Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, publicly denounced Utah’s current pending medical cannabis law.
The Church issued a statement in early February expressing its opposition to the legislation. If passed by the legislature, SB73 would result in the nation’s 24th state to offer medical cannabis to some of its sickest patients. In 2000, Hawaii was the first to pass a medical pot law via a state legislature.
Note that SB73 is not a ballot initiative up for a popular vote, like most states considering medical or adult use legalization in 2016 (including California and Massachusetts).
Could someone in the Church please tell me why, exactly, it opposes this legislation that is clearly intended to help patients gain safe access to laboratory-tested, high-quality cannabis medicine so they can avoid the dangers of the black market?
More Than Lip Service?
How could an organization that claims to be committed to the well being of its members and all of society in the year 2016 possibly consider it a good thing not only to withhold support of a medical cannabis law, but to go out of its way to blatantly oppose it?
“Along with others, we have expressed concern about the unintended consequences that may accompany the legalization of medical marijuana,” — Eric Hawkins, LDS Church spokesperson
Hawkins added, “We have expressed opposition to Senator Madsen’s bill because of that concern.”
This ambiguous statement, couched in no logic and based around fuzzy “unintended consequences,” leans on decades of fear mongering and feigned ignorance regarding the efficacy of this plant for sick patients who consume it as either smoke, vapor, edibles, topicals, or a tincture.
If past surgeon generals, Sir Richard Branson, and physicians like Dr. Sanjay Gupta can figure it out, why can’t the Church? Does it not have the resources of a 14-year-old with an internet connection to research the medical properties of this natural herb?
Maybe the Church should ask its parents for the keys to the car so it can drive to the library and indulge in some good old fashioned homework….
I may not be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I care about the sick and ailing who count themselves among its 15 million members and 85,000 missionaries.
The LDS Church is the fourth largest Christian denomination in the United States. As a patient advocate, I’m concerned with the welfare of all patients.
That’s Not It
My patient advocacy isn’t derived from a belief that a god will punish me if I don’t exercise compassion, however. It is because it is the right thing to do and because it is a moral imperative.
I’m really not trying to be controversial or offend readers, but the Church is obviously working for the guy with the pointed tail downstairs if it purposefully deprives sick people, of any severity, a natural wellness medicine—regardless of whether it was designed by intelligence, a seven-day miracle, or 60 million years of evolution.
I want to see military veterans with PTSD and chronic depression get the relief they deserve, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Wiccan, secular humanist, or otherwise. Isn’t that what the United States is supposedly all about?
Why has the Church lost its moral compass and compassion for the downtrodden? Why is it putting politics before patients and ignoring the scripture upon which it bases its entire dogma and justifies its existence?
As political candidates like Donald Trump spew primitive bigotry and encourage ignorance in the name of core American values, why does the Church embrace the decades-old prohibitionist stance of ignorance and deception that hurts its most fragile members?
Check out Part 2.
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All text and photos Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.
Gooey Rabinski is a senior technical writer and instructional designer who has contributed feature articles to magazines such as High Times, SKUNK, Heads, Weed World, Cannabis Health Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself. He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle, and a contributing writer at Whaxy.com.