Last month, the Church of Latter-Day Saints officially opposed legalizing medical marijuana in Utah. Now local cannabis advocates are taking a stand against the Mormons.
Hundreds of people from across Utah gathered around Temple Square in Salt Lake City last Saturday to protest the LDS's opposition to Proposition 2 - the ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in the home of the Mormon faith. As protesters gathered around the LDS office building, they chanted lines like, "Separate church from state!" and "Plants over pills!"
The church isn't opposed to medical marijuana per se, but they don't think that the legalization ballot initiative set to be voted on this November does enough to control cannabis use. They feel that Proposition 2 is written too loosely, which will lead to a culture of recreational cannabis use in Utah (because that's a bad thing, apparently).
But that message isn't resonating with advocates. Among the sea of protesters last Saturday, one family in particular stood out. Jennifer Hahn was there with her daughter Savannah - a young girl who suffers from Rett syndrome and grand mal siezures.
"She still suffers from seizures daily, she's in chronic pain," Hahn told the crowd. "It's terrifying…there's not a night where I don't go to bed wondering if I'm going to wake up without my daughter."
Hahn believes medical marijuana could save her daughter's life, and she hopes that message will force the church to reconsider their opposition to the upcoming ballot initiative.
"Prop. 2 was put in place to help people like Savannah. To help me sleep at night knowing my daughter isn’t going to die from a seizure," she said. "Maybe if it was their child that was suffering from it, they would think twice."
Proposition 2 will go to voters on November 6, and with any luck the church will soften their stance and support the needs of patients over their fear of potheads.