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At first, the debate over medical marijuana in Utah played out as you might expect: The Republican governor declared the issue shouldn’t be on the ballot. Once it was, the state medical association steered the opposition. By August, a senior official in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was warning that residents of some states that had legalized marijuana were seeing serious “health and safety consequences.”

But, then, something curious happened: Key opponents negotiated an agreement with the measure’s backers and other state leaders. Now, no matter what happens on Election Day, state lawmakers will be called into a special legislative session and plan to enact an alternate medical marijuana program.


Unless the pact falls apart, Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country, will join the more than 30 other states that have already sanctioned some form of medical marijuana.

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