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Interim Committee talks about legalizing medical marijuana in Utah

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-19 20:36:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- They didn't take a vote, but if the amount of time and conversation devoted to the topic says anything--it says Utah lawmakers are seriously considering the possibility of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

The Interim Committee on Health and Human services spent the length of an early morning meeting hearing from experts arguing the benefits and problems with legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.

On one side was a police sergeant from Denver, Colorado named Jim Gerhardt, who argued that a slippery slope is all but inevitable and that Colorado kids are suffering. Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational use.

"The rates of kids using now are much, much higher than we've ever seen before," Gerhardt said.

But Utah State Senator Mark Madsen has been public about his personal experience traveling to Colorado for cannabis to treat a chronic condition.

"I'm still wondering as I listen to this presentation, what does it have to do with Utah, or really the other 20 some odd states that have gone medicinal?" Madsen said.

Madsen sponsored a bill last year aimed at legalizing medical marijuana, but it failed in the Senate on a vote of 14-15.