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Medical marijuana was a top topic at the debate
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Med. marijuana central to congressional debate

ST. GEORGE — Utah’s Proposition 2, a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, was at the center of Monday’s debate between an incumbent congressman and his challenger in southern Utah.

Democrat Shireen Ghorbani is challenging Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, for his 2nd Congressional District seat in November. Ghorbani supports the ballot initiative, blaming lawmakers for failing to address the issue before voters came up with a solution of their own.

“Our legislature dragged their feet, on the — absolutely did not come to the table with solutions for people to access medicinal marijuana when they wanted it, and so now, this is what they have,” Ghorbani said in the debate at Dixie State University. “And I hope that they’ll act quickly to address some of the serious concerns that are in the proposition.”

Stewart says he is not opposed to medical marijuana, but he cannot support Proposition 2.

“My problem with Prop. 2 is I’m not sure it’s thorough or well-thought through,” Stewart says. “It’s not that I object to medicinal marijuana. It’s that I object to some of the language of the prop that is overly broad.”

The candidates remained civil and polite in their exchanges, though at times the audience became heated. A man who took the microphone to talk about vaccines and autism during Stewart’s closing comments was arrested.

The Utah Debate Commission plans to host debates this fall for each of the remaining three congressional districts in Utah as well a Senate debate.