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The Mormon Church Just Took A Surprising Stance On Medical Marijuana

By Dana Levinson

In a few short weeks, the citizens of Utah will vote on a proposition that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. For much of the debate, the Mormon Church, which is powerful in Utah, was firmly against the notion. This past Thursday, however, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a compromise.

Regardless of what the citizens of the state vote next month, medical marijuana will be taken up by the Utah State Legislature. Any bill taken up, however, will have stricter control mechanisms than other states that have legalized the drug's medical use. The Mormon Church's fear was that loosened controls on medical marijuana would mean an uptick in recreational use.

Gov. Herbert stated at a press conference:

Today we have a group of people who've come together to help create a better policy than exists in Proposition 2, which will provide for us to have access to safe cannabis-based treatments and really a framework for true medical marijuana use.

And Elder Jack Gerard of the Mormon Church stated:

We believe it creates a framework that is good for patients, their caregivers, is good for children, and in our mind, that's good for Utah.

The biggest difference in what Utah is proposing is that medical marijuana will not be available at dispensaries, as it is in other states. It will only be available at pharmacies. This is an effort to crack down on those who would take advantage of the law.

People were surprised by the Mormon Church's acquiescence.