Church leaders urge Utah lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana this year

Sep 17, 2018, 6:21 PM
FILE PHOTO (Steven Senne, Associated Press)...
FILE PHOTO (Steven Senne, Associated Press)
(Steven Senne, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Citing “grave concerns” about the a medical marijuana November ballot initiative, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging the Governor to call a special legislative session to address the issue.

Gov. Herbert’s office says the Governor will only call a special session if there is a near-consensus, but is not considering one now since there is not an alternate bill on the table to look at.

The coalition opposing Proposition 2 — which includes the Church –is currently working to craft legislation legalizing medical marijuana.

“We think we can have those principles in the next couple of weeks that then legislators  and the Governor can look at, they can tweak as they need to,” says Director of Community and Government Relations Marty Stephens for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The group fronting Prop. 2, the Utah Patient’s Coalition, is not deterred by statements and moves made by the Church and opposing coalition.

“This idea of a special [session] isn’t anything new,” says Utah Patient’s Coalition Director D.J. Schanz. “It’s something that we’ve always had a concern about. We’re going to remain vigilant.”

The Church is reaffirming its support of medical marijuana by helping author legislation without what it sees as negative consequences associated with Prop 2.

Stephens says, “if it is done appropriately, and we believe that there’s a way that Utah can do that.”

The Utah Patient’s Coalition, citing the time and money spent getting Prop 2. onto the November ballot, believes it should be up to the people of Utah.

“Thousands of people have worked long hours, people have donated all kinds of money to make this happen” says Schanz. “It’s on the people’s plate right now to make the decision.”

Responding to criticism that the Church is now too heavily involved in the issue, Stephens says critics are missing an important church obligation.

“One of the responsibilities churches have is to be a watchman on the tower and to help communities look out for adverse consequences,” says Stephens.

Today’s Top Stories


winds may be to blame paraglider9-year-old boy taser swat dog dynamite evacuation shoplifter injury...
Mark Jones

Kearns woman killed in a two-vehicle accident in Idaho

A two-vehicle accident Saturday afternoon in Idaho killed a woman from Kearns.
21 hours ago
The Salt Lake City Fire Department responded to an apartment fire at 761 South 300 East. The fire w...
Mark Jones

Residents of four Salt Lake City apartments displaced by fire

An apartment fire Sunday in Salt Lake City displaced 10-12 individuals. While the fire was contained to one apartment, three other apartments suffered damaged in efforts to put the fire out.
21 hours ago
Photo credit: Iron County Search and Rescue team Facebook page....
Mark Jones

Iron County Search and Rescue safely rescue injured mountain biker

An injured mountain biker was rescued Saturday morning by the Iron County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team off of Bolder Dash Trail, which is part of the Southview Trailhead.
21 hours ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Waverly Golden

Planned Parenthood of Utah files lawsuit against the state

Utah's Trigger Law saw its first challenge on Saturday as Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit to block the law that went into effect Friday evening.
21 hours ago
Image of the fatal crash in San Juan County (Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety)...
Chandler Holt

San Juan county crash leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of a crash on SR-162 near Montezuma Creek at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. One of the vehicles crossed the center line of the highway, causing the head-on collision.
21 hours ago
On Friday, fire officials managing the Left Fork Fire announced residents of Bryce Woodlands Estate...
Mark Jones

Bryce Woodlands Estate residents allowed to return home in Kane County

Kane County emergency personnel, overseeing the Left Fork Fire, announced Friday residents of Bryce Woodlands Estate will be allowed to return home Saturday.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Church leaders urge Utah lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana this year