The Mormon church is again blurring the line of separation between church and state by inserting itself into the argument of legalizing medical marijuana here in Utah. Church leaders will state they recognize the possible benefits of some forms of medical marijuana but insist more research is required to uncover the possible downsides of such a decision.
While the church’s statement supporting additional research seems optimistic, it hides the underlying fact that marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug. This is the most restrictive classification under federal law and an obvious barrier to any possible research.
So, the church can state it supports more research while smugly smiling, knowing the additional research will never happen until marijuana is reclassified.
Recent polls show the majority of Utanhs support legalization of medical marijuana due to its overwhelmingly well-documented benefits. The Mormon church has every right to its own opinion about medical marijuana, but coming out with such a strong publicized stance against medical marijuana will compel many church members to vote according to the church's dictates instead of their own conscience.
Just because this sort of thing is commonplace in Utah doesn’t make it right.
Jonathan C. Seegmiller, Salt Lake City