The Deseret News asks a good question: Does Utah cannabis research provide answers or is it just a smokescreen? It's not like a lot of research hasn't already been done, but Utah thinks it can do better—maybe. While it's acknowledged that medical marijuana helps epileptics, the Utah study looks at chronic pain and brains. People are skeptical. Two bills to legalize medical cannabis stalled in the 2016 Legislature. Nothing happened this year, either, but there's a gung-ho initiative to put the issue on the ballot. The whole debate is stupid, as a 12-year-old epileptic from Colorado is demonstrating by suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who wants to ultra-criminalize pot. New York just added PTSD to the list of ailments that can be treated with medical marijuana. But let's study it some more—or maybe scrutinize the brains of imbibers with .05 percent BAC instead.
While Congress bickers over how to repeal health care for just about everyone, Utah children still go hungry. Nine million children nationwide and 19,000 in Utah depend on the Children's Health Insurance Program, whose funding remains in turmoil. Meanwhile, Utah is moving ahead with an anemic Medicaid expansion that certainly won't cover the 170,000 kids who depend on it. Utah Sen. Jim Dabakis plans legislation next session, but undoubtedly it's doomed. So it's good news that the Utah Food Bank is sending out mobile school food pantries to at least 67 schools, according to the Deseret News. The Food Bank says some 392,000 Utahns might miss a meal each day and 1 in 6 children don't know where their next meal is coming from. Now, at least they'll know when the pantry will roll by.
Never let it be said that Utah isn't good at recycling. We do it with politicians all the time. Former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell is set to become the next chairman of the embattled Utah Transit Authority. This is happening before the next Legislature considers what to do with the agency, a hybrid government-private enterprise that struggles to put its customers first. The Salt Lake Tribune, reports that the agency is at least looking at which routes are most needed and in demand. Meanwhile, former UTA board member and likely scapegoat Terry Diehl skated federal charges alleging fraud. Lawmakers aren't likely to bring UTA into the government fold, though, because there's still money to be made in the private sector. Just ask Diehl—and House Speaker Greg Hughes.