As LDS Church backs medical marijuana, opposes Prop 2; LDS mom will still vote yes

The LDS Church is calling for a special session of the Utah Legislature to address concerns about Proposition 2, a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Utah. A Latter-day Saint mother says she will vote yes on the proposition regardless of her church's stance. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — An LDS General Authority called for a community solution for legal medical marijuana to relieve patient suffering, and urged a special session of the Utah Legislature to make it happen before the end of the year; but the move is not enough for a mom who thinks her family could benefit from medical cannabis right now.

“We support medicinal use of marijuana with safeguards,” said Elder Jack Gerard, a General Authority Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Let’s address the fundamental question to alleviate human pain and suffering.”

But just two days after the church announced its backing of marijuana as medicine, Gerard maintained, “Proposition 2 goes too far.”

He said it would lead to destruction of purchasing records, allow for “some free samples” of the drug, let people “hold significant amounts of marijuana in their homes,” and likely increase recreational use.

“We believe we can avoid those adverse consequences, while imposing or putting in place appropriate solutions for legitimate medicinal use of marijuana,” he said.

Gerard said the Church's position is not an effort to head off marijuana legislation, just to make improvements it feels are important.

“No, not at all,” Elder Gerard replied. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Our position is, we can build a better solution than what Proposition 2 offers.”

Still, a mother, who said she is an active member of the LDS Church, perceived otherwise.

“It feels like it's kind of an eleventh hour, last ditch effort to stop Prop 2,” said Julie King, of Saratoga Springs. “We feel Prop 2 is a great way to meet the needs of patients.”

King stressed her family could benefit. She said she was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and has daughters with health concerns, including one who has not responded to pain medication, even after hospital surgery.

“I’ve been called apostate. I’ve been told I’m against the First Presidency. I have been told this is a separation of the wheat and the tares,” she said. “To me, it comes down to compassion.”

And she is not inclined to wait beyond election day for a solution.

I don’t have time for the Legislature to fight out pieces of this anymore.

It’s unknown if medical marijuana will, for certain, help King and her family. She said they have not used marijuana thus far, because the family wants to obey the law.

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