Lawsuit to block medical marijuana initiative removes LDS references

Marijuana plants for sale at a dispensary in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 1, 2018 | Associated Press file photo by Mathew Sumner, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — References to medical marijuana being offensive to members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were recently dropped from a lawsuit seeking to block Proposition 2 from being on the November ballot.

Walter Plumb III, an attorney and staunch opponent of the medical marijuana ballot initiative, removed the language related to the LDS church soon after the church stated its own opposition to Proposition 2 during a press conference last week.

Read more: LDS church, others OK with medical marijuana but not how Proposition 2 would do it

Church representatives said the church wasn’t against medical marijuana as long as it was prescribed by a physician and issued through a pharmacy. Rather, the church’s opposition is toward Proposition 2, which the church and others claim is bad legislation.

The lawsuit’s original language argued Proposition 2 would be a threat to the religious freedom of Mormons and other faith groups.

Proposition 2, the lawsuit claimed, would take away the right of church members “not to consort with, or be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds morally repugnant, and to refuse to lease their property to people engaging in activities they oppose.”

With the references to LDS church member beliefs removed, the lawsuit now primarily argues that Proposition 2 in unconstitutional based on the adverse impacts it would have on property rights.

Read more: Lawsuit seeking to block medical marijuana initiative argues it violates religious, other freedoms

Proposition 2, also called the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, states that no property owner can refuse to lease or otherwise penalize an individual solely based on their being a medical cannabis card holder. The lawsuit argues that is a violation of the property owner’s rights.

The lawsuit also argues Proposition 2 violates free speech by blocking property owners from banning cannabis possession and use on their property.

It also argues that Proposition 2 would make medical cannabis users a protected class while taking rights away from property owners.

The amended lawsuit also drops Drug Safe Utah as a plaintiff and replaces it with the group “Truth about Proposition 2.”

“We’re pleased to see Walter Plumb and Prop 2 opponents dropped the claim that medical cannabis users are ‘repugnant,’” The Utah Patients Coalition, the group behind Proposition 2, posted on Twitter Saturday.

“Now we await a public apology for ever having claimed it. Without that, we assume it’s still a deeply held belief of theirs, sadly.”

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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12 Comments

  • Henry August 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    It seems to me that the opponents to Prop 2 don’t understand that cannabis can be consumed in many different methods – not just smoked. It also surprises me that people find it “morally repugnant” to consume cannabis, yet no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. Not one person – in fact, a DEA judge ruled that a person would have to smoke 1,500 pounds of cannabis within 15 minutes in order to induce a lethal overdose (1988), yet the predominant religion continues to attempt to legislate the behaviors of all Utahns while ignoring that Utah continues to be ranked in the top 10 states for prescription drug abuse. Perhaps the opponents of Prop 2 should spend their time and money providing education and support for the people who are addicted to drugs rather than to attempt to limit the availability of cannabis, which is used for PTSD and seizure disorders.

    • mesaman August 27, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Henry, don’t resort to anecdotal stories to bolster your position, it is strong enough without such hyperbole. ‘Nuf said.

    • Purple August 27, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      I am a “jack Mormon” say what you want about my religion, but what about your own?? I own up to my crap, to family and friends, can you?

      • Purple August 27, 2018 at 11:23 pm

        Sorry. Nothing to you per say just any Judgemental idgits!!

  • Carpe Diem August 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    This reefer madness lawsuit is going to ensure the bill is passed in November. Bring it on!

  • Larry August 27, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    What bothers this Momon, is the blatant misrepresentation that The Church continues to engage in using The Mexican slang term “Marijuana” when referring to the “Utah Medical Cannabis Act”. The LDS Church has asked that we or rather influential/respected outlets use the correct and legal (Full) Name when referring to the LDS/Mormon Church, as a show of respect and to avoid misrepresentation and or confusion. Yet The Church in most all of the written and spoken “opposition” to Proposition 2; “Utah Medical Cannabis Act” continually use the Slang Term, Marijuana. Sorry, I find this very ironic seeing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is literally using words to help slant this issue in their favor. I will Proudly be Voting Yes on Proposition 2; “Utah Medical Cannabis Act”.

  • robkauai August 27, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Attitudes in Utah are changing slowly but they are changing. In Hawaii we passed a medical marijuana law in 2000 (first to be done so by legislative process not voter proposition) and then in took 16 years to pass a new law to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to open to serve the 10,000+ patients in Hawaii. Why did it take so long? According to Ivy Lou Hibbitt of Certicann.com, a medical marijuana certification service, state lawmakers (majority democrats) were afraid of putting themselves out there and taking heat from conservatives. But times changed and new politicians took up the mantle of medical marijuana and now we have 6 operating medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the islands. If Hawaii can do this so can Utah. Embrace and educate the conservatives and they will come around to the fact that cannabis is a medicine.

    • McMurphy August 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Utah could change but it won’t. My guess is that if Prop 2 passes the Utah Legislature will basically gut it.

  • Nobody August 28, 2018 at 5:00 am

    My hat is off to you Larry, we need more LDS people like you. People with a grasp on reality. Nicely said. The church is now back-pedaling. They know, people are not happy, even their own members. So now, they are trying to “take the edge off” so to speak, while still pushing their agenda forward. It’ almost funny in a way, how blatantly obvious it is, that they are clearly struggling with pushing mentioned agenda.

  • Carpe Diem August 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Here is one for ya… The COJCOLDS wants this to go through a Dr’s script and dispensed by a pharmacy… Were has the Church been to encourage this? Perhaps they should as Cannabis is a wonder drug for many and a life saver to others, esp those suffering seizures. Where’s the compassion?

    • mesaman August 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm

      I’m rather dense when it comes to hippy language, carp, what is a COJCOLDS? Your version of cuckolds or some new set of initials you want us to peruse?

  • Striker4 August 30, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Do squirrels really smoke pinecones ?

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