Mormon Church Says It Will Not Expel Members Who Use Medical Marijuana, Only Recreational

As the battle for medical marijuana in Utah heats up, the role of the Mormon Church has been much discussed. And while the Church opposes the state's upcoming medical marijuana initiative, they seem to be opening the door to accepting it.

Yesterday leaders from the Mormon Church held a press conference to discuss their opposition to Utah's upcoming medical marijuana ballot initiative. While they continued to state its opposition to the initiative, they did say that doctors who prescribe medical marijuana and Mormons who support the initiative are not at risk for losing their good standing with the church.

However, the Church did say that the recreational use of marijuana is prohibited by their Word of Wisdom's health code, which also forbids the use of tobacco and hallucinogens. Mormons who violate the church's Word of Wisdom are prohibited from entering any religious grounds. It isn't clear if the Church means that non-medical marijuana use is forbidden only, or if they consider any use of cannabis to be "recreational."

The Mormon Church's position on medical marijuana is particularly important in Utah, where more than half of the state's population identifies with the religion. While they are opposed to the initiative, the fact that they're also essentially giving their members the ok to support medical marijuana perhaps will ease the minds of many Mormon voters who support the initiative but are worried about facing repercussions with the Church.

At the very least, this is the most people have talked about the Mormon Church since the musical by the South Park creators came out.

(h/t Salt Lake Tribune)


The relationship between marijuana use and schizophrenia has been in the news lately after Malcolm Gladwell wrote in The New Yorker that cannabis can lead to the mental illness. But that's not really what science is saying about the issue. The New York Times published a lengthy article examining the idea of marijuana use and schizophrenia.

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