Right now, in Utah, medical marijuana is a subject that has not just the people in general, but an entire faith separated in what they believe. The question of whether cannabis is acceptable as a medical treatment has broken down into what state the patient lives in, and what that person’s religious leaders infer from their scriptures.
The Senate Bill 73 has passed the first hurdle, and now awaits its day on the Senate floor. If passed, Utah will have whole plant medical access. The Church has decided to step in and give its favor to another Bill, one for CBD only access, which is already in place. With the separation of Church and State, but 80% of elected officials as members of this religion, proponents are worried that the Church will have the final legal say.
Where does religion come in?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly referred to as Mormons, has a strong foothold in the state of Utah. It is the center of its religious world. Most, if not all successful businessmen in the state, as well as a disproportionately large percentage of the public and government offices, are held by members of the faith. To say that the religion holds no sway over the politics of the land would be absurd.
One needs only to look at the laws on the books concerning the “Zion Curtain” that prohibits alcoholic drinks from being prepared in view of the public, and the low-point beer for sale to realize they have a powerful say in politics. Uniquely, the potentially life-saving bill fighting its way through the Senate was submitted by Senator Mark Madsen, who is also a member of the Church. Madsen, however, is fighting for the rights of patients to be able to choose this medication, without the State, or the Church, interfering.
Why would the church oppose?
The Church has a teaching called the “Word of Wisdom”, in which they believe Angels of God spoke to their Prophet and gave laws to live by. It includes a section on healthy eating, which is why many Mormons abstain from coffee and tea. Marijuana is not specifically mentioned in this Revelation, members of the Church are at a schism over whether it is considered one of the “beneficial herbs” God gave to Man or a harmful drug.
The reasoning that the Church would oppose medical marijuana seems in keeping with their crusade against divergent behavior, as they recently ostracized not only members who were homosexual, but the children of homosexual couples as well.
Utah is known for a lot of things
Utah, ground-zero for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is known for lots of things. Sundance Film Festival, Salt Lake Comic-Con, great skiing… but it is also known for the greatest per-capita rate of anti-depressant prescription and prescription drug abuse. It is also known for being one of the biggest meth capitals of the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something we could do about that?
What about its dangers?
With the adverse effects of all the anti-depressants, sleeping medications, and narcotics being shoveled out to the masses in the state, it is a wonder the Church hasn’t called for these substances to be banned unless the business end is keeping it that way. A lot of doctors, politicians, and industry leaders are in Utah. Frankly, it should, as a natural, God-given plant should be trusted far more than the drugs that Big Pharma sells the populace.
It will be the sick, the weakest members of the society that will have the strongest voice. The current drug epidemic in Utah could severely benefit from this Exit Drug. The fact that it is not physically addictive, and has a lower rate of psychological dependence than most other substances, including tobacco, caffeine, and possibly sugar, should have the family-centric state clamoring to help its citizens.
What about the federal gov’t?
The Church has long held that its practices don’t have to be in line with the law. It formerly held polygamy as a positive ideal. Federal law, or any law in general, does not make a thing good or bad, only legal or illegal. There is a fallacy if a religion bases its tenets on secular law.
What about health?
The Mormon Church has always held that physical health is a path to spiritual health and deeper insights. In that line of thinking, one might even think that cannabis use should be encouraged. From a palliative to a preventative, a cure to a catharsis.
The holy herb
Marijuana truly is the “holy herb”. For those who wish to look up the specific locations of related scripture,
Adam is told to eat “the herb of the field;” Moses is told to “eat every herb of the land;” Adam is told the “green herb have I given you for all things;” Job speaks longingly of herbs; the Psalms reference herbs as being “for the service of man;” Isaiah speaks of herbs numerous times, even stating how bones “shall flourish like an herb;” the Book of Hebrews even suggests that the earth brings forth “herbs meet for them by whom [the earth] is dressed;” D&C 59 references how herbs are for our use; the Book of Moses states how “every herb” was created by the Lord, in the context of spiritual and natural creations; and, D&C 89 reminds us that “all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man … .” These are some of the many references to “herbs” in scripture, and only give a glimpse of the possible meaning behind their numerous recommendations. – reprinted from an article on Truthmarche
I hope these links to Doctrine help stimulate conversation among the Utah communities, which should remember one thing: to force one set of ideals or beliefs on a populace, no matter how well-meaning, is the path to the erosion of civil liberties. Those same liberties protect religious worship.
What do you think about the role of organized religion in influencing political processes? Do they help represent their views, or force their belief systems on others? Let us know on our social media page or in the comments section below.