Marijuana Policy Reform Slow To Take Root In Utah

Calls for the reform of Utah’s strict policies toward marijuana have grown louder in recent years — but have fallen on deaf ears in Utah’s legislature.

Recently, The Huffington Post spotlighted the story of a Utah woman whose 11-year-old son suffers debilitating seizures as a result of a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. The seizures have severely limited the boy’s development to that of a toddler. As a result, the Utah mother has pushed for a state law that would allow the use of a liquid form of medical marijuana available in Colorado that she believes is helping children with the same syndrome. Her efforts have been met with little progress, as Utah’s legislature has traditionally been opposed to efforts to legalize marijuana.

Similarly, a Utah woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder became weary of her repeated electroconvulsive therapy treatments, which, as a side-effect, caused her to temporarily forget how to read and type. She opted instead to use marijuana for her disorder and found that it was the only effective substance for her condition. She contacted legislators and explained that marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of conditions more cheaply and safely than conventional treatments. It remains to be seen if her efforts will promote policy reform.

Despite the fact that marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational purposes in several states, including neighboring Colorado, Utah offers no such exceptions and continues to maintain some of the harshest laws in the county. The consequences of a conviction relating to the possession of marijuana can be severe, including significant fines and jail time.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession, consult with a criminal defense lawyer to understand your options. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen to schedule a free consultation.