Gov. Herbert’s objections to the medical marijuana initiative: moral opinion or unbiased view of facts? He calls for more and better research. Maybe he should look at the research of the 29 states currently allowing medical cannabis.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, in 2010, states with legalized medical marijuana saw approximately 1,700 fewer opiate-related overdose deaths. “We found there was about a 25 percent lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths on average after implementation of a medical marijuana law,” lead study author Marcus Bachhuber said.

Harvard Medical School reports (Peter Grinspoon, MD) show medical marijuana has beneficial results for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain. It helps manage nausea and weight loss for cancer patients.

Gov. Herbert is concerned with people living 100 miles from a dispensary who are growing their own plants. He believes regulators will lose control of the process. Nine of 10 Utahns live in urban areas. The majority would have access to regulated dispensaries.

Alcohol, tobacco and opioids are readily available and viewed as acceptable. Compare the risk of medical cannabis to these legal drugs and logic prevails. Let the voters, not lawmakers, make the final decision.

Wade Pierce, Murray