Utah lawmaker tries marijuana for the first time on video: ‘I just felt a little high’
A Utah lawmaker had a message for his colleagues considering changes to state medical marijuana laws amid a battle over a midterm ballot initiative: Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
Utah state senator Jim Dabakis, a Democrat, decided to visit Las Vegas over the weekend to try marijuana for the first time.
In a Facebook Live video posted Saturday, Dabakis pops half of an edible cannabis gummy in his mouth as a “sacrifice for you, the taxpayers.”
“I wouldn’t recommend it as a sheer candy because it’s a little bit bitter,” he says after chewing a bit. Dabakis then assures his constituents that he came with a driver and plans to lounge by the pool as the edible kicks in.
“It was no big deal,” Dabakis told USA TODAY on Tuesday. “It was fine. I just felt a little high.”
Dabakis said it was his first time trying marijuana in any form, and he opted for a gummy because he hates smoke.
The state senator’s trip to Nevada – where recreational marijuana use is legal – comes amid what he called one of the “fiercest” battles over a ballot initiative in Utah history.
Utah voters will decide on Prop 2 to legalize medical marijuana come November, but legislators plan to hold a special session after the vote, regardless of the prop’s outcome, Dabakis said.
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According to the Salt Lake Tribune, lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue reached a compromise that would create a centralized pharmacy for medical marijuana patients rather than private dispensaries. Gov. Gary Herbert said, no matter the Prop 2 outcome, “we’re going to arrive at the same point.”
Dabakis said this process isn’t fair, especially given that he thinks few, if any, state senators have ever tried marijuana.
“I want all my colleagues to get amnesty and go get a gummy bear or smoke a marijuana cigarette,” he told USA TODAY. “I think everybody is afraid of what they don’t know about.”
In a followup video posted on Facebook, Dabakis calls on everyone to “mellow out” about the issue.
“I think the reefer madness crowd – you guys, you need to try it. It’s not that big a deal.”
Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller
Marijuana products and plants on display at The Green Solution dispensary in Denver, Colorado.
Oct. 4, 2018; Denver, CO USA; xxx Mandatory credit: Trevor Hughes-USA TODAY NETWORK (Photo: Trevor Hughes, Trevor Hughes-USA TODAY NETWORK)
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