In Part 1 of this series, LDS Church: Failing on Cannabis, the topic of the opposition of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, to the legalization of medical cannabis in the state of Utah was introduced.
It is strongly suggested that readers check out this introductory article prior to reading the piece below.
Who Deserves Help?
Concerning the topic of medical cannabis, is a four-year-old girl with epilepsy somehow less deserving of relief than a 68-year-old diabetic who the Church would encourage to take her pharmaceutical drugs to maintain her health?
How can Church leaders live with themselves or sleep at night, knowing they have deprived patients so sick that mobility requires a wheelchair? Many of these patients cannot speak or even care for themselves. Given scientific and anecdotal evidence, how can the Church justify its stance?
Are life’s most unfortunate participants, many of whom are members of the LDS Church, getting the cold shoulder from an organization that claims to be a messenger of god’s love, yet vocally opposes their ability to simply grow plants or treat themselves?
I honestly do not care about a person’s religion if they are hurting and in need of relief to live their daily life. The Church, if it truly has compassion for not only its own members, but all of what it labels god’s children—if it is really compassionate and trying to live the preachings of Jesus Christ—will drop its opposition to SB73.
Unfortunately, I fear that this centuries-old organization, despite all its wealth and influence, lacks the courage to make the right decision. The Church has obviously prioritized its fear of political repercussions and shrinking congregations over the welfare of its millions of members and doing what is right.
The Church’s opposition is not only confusing to those who base their critical thinking on logic and science, but also frustrating. How can a religion that claims to love all of god’s children not allow society’s most sick and frail to consume cannabis, including THC, for the treatment of literally hundreds of diseases and ailments?
Any excuse for the Church’s behavior falls short. It’s 2016; let’s stop acting as if it is 1682 and we didn’t walk on the moon 47 years ago. Church leaders all have a supercomputer in their pocket called a smartphone. I recommend they use this gift of science and technology to do some research.
LDS Church: You can do better. And, by any objective metric, you are sinning in the most paramount of ways if you do not. But I didn’t make those rules.
Politics as Usual
The Church’s announcement had the immediate ripple effect of convincing two senators to drop their support of the bill.
Are Church leaders too busy praying for a miracle to a member’s disease that they ignore the hard numbers and factual data? In their belief system, god has provided this plant, this herbal medicine, for people to utilize to their betterment. Yet the Church prefers the mystery of prayer to the hard science of cannabinoids and terpenes?
Church Leaders: There’s a special label for people and organizations that do what you do. I don’t write that type of material, but the label still pertains. When will you stop denying the facts?
One Research Example
Back to the science of cannabis: A 2013 human trial study in Israel revealed that 45% of participants with Crohn’s disease, a potentially fatal form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), experienced a full remission of their disease after only eight weeks (they consumed high-grade cannabis containing 23% THC). All subjects were patients who had tried conventional pharmaceutical drugs, but had experienced no relief from their disease or its symptoms.
This is just one of literally hundreds of examples of research studies that either hint at or prove the efficacy of cannabis. However, “proof” in the world of science means repeatable results. With the U.S. government opposing cannabis research that extends beyond petri dishes and test tubes due to the Schedule I status of cannabis, such research won’t be occurring in the United States anytime soon.
I recently tuned into the LDS Church’s Twitter page. The most recent tweet at the time offered the hashtag #LoveOneAnother and the image below:
This is all fine and good. Nice PR campaign. How is this helping Church members? How can these words—when viewed against the stark shadow of the Church’s opposition to medical cannabis—be perceived as sincere or heartfelt?
I’m not a militant activist. In fact, I don’t consider myself an activist whatsoever. I’m simply a patient advocate who believes in the science behind cannabinoids, terpenes, and the entourage effect. Why won’t powerful, influential organizations like the Church and Congress join me in a science-based approach?
Addressing the Skeptics
Skeptics wonder how cannabis can be so effective against such a wide variety of conditions. It’s simple: It is really good at mimicking the body’s own internally produced medical molecules, chemicals called endocannabinoids.
Because modern life and its pollution, lack of exercise, and highly processed foods often result in very poor diet, humans are typically deficient in these molecules. Recent science has revealed that such a problem, called endocannabinoid deficiency, results in a lack of homeostasis within the human body.
It is theorized by some very intelligent researchers that this lack of homeostasis may be the root of literally hundreds of conditions. This imbalance, because it involves the central nervous system and immune system, can result in diseases as wide ranging as multiple sclerosis, asthma, strokes, and epilepsy.
Because so many conditions involve inflammation, pain, and nausea, cannabis is simply very effective in treating them. It should be noted that cannabis is not always effective at treating the core disease or condition that ails a patient, but it typically is an excellent way of decreasing negative symptoms.
In addition, cannabis can help patients replace opiate drugs and other pharmaceutical treatments that may result in negative side effects such as inflammation and pain.
So what say you, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Are you confident enough in your stance to debate the issue and defend yourself? Are you truly doing god’s work and representing the preaching of Jesus Christ?
All text and photos Copyright © 2003-2016 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.