salt lake tribune

Utah: Mormon Church Opposes Medical Marijuana Edibles Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Mormon church is opposing a bill before the Utah Legislature which would legalize the medicinal use of edible cannabis products.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leaders claimed they were worried about "unintended consequences" of the bill introduced by Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Eagle Mountain), reports the Associated Press. A majority of state lawmakers in Utah are Mormons, so the church position on an issue usually is codified into law.

The church isn't objecting to another medical marijuana bill, a much more restrictive CBD-only measure that would only allow access to cannabis infused oil, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

Madsen told The Salt Lake Tribune that church representatives told him and other lawmakers about their opposition, but wouldn't explain their reasoning. "Maybe they don't want to be known as the spcial interest who put their thumb on the scale and decided this for everyone in the state," he said.

"If they're going to put their thumb on the scale politically and force everyone to a standard, then I think they owe something of an explanation to the people," Sen. Madsen said. Madsen's right; at the very least, these hypocrites seem to be falling a little short of their ideals.

Both medical marijuana bills in the Utah Legislature have been approved in committee and are expected to be debated before the full Senate within a week.

Utah: Governor Open To Legalizing Medical Marijuana

UtahGovernorGaryHerbert[TrentNelson-SaltLakeTribune]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Utah Governor Gary Herbert on Thursday said he would be open to legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, providing science shows it can benefit patients and "tight regulations" can control distribution.

"I'm open to the idea of medical marijuana and the discussion of how it can be used as a medicine based on science, and making sure we have good, collaborative efforts so we can answer the questions that are out there," Gov. Herbert said, reports Robert Gehrke at The Salt Lake Tribune.

The governor's position has noticeably softened since the recent legislative session, when he expressed "concerns" about a bill sponsored by state Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs) which would have created a state-licensed system of medicinal cannabis growing facilities and dispensaries for patients with a doctor's authorization.

At that time, Gov. Herbert had claimed Madsen's bill could lead to a "slippery slope" towards legal recreational use. Madsen's bill failed in the Senate by a single vote; he's said he will reintroduce it next year.

The governor's comments represent progress, according to Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Even during the legislative session, it became clear that the governor was backtracking his initial opposition to medical cannabis, so we expected this to happen and are encouraged to see him becoming more open-minded to it, just as many legislators are," Boyack said.

Utah: Sick Mormon Mother Pleads For Legalized Medical Marijuana In Video

TreatingCancerDuringPregnancyNaturally[YouTube]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Mormon mother's YouTube video pleading for legalization of medical marijuana in Utah went viral on the Internet on Wednesday.

In the video, Tenille Farr of Spanish Fork tells how she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last summer while she was pregnant with her fifth son, Gabe, reports Kristen Moulton at The Salt Lake Tribune.

The video, posted by the Illegally Healed website and on its Facebook page, got hundreds of shares within hours on Wednesday.

Illegally Healed is for personal stories of people who have used medicinal cannabis, according to Angela Bacca, media and public relations director for the Drug Policy Project of Utah. That group is working with Illegally Healed to post stories about Utah residents who want to be able to use medical cannabis; Farr's was the first such video.

Farr was also one of the Utah residents who shared their stories with lawmakers debating SB 259, a medical marijuana bill, during the recent session. The bill, proposed by state Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), would have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, but the Utah Senate rejected it 14-15.

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