‘Trib Talk:’ The LDS Church is ready to legalize medical marijuana in Utah, even if Prop 2 fails

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been atypically public in its advocacy for a tightly-controlled and strictly-enforced medical marijuana program in Utah. After joining a coalition effort to oppose Proposition 2 — which would legalize medical cannabis in the state — church leaders joined with some of the initiative’s backers and Utah lawmakers to embrace a negotiated deal expected to be debated and potentially adopted by the Legislature in November.

But the announcement of a tentative compromise appeared to be based in the assumption that Proposition 2 would pass, and that critics of the initiative would be forced to weigh what they saw as the lesser of two evils. If Prop 2 fails, what leverage do proponents of legalization have, and will church leaders still advocate for a legislative compromise if the alternative is the status quo?

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk," LDS Church lobbyist Marty Stephens, Utah Patients Coalition director DJ Schanz and Christine Stenquist, executive director of TRUCE, join reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the new dividing lines in the Prop 2 debate and what voters should expect to happen to medical marijuana laws after the November election.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.

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