As the battle over Utah’s medical cannabis initiative heats up, a fearsome collection of anti-legalization groups, such as the Utah Medical Association and Drug Safe Utah, continue to play dirty.
Backed by the powerful Mormon Church, the coalition recently launched what legalization proponents are calling misinformation and misleading ads about the measure, Proposition 2, which will appear on the ballot this coming November.
The ad that sparked outrage was voiced by a physician who claimed that Proposition 2 was not about legalizing medical cannabis, but rather pushing for recreational marijuana: “Medicinal marijuana is already legal in Utah. Your doctor can prescribe it or you can buy it over the counter. Proposition 2 legalizes full plant marijuana and creates a new industry of grow houses and pot shop dispensaries selling edible marijuana with unregulated high levels of the dangerous drug THC.”
Fortunately, at least one Salt Lake City-area radio station has stopped airing the ad after complaints that the spot included false and misleading statements about medical marijuana.
“We want to pull the ad until we can substantiate the truthfulness,” said Kayvon Motiee, president of Broadway Media. “All in all, we had 53 complaints over the weekend about it.”
Tanya Vea, general manager of KSL radio station, confirmed that the advertisement began airing on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.
KSL is owned by the Mormon Church, which recently came out against the medical cannabis measure.
Meanwhile, Federal Communications Commission records show that Drug Safe Utah purchased $3,000 of radio airtime, scheduled to run between Sept. 5 and Sept. 11. The coalition also purchased roughly $2,500 of airtime on another talk show, according to FCC records and reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Over the course of the contentious campaign in Utah, supporters of legal medical cannabis have accused opponents of spreading misinformation and engaging in dishonest activities to undermine the measure.
“It is nothing less than shameful,” said DJ Schanz, director of the Utah Patients Coalition. “Especially with so many families needed medical cannabis for their children.”