Soon after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its opposition to a Utah ballot initiative on medical marijuana, emails began appearing in the inboxes of Mormons across the state. In them, the church stated that while it “does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana,” it is dead set against this particular ballot measure.

Will the church succeed in defeating what, to this point, has been a popular proposal? Will the email blast prove effective or could it backfire? If the initiative passes, is it evidence of the church’s waning influence in Utah? If it fails, would it reinforce the notion that the state is essentially a theocracy, governed not by elected leaders but by a sustained religious hierarchy?

Morgan Lyon Cotti, associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, discusses those issues and more on this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast.