Just Say No...To Politicians That Don't Support Medical Marijuana Businesses and Patients
Marijuana decriminalization used to be one of those issues NO politician in their right mind would be in favor of publicly. But things have changed. We have moved beyond the "Just Say No" hysteria of my youth to an evidence-based, rational view of marijuana. State Question 788 passed comfortably and the majority in our state still approve of medical marijuana despite some bumps in the implementation. I proudly voted for State Question 788. Although I am not a card holder and am subject to drug testing by my company, I support patients' rights. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2017. He underwent a chemo regimen that crushed his body and his spirit. He was uncomfortable, irritable, and had no appetite. My siblings and my mom couldn't do anything to help him. But we thought medical marijuana would help. He didn't use much, but it helped him relax a bit and be less irritable. More importantly, it gave him an appetite. It bad an awful experience just a little bit easier. After that experience, I was firmly committed to the idea that cancer patients should have easy access to legal and safe medical marijuana.
No doubt we have had some bumps in the road as we implemented the program outlined in State Question 788. Initiative petitions can only go so far in crafting detailed rules for successful implementation, so there was a lot left to iron out, and we are still adjusting the program. A major reform bill that would have addressed a number of important issues was HB 3228. On Thursday, May 21, Governor Stitt vetoed this bill (https://nondoc.com/2020/05/21/stitt-snuffs-out-medical-marijuana-program-reforms/).
Whether the Governor's veto was a part of the battle of wills between him and Senator Treat, or if the Governor truly had issues with the bill is an open question. But we know that the House leadership was prepared to override the veto, and Senator Treat was not interested. Perhaps he just wanted to get on with his Memorial Day weekend plans? Or he wanted to give the Governor a black eye in their battles? Regardless, he did a disservice to the business owners and patients that rely on medical marijuana sales. And he stopped necessary revenue into our state coffers.
While it would be politically beneficial for me if he chose not to call the legislature back in session to override this veto, I hope he does. I have talked to numerous business owners who needed and expected HB 3228 to pass. I hope for their sake, the patients' sake, and our state revenue's sake that Senator Treat has a special session to vote HB 3228 into law. If you are a member of the Canna Community who would like to donate to a special page to show Senator Treat you mean business when it comes to supporting the medical marijuana industry, please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/beattreat420.