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Utah Launches Signature Drive for Medical Marijuana Campaign

Advocates hoping to put medical marijuana on the ballot for next year’s midterm election are officially launching their signature collection campaign on Thursday. Together, The Utah Patients Coalition and the Marijuana Policy Project are teaming up to start the campaign on Thursday morning at an event at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

Following the event, volunteers will be collecting signatures from patients and supporters of the bill. The event will consist of a press conference and speeches from campaign leaders as well as patients and supporters.

The group will need to collect over 113,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. The group’s proposal was approved to begin collecting signatures last week. It is being called the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers—many of them patients or caregivers themselves—have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

The initiative would allow patients with qualifying conditions to legally and safely access medical cannabis with the recommendation of a qualified doctor.

The proposal also limits the number of dispensaries and cultivators allowed in the state of Utah and allows local zoning for medical marijuana shops. It also prohibits using medical marijuana in public view and before or while driving.

Growing for personal use and smoking marijuana would not be permitted.

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at UtahPatients.org.

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