News Release

Church Urges 'Cautious Approach' on Medical Marijuana Issue in Utah

UPDATE — Church Statement Issued Monday, February 22, 2016

The Church issued this additional statement on Monday, February 22, in response to news media requests:

In our view, the issue for the Utah Legislature is how to enable the use of marijuana extracts to help people who are suffering, without increasing the likelihood of misuse at a time when drug abuse in the United States is at epidemic proportions, especially among youth. Recent changes to SB 73 are a substantial improvement. We continue to urge legislators to take into account the acknowledged need for scientific research in this matter and to fully address regulatory controls on manufacture and distribution for the health and safety of all Utahns.


As the Utah State Legislature considers two bills on the use of medical marijuana, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statements outlining its position.

Church Statement Issued Friday, February 12, 2016

While we are not in a position to evaluate specific medical claims, the Church understands that there are some individuals who may benefit from the medical use of compounds found in marijuana. For that reason, although the Church opposes SB 73, it has raised no objection to SB 89. These two competing pieces of legislation take very different approaches when it comes to issues like access, distribution, control and the potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC. 

In addition to the therapeutic, treatment, and control questions, there are several other important issues to be resolved.  At the forefront is that the use of medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law.  We agree with groups such as the American Medical Association, who have said (see the AMA policy below) that further study is warranted before significant public policy decisions on marijuana are advanced. For these reasons, the Church urges a cautious approach.

               American Medical Association Policy - H-95.952 Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Church Statement Issued Friday, February 5, 2016

As we have said during previous legislative sessions, there are a number of potential impacts that must be considered in any discussion about the legalization of medical marijuana, including balancing medical need with the necessity of responsible controls.

Along with others, we have expressed concern about the unintended consequences that may accompany the legalization of medical marijuana. We have expressed opposition to [SB 73] because of that concern. We are raising no objection to the other bill that addresses this issue.

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