The state of Utah is set to vote on a ballot initiative this November that legalizes medical marijuana. But one of Utah's most powerful institutions is coming out against the measure.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement yesterday praising the Utah Medical Association (UMA) for speaking out against the medical marijuana initiative. “We respect the wise counsel of the medical doctors of Utah,” the Mormon church said. They added that they believe medical marijuana “would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities.”
“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,” the Church said.
While the Mormon church praised the UMA for opposing the marijuana initiative, the religious organization didn't outright oppose it themselves. Perhaps that's because they know the initiative has broad support in the state, with polls showing around 75 percent of Utahans supporting medical marijuana.
But if the Mormon church decides to come out fully against the initiative, that could be bad news. Over 60 percent of Utah's residents identify as Mormon, and the organization undoubtedly has strong influence on their views. But would it be enough to swing enough votes to defeat the initiative?
(h/t Salt Lake Tribune)