The Proposition 2 Cannabis scandal in Utah and how the Mormon church interfered with State politics

This year of 2018 has been an interesting year for state politics in Utah. In this year’s election in November, 53% of Utah voters voted YES to legalize medical marijuana for people that have qualifying medical conditions. This would be very similar to most of the medical marijuana states; which is now ⅔ of of the United States. This is pretty disconcerting to me considering that the majority of people have spoken. They want access to medical weed. However, at the last second the governor of Utah completely changed the state statute that was voted on.

I’m not sure that this would be classified as democratic. There is no doubt that the Mormon church was not a fan of weed. They were no doubt very influential in the alteration of a law regarding medical cannabis which happened behind closed doors. You could also argue that there is NO separation of church and state against the state constitution of Utah. This is concerning because that’s one of the fundamental principles of our great nation.

I am not writing this article to bash on the Mormon church (also known as the Church of Latter Day Saints) at all. I am a military combat veteran and firmly believe that people should free and should be able to practice any religion they want. I have lived in Salt Lake City and have met quite a few cool Mormon people while living there. I don’t like the state politics when it is influenced by the Church of  Latter Day Saints and not being fair to anyone else. There is absolutely a big difference between the Mormon religion and the LDS Corporation that made medical marijuana more restrictive.

Was Utah the first state to prohibit cannabis in 1915?

Recreational Marijuana is definitely illegal in Utah and it is a misdemeanor if you possess small amounts of weed. Utah was one of the first states to prohibit cannabis way back in 1915. Utah would have been the first state to ban weed in 1915 but that was actually California.

It’s a little bit ironic that California would be the first state to ban weed the first state. Then it would be the first state to bring it back for medical marijuana in 1996 after the prohibition on weed.California was the first medical marijuana state since the prohibition of cannabis and hemp with the passage of the Compassionate Care Act (Prop 215).

Brigham Young, the founder of the Mormon church, who called for fellow church members to start missions in Mexico in 1874. These colonies in Mexico that were primarily in the Sierra Madre Mountains in northern Mexico and they settled there to escape government persecution of polygamy in the United States. Some LDS members would come back after spending time in Mexico with some sativa souvenirs. After that, Utah had a serious problem with weed because many fellow Mormon worshippers coming back from Mexican colonies liked to enjoy a little cannabis. The negative stigma on Mexico is why California and Utah were some of the first states to start the prohibition on marijuana.

Did Utah legalize CBD oil?

In 2014, the state’s  did legalize CBD oil to treat epilepsy in 2014. The slimy thing about this CBD-related law was in never addressed an legal way of how patients could acquire the CBD oil. That really didn’t leave any viable options for people to legitimately get the CBD oil they would need for their epilepsy.

Why could the medical marijuana “compromise” to Proposition 2 be perceived as religious discrimination?

Governor Gary Herbert even mentioned before the election in March that he would “actively oppose” the medical marijuana initiative. Not only is Governor Gary trampling on some of our more fundamental Democratic principles, there is a very strong case that he is religiously discriminating against certain groups of people also. I find that a little ironic that the Mormon church had to suffer religious discrimination at the hands of the federal government but now this is going on with medical marijuana in Utah. The rewrite of proposition 2 has no regard for other religions that might not be Mormon. This is evident by limiting cannabis edibles in only the form of animal protein gelatin. This is a problem with some people who are Jewish or Muslim. I can see why medical marijuana patients who are might also be vegan or vegetarian might not be a fan of the animal protein either!

Did you know Utah has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse?

I wanted to highlight a piece of sad irony regarding Utah, marijuana, and opiates. We all know recreational weed is definitely illegal in this state. There is no legitimate way to acquire medical marijuana or CBD oil for Utah state residents that could really use it. The state won’t even allow people that are dying in hospice to consume any medical cannabis. Did you know that Utah is has one of the highest rates of both porn-consumption and prescription drug abuse! From 2000 to 2015, Utah has seen almost a 400% increase in deaths from the abuse of prescription drugs. There are 73.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Utah residents.

Utah is a state where 6 out of 10 Utah residents are Mormon but over half of the voters in that state approved medical marijuana with the passage of Proposition 2. There is no doubt that the Mormon church absolutely opposes the legalization of cannabis in any form. The Mormon Church even sent a letter to various congregations in states that had elections for the legalization of recreational marijuana. The LDS Church has never been shy about expressing their political views  about cannabis and don’t mind sweeping democracy under the rug if it fits their agenda.

Here is a demonstrative quote from that letter to other congregations in California and Nevada::

We urge Church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

A pro-cannabis group of individuals like you and me made it happen once again. The Utah Patients Coalition got an initiative put on the ballot for people to vote for by use of signatures on a petition. I admire this group very much! I feel sorry for the fact that all their hard work was trampled on by the governor of the state of Utah after voters approved it. The Utah Patients Coalition gathered well more than the required signatures needed to have the initiative put on the boat ballot for November’s election. There was even some controversy about getting signatures removed from political forces that were anti-weed. A medical marijuana bill was signed by the governor but It did ended being something very different from what was voted on.

What’s the difference between Utah’s Proposition 2 and the medical marijuana “compromise” that the governor signed into law?

Medical Act Initiative

  • 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state of Utah
  • Cannabis dispensaries would be privately run
  • Allows cannabis an edible in many forms
  • Medical marijuana patients would be allowed to grow their own weed.
  • People dying in hospice would have access to medical marijuana
  • Other qualifying conditions for medical marijuana would include other auto-immune disorders
  • Patient Records would be destroyed in 60 days
  • Proposition 2 that voters voted on is 21 pages.

What Governor signed into law

  • 7 cannabis dispensaries in the state of Utah
  • The 7 marijuana dispensaries would be run by the state of Utah similar to that liquor stores.
  • Does not allow for marijuana in any edible form except for gelatin cannabis-infused gummy lozenges only
  • Medical marijuana patients are not allowed to grow their own weed unless they live more than a hundred miles away from the nearest cannabis dispensary..
  • People dying in hospice will not be able to use medical marijuana
  • More restrictive medical conditions that allow medical marijuana usage
  • Patient records would be retained forever (and probably would be used against them in some way)
  • The medical cannabis compromise that the governor signed in the law is more than 120 pages.

Shortly after Proposition 2 won with the majority of voters in Utah’s state election, Governor Gary Herbert tweeted himself signing a medical cannabis bill that was not voted on. As he is doing this, he was quoting that his state will have the best medical cannabis program in the country!  I hate to say it but the beer in Utah really sucks! I can’t wait to see what kind of low-THC weed is going to get produced in these state-run cannabis dispensaries!

state-run cannabis dispensaries!

Will Utah have the best medical cannabis program in the US?

I can’t stop laughing at this guy’s comment as he’s trampling on our democracy. I also hate to break the news to you Governor Herbert; but Utah is kind of late on the bandwagon as far as medical marijuana states. I think those other states have it covered far better that whatever will come out of this state-run marijuana dispensary program. I wanted to also show you some of the fan mail comments that he received. LOL

cannabis program in the US

Apparently, many people are not big fans of what the Governor Gary Herbert pulled! LOL! If you’re interested in reading some of the funny commentary, it can be found on this Twitter link.

Was the medical marijuana “compromise” signed by Governor Herbert unconstitutional?

Who can tell me that  political maneuver was fair and democratic? I absolutely do not think it’s fair that the Mormon Church pushes their religious objections on the majority of voters.apparently I guess I am not the only one who thinks this unfair since there is now a lawsuit going on. The Utah state constitution expressly prohibits the control of state by the church. However, that is exactly what we see going on right now.

Was the LDS church against the Proposition 2 medical marijuana initiative?

This is a screenshot of an email to fellow LDS church members urging people to vote NO on Proposition 2 prior to the November election. Proposition 2 was the medical cannabis initiative in Utah ( it’s very obvious they’re not a big fan of weed):

Proposition 2 medical marijuana initiative

Who is TRUCE and why are they suing the state of Utah?

Advocates that pro-cannabis are now involved in a lawsuit with the state of Utah because of this governor override of  Prop 2. This lawsuit was actually filed by a former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. He is also the head of two pro-cannabis groups called: a) the TRUCE (Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education) and b) the EAU (Epilepsy Association of Utah). These pro-weed groups have been at work for three years and spent millions of dollars to make Proposition 2 happen; only to see a dismantled at the very last second!

This is a travesty and the epitome of the church influencing state politics. It seems apparent that this is against Utah state constitutional law. I’m very curious to see the outcome of this lawsuit and what actually happens with the future of medical marijuana in the state of Utah! I truly hope that things work out for patients in Utah. Maybe these state-run cannabis dispensaries can provide better weed to their patients than the water-downed beer that can only found in Utah?

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