Many in Utah are hopeful that the state will legalize medical marijuana this November, and it looks like the odds are very good that it will at least receive a vote.
The initiative to legalize medical marijuana needs a little over 8,000 more signatures in the next two weeks to qualify for the November ballot. Utah law requires at least 113,000 signatures for an initiative to get on the ballot, which the medical marijuana campaign already has received with over 122,000 names. But Utah also requires that an initiative receive signatures from 10 percent of the number of voters in the most recent presidential election in 26 of the state's 29 senate districts. So far, they've received enough signatures in 22 of the districts, so they only need four more.
There's plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Utah medical marijuana initiative. Recent polls show around 75 percent of Utahans support medical cannabis, which indicates that the initiative should pass with ease.
However, there does seem to be a strong opposition movement forming. Recently, Utah's Governor Gary Herbert spoke out against the initiative, claiming it will pave the way towards recreational legalization. The Utah Medical Association, a lobbying group for the state's doctors and medical professionals, also came out against the initiative, although they also claimed it was because it could lead to recreational marijuana, not for any medically backed reasons.
But they're still going to need to convince around 25 percent of the population to change their minds about medical marijuana in the next seven months. That will be no easy task.
(h/t Utah Policy)