Feds decline charges against Donna Weinholtz for medical marijuana use

Posted at 7:59 AM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 16:44:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal prosecutors have declined to pursue criminal charges against Donna Weinholtz, the wife of the Democratic nominee for governor Mike Weinholtz, FOX 13 has confirmed.

“After careful review, we determined not to file federal charges in this case,” Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah, said in a message Wednesday morning.

The case has been referred to a county attorney. The feds were investigating a case brought to it by the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office and Homeland Security.

Mike Weinholtz released the following statement to Fox 13 Wednesday:

“As I stated last spring, my wife is under investigation for using cannabis for medical reasons. Like thousands of Utahns, she used it for relief of chronic pain stemming from severe arthritis and diagnosed degenerative spinal conditions. She refuses to use addictive opiates, and used cannabis after suffering when other medicinal options were either invasive, ineffective or addictive. We have complied at every step of the judicial process and now that we know where the case is landing, we look forward to having the issue resolved and moving on.”

Mike Weinholtz, the Democratic nominee for Utah governor, and his wife, Donna, in an interview with FOX 13.

Mike Weinholtz, the Democratic nominee for Utah governor, and his wife, Donna, in an interview with FOX 13.

At the Utah State Democratic Convention back in April, Weinholtz revealed to the crowd of delegates that his wife was under investigation by law enforcement for medical marijuana use. He won the nomination overwhelmingly.

In an interview with FOX 13 at the time, Donna Weinholtz said she was using cannabis to treat arthritis and chronic pain.

“I don’t believe in abusing any substance,” she said. “I don’t believing in abusing alcohol, I don’t believe in abusing this and that’s not what this is about. This is about being able to sleep, being able to relax and not have the pain from arthritis and I know the folks out there know what I’m talking about.”

Medical marijuana use is legal in other states, but illegal in Utah. After grappling with the issue this year, lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would allow for medicinal cannabis use. The state legislature is expected to consider another bill that would allow it under certain conditions in the 2017 session.