Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he would support the legalization of medical marijuana after experiencing months of intensive cancer treatment.
“Until you’ve experienced chemo, you can’t describe exactly how it feels,” he said Thursday on KSL Newsradio’s Doug Wright Show. “It’s kind of like having the flu because you ache all over. But it’s worse than that… Everything feels awful.”
The Salt Lake Tribute reported that Shurtleff was declared cancer-free last week, after battling Stage 3 colon cancer since December 2010 and undergoing three types of chemotherapy.
Shurtleff said never used marijuana himself, but had talked to other patients who had traveled out-of-state to receive marijuana treatment.
“They give you pills to help you with the nausea, but if you can’t keep those down, then what do you do?” he said. “You just suffer. That’s one of the reasons I understand why people who are going through chemo are prescribed medicinal marijuana in states where it is legal.”
Shurtleff said it would be possible to control and regulate marijuana just like any other prescription medication, comparing it to the highly-addictive “liquid opium” he had been prescribed. Although he supported the use of marijuana for medical purposes, he criticized other states, like Colorado, for having laws that were too lax.
“We can use these medicines,” he added. “We can use them appropriately. So I am open to discussions about it, if it can be controlled.”