A screen shot of the first portion of an email sent to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah.
Screenshot

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received an email Thursday signed by Elder Craig C. Christensen urging them to vote no on the Utah marijuana ballot initiative.

Earlier in the day, Elder Christensen joined other church leaders at a news conference where a coalition of church, civic, business and law enforcement officials explained their opposition to Proposition 2.

"As a member of the coalition, we urge voters of Utah to vote NO on Proposition 2, and join us in a call to state elected officials to promptly work with medical experts, patients and community leaders to find a solution that will work for all Utahns, without the harmful effects that will come to pass if Proposition 2 becomes law," reads the email from Elder Christensen, a general authority Seventy and president of the Utah Area of the church.

Read the full contents of the email below:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In November, Proposition 2, an initiative which would legalize the sale and use of marijuana, will appear on the ballot. Its proponents assert that it will make medical marijuana available to those suffering with debilitating pain and other infirmities. However, in truth it goes much further, creating a serious threat to health and public safety, especially for our youth and young adults, by making marijuana generally available with few controls.

The Church joins a coalition of medical experts, public officials, and community stakeholders in calling for a safe and compassionate approach to providing medical marijuana to those in need. The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy.

As a member of the coalition, we urge voters of Utah to vote NO on Proposition 2, and join us in a call to state elected officials to promptly work with medical experts, patients, and community leaders to find a solution that will work for all Utahns, without the harmful effects that will come to pass if Proposition 2 becomes law.

For more information on Proposition 2 please refer to this legal analysis prepared for the Church by Kirton McConkie.

Elder Craig C. Christensen

President, Utah Area

Statement on Proposition 2

Medical Marijuana Initiative

Medical marijuana is an issue that has generated strong emotions and opinions among proponents and opponents alike. On one hand, initiatives to legalize marijuana in other states have led to increased drug use among youth, higher risk of impaired driving, and an increase in hospital emergency room visits, among other significant public health and safety concerns. On the other hand, patients suffering from debilitating pain and other medical conditions have struggled as traditional treatment strategies have failed to provide relief. The marijuana initiative appearing as Proposition 2 on the ballot this November does not strike the appropriate balance in ensuring safe and reasonable access for patients while also protecting youth and preventing other societal harms.

We are firmly opposed to Proposition 2. However, we do not object to marijuana derivatives being used in medicinal form—so long as appropriate controls and safeguards are in place to ensure vulnerable populations are protected and access is limited to truly medicinal purposes. Moreover, though continued research into the risks and benefits of medical marijuana use remains paramount, current scientific evidence suggests marijuana contains components that may be of benefit to some patients.

We urge the voters of Utah to vote no on Proposition 2. We also urge lawmakers, patients, and community stakeholders to work together to find a solution that works for all Utahns. The hallmarks of Utah’s unique policy accomplishments in the past have been civility, compassion, and a spirit of compromise, and we are confident an approach guided by these principles will yield similarly effective policies.

Sincerely,

Utah Medical Association

Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Episcopal Diocese

Utah Hospital Association

Utah PTA

Fraternal Order of Police

Family Policy Resource

Utah Narcotics Officers Association

Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake

Latinos in Action

Utah Sheriff's Association

Salt Lake City Police Association

Sutherland Institute

Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Utah Eagle Forum

Utah Society of Anesthesiologists

Family First Foundation

Meridian Magazine

Newquist Group Citizens for Strong Families

American College of Emergency Physicians, Utah Chapter

Wayne Niederhauser—Utah Senate President

Greg Hughes—Speaker of the Utah House

Scott Anderson—President and CEO, Zions Bank

Gail Miller—Owner & Chair of the LHM Group of Companies

Karen Huntsman

Mike Leavitt—Former Governor, Secretary of HHS

David Huntsman, President, Huntsman Foundation

Mitt Romney—Former U.S. Presidential Candidate

Jim Jardine—Lawyer, Education Leader

Kem Gardner—Chairman, Gardner Company

Dave Mallinak, Pastor, Berean Baptism Church, Ogden

Steve Starks—President, Utah Jazz, and LHM Sports & Entertainment

Spencer P. Eccles—Former Exec. Dir. Governor's Office of Economic Development

Nathan Frodsham—Patient Advocate

Aimee Winder Newton—Chair Salt Lake County Council

Kim R. Wilson—Attorney

Enedina Stanger—Patient Advocate

Walt Plumb—Developer

Derek Miller—President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

Todd Moon—Patient Advocate

Rev. Gregory Johnson, President of Standing Together

Carlton Christensen—Former Salt Lake City Council Member

Karen Hale—Former Utah State Senator

Mike Kennedy—MD

Ed Kennedy—President, Truth about Prop. 2

Jennifer Brown, DDS—Dentist

"There are a significant number of Utah elected officials and others running for office this year, who have signed the statement. We have chosen not to include their names here," states the letter attached in the email.