Last month, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka the Mormon Church came out in opposition to legalizing medical cannabis in the state of Utah. Governor Gary Herbert and the Utah Medical Association (UMA) have also come out against legalizing cannabis for medical use.
It’s important to note that the church does not state that they are anti cannabis, or that they specifically aren’t in favor of legalizing cannabis. They simply iterate that they agree with the UMA’s position against legalization.
The Church is Adopting the Same “Wait and See” Stance
A statement on the church’s website reads as such. “We respect the wise counsel of the medical doctors of Utah.” The gist is that the Mormon church believes cannabis “would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities.” The statement then goes on to read, “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.”
Basically what the Mormon church is getting at is that they believe that cannabis should be studied further. Cannabis has already been studied pretty in depth, and there is a growing body of evidence showing the various medical uses for it.
The Opinion of the UMA is not Unanimous
Not all members of the UMA agree with the organization’s assessment. Dan Cottam, a Salt Lake City based surgeon and member of the UMA says that this is not the position of many of the other members of the UMA. “As a member of the Utah Medical Association and its legislative policy committee, I was never consulted about my position on the medical use of cannabis,” he said. “Like many of my physician colleagues, I look forward to having the option of getting my suffering patients legal access to this remedy. There is a vast body of scientific literature which supports its use.”
The Mormon church and the UMA remain skeptical of legalizing cannabis for medicinal use. They cite the fear that legalizing medical cannabis would lead to recreational cannabis. What a frightening thought, am I right? The Mormon church unfortunately has a lot of sway in Utah, so typically whatever they say, goes.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Image Source: ldschurchtemples.org
Why do you think the Mormon church opposes cannabis? Is it because they are concerned for Utahns’ health, or is it for another reason? Share in the comments!