It’s been nearly five months since Utah’s Proposition 2 went into effect, legalizing the use of medical cannabis in the state.
In an effort to help Northern Utah residents navigate the legalities of medical cannabis, a group of Cache Valley residents have formed a group called the Cannabis Advocates of Northern Utah.
“Since Prop 2 has been voted in, we wanted to just educate people in what cannabis use means,” said Shannon Bridge, one of the co-creators of the advocacy group. “And to educate them in responsible use, because we feel that responsible use is very important.
The law outlines conditions that qualify for medical cannabis use, the requirements for patients to have a doctor’s recommendation, and the forms of cannabis use that are legal.
Another one of the group’s co-creators, Hannah Popper, said the purpose of the group is to help people understand if and how they can use cannabis.
“So many people that are just using opioids right now for pain can easily switch to cannabis and be recommended cannabis and have it not affect their lives as much as opioids do,” Popper said.
She said the group is also trying to eliminate the stigma surrounding medical cannabis use through education.
“It is a medicine,” Popper said. “It’s a plant. It’s not something that we are going to be misusing in a way where we are smoking and sitting on the couch all day. It is going be something that gets us up and moving and interacting with people that we love in our lives and functioning properly.”
The group hosted its first official outreach event at the Logan Library on Friday evening. They presented information on the medicinal purposes of cannabis, the properties of different kinds of cannabis plants, and the different ways cannabis can be used.
“We are in a conservative state,” Bridge said, “so we want to kind of help ease the minds and opinions about this. We don’t intend for this to be a recreational drug but a medical drug that people can benefit from greatly.”
Those who have questions about medical cannabis use or qualifying conditions can contact Popper at (801) 803-9499. Popper and Bridge said they hope to continue conducting community outreach and education events.