Utah could join twenty-three other U.S. states in permitting medical cannabis, under new legislation introduced.
A proposal to allow medical cannabis in Utah was given preliminary approval by the full Senate on Tuesday.
On a second reading, the full Senate voted 16 to 13 to advance Senate Bill 259 to a third and final reading before being sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Utah is reported as having the eighth highest prescription drug overdose rate in the nation, with 46 Utah residents dying each day from an accidental opioid overdose.
The opioids used for pain management are physically addictive, with high-risk potential for overdose and death according to recent research.
Nobody has ever overdosed from cannabis.
U.S. states with medical cannabis laws saw their painkiller deaths drop by 25 percent. Cannabis is among the most non-toxic of analgesics.
The proposal would allow patients in Utah limited access to medical cannabis if they are suffering from certain qualifying conditions.
Patients wouldn’t be able to smoke or vaporize whole plant cannabis, they would have access to medical cannabis products in Utah for the first time.