LDS Church Opposes Utah’s Medical Marijuana Initiative

The LDS church exerts an undue influence on the Utah populace.

The general authority of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out on August 22 on the subject of the official position of the church on Proposition 2. The LDS is against the medical marijuana initiative. The issue held to the whims of the popular ballot in November. The church, however, supported the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Utah. Faith leaders have no problem if suffering patients use marijuana under strict controls. Jack Gerard, a member of the General Authority of the Seventy, said that the church is extremely concerned about the issue as it believes that the proposal, subject to voter decisions, does not have enough oversight.

Critics pounced on the ambiguity of the LDS church on this issue. DJ Schanz, a marijuana advocate, said that the above conditions would be tough to satisfy as per federal law. He accused the Mormon leaders of engaging in "double-speak." This proposal, whatever it entails, would be much more conservative compared to other laws involving, medical marijuana. Marijuana for medical use is legal in 30 states, including Nevada. This measure by Utah does not permit pot smoking.

People opposing marijuana sales say free availability could result in the massive increase of intake of marijuana for recreational use. A coalition of legalization opponents, who named themselves The Drug Safe Utah coalition, pushed back against such plans. The list of those opposing the ban included physicians, public figures, and doctors. There were known faces in the crowd such as Steve Starks, the Utah Jazz President, who also opposes Proposition 2.

When it came to patients, it was clear that many of them support the step. They had admitted to medical pot changing their lives for the better. A few patients, however, oppose this plan for being “too broad.” It will be extremely interesting to observe how the sequence of events plays out.

The statistics are fascinating. A poll conducted by the Hinckley Institute and The Salt Lake Tribune in April discovered that three-quarters of total Utah voters favored medical marijuana legalization. This finding was exactly the same as the previous two times. Support, however, slid to two-thirds of the Utah voters at the time the poll was repeated by The Salt Lake Tribune in June. This happened due to a statement made by the church in May against the legalization.

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