Political News

The Latest: Governor hopeful pushes to legalize medical pot

Posted 6:21 p.m. Tuesday

— The Latest on a Utah candidate for governor whose wife pleaded guilty to pot possession charges for using the drug to treat chronic pain (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Utah's Democratic candidate for governor says he supports legalizing medical marijuana to bring relief to people like his wife, who pleaded guilty to charges of pot possession in connection to the drug she uses to treat chronic pain.

Mike Weinholtz said in an emotional news conference Tuesday that the current laws leave doctors with little choice but to prescribe powerful painkillers with a risk of addiction that has made opioids an epidemic in Utah and elsewhere.

Donna Weinholtz says she suffers from arthritis and degenerative spinal conditions that left her unable to leave her bed some days. She says that after she started using the drug, she was able to plant tulip bulbs again.

Conservative Utah has passed a very limited medical marijuana law, but a push to expand it died in the state legislature this year.


1 p.m.

The wife of Utah Democratic candidate for governor Mike Weinholtz has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor pot possession charges in a deal with prosecutors that allows her to avoid jail time.

Court records show Donna Weinholtz agreed Tuesday to one year of probation and a $3,800 fine. Her husband says she uses marijuana to treat chronic pain rather than using addictive opiates.

Prosecutors said police found about two pounds of the drug in her home. They say she also tried to mail a small amount of pot to the couple's home in California.

The deal calls for her record to be cleared if she stays out of trouble for a year.

Donna and Mike Weinholtz are scheduled to talk about the case at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

His opponent, incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert, declined comment through a spokesman.


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