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What's Behind The LDS Church's Opposition To Medical Marijuana?

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Representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are becoming more active in their opposition to a medical marijuana initiative in Utah this November.

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that lobbyists with the Church are privately urging Utah’s elected officials to oppose the medical marijuana initiative.

That opposition comes from a church health guideline called the Word of Wisdom, according to Rosemary Card. It’s the same teaching that says Mormons shouldn’t drink coffee or alcohol.

“What it really boils down to is the ability to make choices is really important to Mormons. The ability to have a clear mind,” Card said.

She wrote the book "Model Mormon" about her experiences as an independent LDS woman.

Card said that clear-headedness relates to substances that impair one’s ability to feel a connection to God.

“It’s like saying ‘Hey you have access to the best resource ever, why would you want to do something that would make it trickier to access that resource?’” she said.

The Church hasn’t issued an official statement opposing the initiative but has released a detailed and critical assessment of the proposal.

Copyright 2021 KUER 90.1. To see more, visit KUER 90.1.

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.
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