Mormon church comes out against proposed Utah medical marijuana bill

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church has come out against a Utah bill that would allow the medical use of edible pot products, a position that could be a serious blow to one of two medical marijuana proposals before state lawmakers.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said leaders are worried about the unintended consequences of the measure proposed by Republican Sen. Mark Madsen of Eagle Mountain. A majority of Utah lawmakers are members of the Salt Lake City-based faith, and the church’s position on an issue can be decisive.

The church doesn’t object to another, more restrictive medical marijuana bill that would allow access to a marijuana-infused oil, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.

Madsen told The Salt Lake Tribune that church lobbyists told him and legislative leaders about their opposition, but declined to explain their reasoning.

“Maybe they don’t want to be known as the special interest who put their thumb on the scale and decided this for everyone in the state,” Madsen told the newspaper. “If they’re going to put their thumb on the scale politically and force everyone to a standard, then I think they owe something of an explanation to the people.”

Both medical marijuana bills have gotten committee approval and are expected to be debated before the full Utah Senate within the next week.

Madsen’s proposal would allow tens of thousands of residents with chronic or debilitating conditions access to edible products, but ban smoking pot. Madsen argues Utah should join more than 20 other states that have passed medical marijuana programs. But some Republicans have already said they worry the plan is too broad. The measure died by one vote as last year.

The other marijuana proposal would allow a few thousand people diagnosed with cancer, HIV and other conditions to use a marijuana-infused oil. The cannabidiol oil is made from a strain of the cannabis plant that’s low in THC, the hallucinogenic chemical in marijuana, and high in CBD, a chemical that some believe helps fight seizures. A restricted law passed two years ago allowed those with severe epilepsy to have the extract oil if they get it in other states like Colorado.

The plan sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers of Cedar City and Rep. Brad Daw of Orem, both Republicans, would set up strict controls on licensing and tracking of those approved to produce and dispense the oil. Doctors recommending the treatment would be registered with the state and undergo training, and their patients would be issued a medical cannabidiol card.

The Utah Medical Association supports that proposal, but some people suffering from chronic pain criticize it. They argue their health conditions don’t qualify or that they need treatment from products that include higher levels of THC.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • JOSH DALTON February 9, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Well The LDS does not have a leg to stand on being that church and state are separate. I t would un-constitutional to consider what ever the LDS has to say to hold water. Maybe the LDS church should focus on the over use of pain meds by the members of the LDS religion. Opioids are much worse…and can cause long term adverse affects on peoples bodies. GO FALCONS!

  • Proud Rebel February 9, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Just shaking my head. . .

  • .... February 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    LOL ! And here comes the bigotry and the hatred and ignorance and stupidity and narrow mindedness of the LDS cult and their bought and paid for and owned Utah Mormon politicians that do whatever the LDS cult tells them to do !

  • .... February 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I can’t wait for the cult members to comment and claim the LDS cult does not get involved in state politics

  • 42214 February 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I was floored when I read this. The Mormon church opposes medical marijuana, how shocking.

    • .... February 10, 2016 at 8:38 am

      422 oh yeah I was absolutely amazed when I heard this. I was totally stunned beyond belief ! Wow I never expected the LDS cult to take a position in state politics. This is absolutely unheard of. !

  • Rainbow Dash February 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I would like to know why The Mormon “Church” is coming out for or against any law? Isn’t this America? What about separation of church and state? I guess the law only applies in Utah if the Mormons are happy with it. I love how they get their magic underwear in a bunch when adult men and women smoke or drink anything other then water or Kool-Aid but do nothing about the pedophiles in Hildale.

  • ladybugavenger February 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    They would rather have people addicted to and dying from overdoses of prescription pain killers?

  • ladybugavenger February 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Once the Mormon church gets a business plan together they may see how they can profit from marijuana and line their pockets.its a win win…

    • .... February 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

      I wonder what position the cult takes on molesting children and abusing women ? oh never mind that’s God’s will !

      • ladybugavenger February 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm

        Blind eye position. It’s disgusting!

  • theone February 10, 2016 at 9:12 am

    The LDS church has no business supporting or not supporting any legislation. They should never speak publicly in the political arena. I am sick and tired of this cult injecting it’s so called moral compass on our right to be free of church doctrine. Separation of Church and State.

  • mesaman February 10, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Reads like the roster of those who want legalization of marijuana so they can openly use it.

    • 42214 February 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      I thought the article and discussion was about medical marijuana Mesaman. You’re losing your cognitive powers. Early onset of Alzheimer’s I suspect. Maybe medical marijuana would be beneficial for you.

      • .... February 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

        When you get mesamans age its obvious the mind doesn’t work as well

    • .... February 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Sounds like another one of your useless comments that no one has any value in !

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