Utah: Prominent Businessman Supports Medical Cannabis Initiative
By Michael Bachara
Medicinal cannabis advocates in Utah have a major name stepping in to defend the right to use the plant, Utah businessman Jon Huntsman Sr.
"I'm a very strong advocate for medical marijuana," Huntsman Sr. said.
Huntsman, a four-time cancer survivor, said his support comes from compassion. Huntsman has suffered from Polymyalgia Rheumatica, a disorder that can cause severe shoulder and hip-joint pain, for the past 10 years.
"I won't take the opioids, I'll take the pain," Huntsman says.
The possibility of kidney or bladder failure and constipation turned Huntsman away from opioids entirely.
"It's really severe pain," Huntsman said. "Sometimes you just want to scream out at night because of joints not working and things just breaking down on you."
The Utah Patients Coalition is currently pushing for a ballot initiative that would get medicinal cannabis on the 2018 ballot. First, they must collect 115,000 valid signatures from registered voters.
If the issue makes the ballot, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could weigh heavy on Utah voters' minds in the polling booths. In the past, the LDS Church has supported bills to launch studies into medicinal cannabis.
Asked outright if he has tried medicinal cannabis, Huntsman replied, "No, I haven't." When asked if he would like to try it. Huntsman replied, "Sure, I'd love to. I've had such severe pain at times and the opioids haven't done the job."
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