Mormon brothers among Utah residents pushing for medical pot

In this file photo, financial adviser Rilie Ray Morgan holds a sign promoting an initiated measure that would legalize the use of medical marijuana. Morgan, who suffers from chronic pain, says he has never used marijuana as a pain reliever but would like the option of doing so. The group sponsoring the measure began a series of last-minute TV and online ads ahead of the Nov. 8 election, south Fargo, North Dakota, Oct. 21, 2016 | AP photo by Dave Kolpack, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Twin brothers, both devout Mormons, are among a growing legion of Utah residents embracing medical marijuana as a way to treat a host of ailments.

Nathan Frodsham has advanced degenerative disc disease, leaving him with burning pain as nerves in his neck are pinched by bones. The pain made long days working in his job as a data scientist difficult, and he began looking for ways to manage it. While living in Seattle, where medical marijuana is legal, Frodsham received a prescription for cannabis from his doctor.

He sought guidance from his local church leaders. He said the response was, “That’s something you can take up with you and your own personal relationship with God.”

Once he started using the drug, he felt back to his normal self and cut back on painkillers.

“Cannabis helps significantly. Probably better than anything I’ve used before,” he told KSL-TV.

But he was transferred to Utah, where’s it’s not legal for him to keep using the drug, and he says his health is suffering because of it.

Utah’s law only allows those with severe epilepsy to use cannabis extract oil that doesn’t contain psychoactive properties.

His brother Aaron Frodsham is a doctor who works with cancer patients and joined his brother in pushing for officials to legalize medical marijuana in Utah. One of their first converts was their devout father, John Frodsham, who said he too wants officials to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“I only knew it in the negative side and always believed it was a drug that was very dangerous, and that it was addicting,” he said of his changed stance on the issue.

While their devout family is pushing for change, their church is not on board. As state lawmakers contemplated a proposal earlier this year that would broadly expand the use of medical marijuana in Utah, the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opposed the measure, saying it was worried the law could have unintended consequences.

The church’s opposition was credited for helping kill the proposal at the Legislature, where most lawmakers are members of the LDS faith.

More recently, Mormon leaders took a more active stance against expanding marijuana access. The church issued letters to members in October, urging them to vote against ballot measures that would legalize marijuana in Arizona, California and Nevada.

The LDS church said it feels marijuana in homes is a risk for children and that it can cause brain development problems for youth.

Despite that campaign from the church, the Frodshams say they’re meeting with church leaders and lawmakers to try to make their case for medical marijuana.

“By far the benefits outweigh the risks,” John Frodsham said. “Without it there are just so many people who can’t get relief.”

Written by The Associated Press

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13 Comments

  • Real Life November 7, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Don’t get too excited Dumpster. Smoking and snorting your pills will still be a no no.

    • .... November 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      I agree with your comment 100 % Reallowlife smoking and snorting your pills will still be a no no ! …you said it !

  • .... November 7, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I see RealLowlife and Dumbob are at it again

  • Brian November 7, 2016 at 11:53 am

    “By far the benefits outweigh the risks”: I completely believe and agree with this statement for people in their situation that have very little quality of life without it and few other options.

    However, in places where medical marijuana is legal that may only account for 10% of actual users. In Vegas medical cards are handed out like candy and there is a massive and rapidly growing industry for growing marijuana for “medical purposes”. Any reason is a good reason for the doctors, who are more than happy to get paid to prescribe it.

    IF we lived in a society without all of the “social programs” that are causing huge debt and heavy taxation, and where both major candidates want single payer healthcare I’d be all for it. I’m largely libertarian.

    BUT, that isn’t the case. You can’t live in your parents basement smoking weed, playing video games, and being all manor of unproductive AND lay claim to my tax dollars for single payer universal healthcare, basic income, and all the other insane entitlements.

    There are two paradigms: small government with liberty and personal responsibility where we live as adults, with the right to succeed or fail OR big government that treats us like children, regulates every aspect of our lives, and controls everything including money.

    The problem now is we live in this very temporary (because it can’t last) middle ground where they are promising all the ease of the big government paradigm while pretending to still have liberty. It doesn’t work that way.

    Since one paradigm comes from God (hint: it’s the one with liberty and personal responsibility) and the other comes from Satan (hint: its the one that involves false promises lots of control), I’ll support the first and oppose the second.

    • Bob November 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Sorry but when u start blending ur mormonism into ur libertarian nuttery u sound like an idiot and a kook. it’s quite telling

      • .... November 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Well then he sounds just like you Bob !

      • izzymuse November 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Bob, and you simply sound like a close-minded bigot! Your antimormon mentality is keeping you from seeing good policies. Try living in the shoes of those who suffer rare medical cases, and benefit greatly from medical marijuana! Do some research, have a little human empathy, and put your personal biased aside for the good of humanity.

    • Bob November 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      and i expect out of principle u will opt out of medicare, va benefits, social security, and any and all other forms of socialistic programs? you don’t want to be a burden on other people’s tax dollars, right?

      • .... November 9, 2016 at 9:16 am

        Well if you don’t like it Dumbob write a letter to the reelected Governor Herbert I’m sure he cares what you think

  • JOSH DALTON November 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Looks like we found a couple of Mormons who have their head on straight.

    • izzymuse November 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      I agree! I hope the LDS Church will see the wisdom here.

  • .... November 7, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Well 2 things 4 sure RealLowlife and Dumbob are not Mormon and neither one has their head on straight so it’s obvious you are not talking about them

  • aviatormh November 8, 2016 at 4:12 am

    I might be wrong but it seems like I read somewhere that they have a variety of marijuana that doesn’t contain THC. And that the THC is not the part of the plant that is beneficial. So it seems like a no brainer to legalize the one and not the other. If I’m wrong I know I can count on someone pointing it out very enthusiastically.

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