host of other stuff?

 

Right now in Utah most any kid can walk into a dealers house and get Cannabis. Is that there idea of proper regulation?

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