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Medical Cannabis Patient Advocacy Group Hosts Fundraiser For Lawsuit Against State


After legislators replaced the medical cannabis ballot initiative with a different law in December 2018, members of a patient advocacy group launched a lawsuit against the state, calling its actions unconstitutional. The organization, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education, or TRUCE, has been collecting money for the lawsuit through a GoFundMe. TRUCE’s fundraising efforts continue this Saturday, with a casino night at O.P. Rockwell in Park City.

When the Utah Legislature replaced the law outlined by the Proposition 2 ballot initiative with House Bill 3001, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, it made several significant changes. A few illnesses that previously qualified patients for a medical recommendation card were removed from the list, and lawmakers limited the allowed form of cannabis as medication. Christine Stenquist of TRUCE also takes issue with the state running a cannabis program primarily through its Health Department.

“We would like to open it up to a free-market model and kind of get the state's hands out of this program," Stenquist said. "We don't want a state-run dispensary, we don't want a state-run program, so we're fighting back on that.”

Additionally, Prop 2 would have allowed up to 40 privately owned dispensaries throughout the state. Stenquist feels HB 3001 limits availability to patients.

“We need more access points, more dispensaries—seven dispensaries is not going to service the entire state of Utah, so we need to keep pushing for more for patients,” Stenquist said.

The event starts at 4:20 p.m. this Saturday and will feature casino games, a silent auction and musical guest Terence Hansen. Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, will give an update on the lawsuit. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. For more information, visit TRUCE’s Facebook page.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.