SALT LAKE CITY – Sutherland Institute Vice President Stan Rasmussen released the following statement today in response to HB 197, Cannabis Cultivation Amendments, which passed out of the Utah House of Representatives:
“Like most of Utah, Sutherland Institute looks forward to the day when cannabis-derived compounds can be considered medicine,” Rasmussen said. “Though processes of research, development, testing and validation continue, it is premature and dangerous to pretend the necessary science is already there when it is not. We commend our state legislators for their continued careful consideration of the many serious issues associated with cannabis in the fulfillment of their charge to develop sound public policy. Balancing consideration of individual circumstances and preferences with the preservation of public health and safety takes time and moves slower than any would prefer – especially in high-stakes matters such as cannabis.
“We commend the Utah House of Representatives for passing HB 195 on Friday (allowing terminally ill people the ‘right to try’) and today HB 197, creating strict protocol for the cultivation and processing of cannabis for academic and medical research purposes. We encourage the Utah Senate similarly to approve these measures.”