This year, legislators in Utah are proposing a ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana. And polls show that support for medical marijuana is growing. In response to the upcoming vote, Mormon leaders make a statement about medical marijuana in Utah. Here’s what they said, and how Utahans are responding.
Mormon Leaders Address Medical Marijuana
The statement released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) did not support medical marijuana. It reads:
“We commend the Utah Medical Association for its statement of March 30, 2018, cautioning that the proposed Utah marijuana initiative would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities. We respect the wise counsel of the medical doctors of Utah.
The public interest is best served when all new drugs designed to relieve suffering and illness, and the procedures by which they are made available to the public, undergo the scrutiny of medical scientists and official approval bodies.”
The Response to the LDS Church’s Statement
While this statement clearly does not support medical marijuana, it isn’t the full-fledged opposition that some were expecting. In order to confirm, FOX 13 reached out to mormon leadership. They had no further comment on how strongly they oppose the bill.
Mormon Leaders Defer to the Utah Medical Association
Mormon leaders make a statement about medical marijuana in Utah following the Utah Medical Association’s judgment. The statement issued in March condemns those who support medical marijuana for misrepresenting doctors, and cannabis itself.
The report reads: “The Utah Medical Association is concerned that backers of the Utah Marijuana Initiative are misrepresenting and misappropriating the position of the medical profession in Utah to garner support for their initiative.”
Furthermore, it says that the force behind legalizing medical marijuana is not about giving medical aid because marijuana is not a medicine, and is not FDA approved. The report accuses medical marijuana supporters of “opening another market for their products and paving the way for recreational marijuana in Utah.”
In explicit terms, the UMA strongly disagrees medical marijuana legalization. It also supports Utah Governor Gary Herbert‘s decision to “actively oppose” this legislation.
Medical Marijuana Supporters Criticize UMA and the Church
Advocacy group Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education counters this new wave of anti-marijuana publicity. It argues that the UMA does not represent all doctors in Utah.
Dr. Andrew Talbott spoke on behalf of the organization: “The Church is apparently willing to put all of their eggs in the basket of the Utah Medical Association regarding this critical initiative that would allow Utah patients compassionate access to cannabis.”
TRUCE is largely responsible for the state’s medical marijuana campaign. To bring this initiative to a vote, they gained 160,000 votes in all 26 of Utah’s Senate districts.
Final Hit: Mormon Leaders Make A Statement About Medical Marijuana in Utah
Statements issued by the Utah Medical Association could impact medical marijuana’s legality. Previously, Utah seemed poised to pass medical marijuana as the governor hinted about its eventuality. And the Utah House of Representatives also passed a bill allowing medical marijuana growth.
Hopefully, this wave of public marijuana opposition won’t quell the medical marijuana support. A poll conducted by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics found that 76 percent of Utahans support medical marijuana.
This is a steep increase from a poll last year that found 54 percent in favor.