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Utah senator films himself trying marijuana for the first time ahead of legalization vote


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (KUTV) — A Utah Senator said legislators should at least try marijuana before it's up for vote and debate in Utah in just a few weeks. So, he went to Nevada, where the drug is legal, to give it a shot for the first time.

Senator Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake), who's known for his public political stunts, drove to Las Vegas and tried cannabis. He now wants Utahns and fellow legislators to know it's “not a big deal.”

“Here it goes, I am going to try it,” Dabakis said in a Facebook live video in front of a dispensary. Dabakis said it was his first time trying marijuana. He selected an edible gummy bear for the test.

“I wouldn’t recommend it as sheer candy; it’s kind of bitter,” he said in the video.

We spoke with the Senator Monday to ask why, after decades, he decided to embark on this journey.

“It dawned on me Wednesday on the floor of the Senate that the Legislature is going to have the final say on this medical marijuana," Dabakis said.

He said, looking around at the other legislators, something bothered him.

“I thought, 'Maybe nobody on this floor has ever tried marijuana,'” Dabakis said.

So, before helping make this decision in a couple weeks on Proposition 2 here in Utah, and the special legislative session to follow, he wanted to try it.

"You know what, Utah? This is nothing to get worked up about,” Dabakis says in his Facebook Live video.

Now, he thinks all legislators should try it before making up their minds about it.

“I think if the legislature would actually try it they would find it and realize this is no big deal, and at least let those who are suffering have the help that they need,” he said.

Dabakis said he supports Prop 2 and believes if it doesn't pass his fellow legislators will kill medical marijuana in the state altogether.

“If the people vote 'no' now, they are going to go ‘Well, the people voted 'no' so we’re not going to pass this,'" Dabakis said.

Many lawmakers have said they are not in support of Prop 2, but many have said they would support the medical cannabis compromise that is set to be discussed in a special legislative session.

But first, it will be up to voters November 6.

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