From: Turner C. Bitton
To: Turner C. Bitton,
Subject: Senate Bill 89
Date: Thu Mar 10 06:13:52 MST 2016
Hello Representative, I wanted to write you to ask you to please support Senate Bill 89’s 6th substitute on the floor tomorrow. For several weeks I have been engaged in ongoing conversations with Representative Daw and Senator Vickers about this legislation. I want to offer my organizations full-throated endorsement of this legislation as the best way to move forward with medical cannabis in Utah. I understand that you are likely being inundated with emails and I want to be brief. I believe this legislation is deserving of the support of the Utah House for the following reasons: 1) This legislation is the product of a process that we should celebrate as Utahns. It is the result of hundreds of hours of debate, discussion, conversation, and most important of all, the engagement of stakeholders representing diverse interests and backgrounds. Senator Vickers and Representative Daw have worked with law enforcement, physicians, patients, prosecutors, and citizens from across the state. This legislation represents the spirit of compromise that defines the legislative process and it is the right process for Utah. 2) This legislation represents a positive first step for future advances. We are confident that this legislation represents the most solid foundation upon which an expanded program can be built in the future. The regulatory processes and framework established by this bill embraces the desire of Utahns to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen Colorado and other states that have proceeded recklessly. 3) This legislation represents an attempt by Representative Daw and Senator Vickers to do something that is nearly impossible - to treat cannabis as a medicine and honestly evaluate the medicinal and therapeutic qualities of cannabis products in an intellectually honest manner. It is also important to note that they have made significant compromises at the behest of organizations such as ours in a good faith effort to balance the various interests represented by the legislation. Make no mistake, this legislation represents the opportunity to help thousands of Utahns. While it hasn’t received the same fanfare as other proposals, it does represent an opportunity to help what we estimate to be 35,000 - 50,000 Utahns with chronic illnesses. In the current political environment public discourse has reached fever pitch. I implore you to allow this legislation to move forward and to honor the deliberative spirit of the process that led to its creation. I appreciate the impossible task you have of pleasing so many competing interests and listening to so many voices. Thank you very much, Turner C. Bitton (801) 564-3860 President - Drug Policy Project of Utah