The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Mulls Over Medical Marijuana

Christine Stenquist, one of the people behind a new ballot initiative interested in expanding patient access to medical marijuana in Utah, is looking for support wherever she can. Recently she's been speaking to representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about the issue.

“They’re playing very close to the chest on this,” Stenquist said to KUER. “They’ve taken the information but they have not given us a response as to which direction they’re falling on it.”

While a recent poll suggests that two-thirds of Mormons support medicinal marijuana legislation, the church has not formed an official position on the matter yet. If the church does come out against the initiative, it has the potential to turn Mormons away from cannabis reform.

In 2016, the church did support the narrow legalization proposal and has previously called for further research on the use of medical marijuana. Stenquist says she's spoken to church members who would prefer cannabis to opioids for pain management.

“I think their concern was that it was a recreational movement,” Stenquist said. “The language in the ballot initiative doesn’t indicate or give anybody reason to believe that.”

A petition bearing 113,000 signatures is needed by April 15 in order for the initiative to appear on the November ballot. Over 150,000 signatures have already been submitted to the governor general's office.


Proponents of the War on Drugs often claim that it's about keeping communities safe. But US drug laws are based less on public health and more on social control, according to Diane Goldstein—Chair of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). "I think what's critically important is that most Americans recognize that, inherently, our drug laws have never been about public health," Goldstein told Civilized.