LDS Church calls for more study of medical marijuana

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  • cavetrollhead West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 28, 2017 11:42 p.m.

    I have seen pot ruin lives. I have seen it turn decent people irresponsible, socially disconnected and lost. And then it takes years to recover if they find the will. Other people seem to do well when using it. I know opiates destroy lives too but it is the talking past this that is frustrating;People don't want to admit that pot can harm people. It affects people very differently. Some people do fine, but to pretend it is always harmless seems to me to be naive or disingenuous. Until I hear the other side admit the potential dangers of pot and have an honest discussion, it will be hard for me to enter into a meaningful discussion with them because of what I have seen.

  • Susan L Garden Grove, CA
    Sept. 10, 2017 10:03 a.m.

    Plants like marijuana and poppies grow practically everywhere; I can't help but think that, contrary to the propaganda we've all been deluged with, these are actually gifts from a loving God to His children to help make life here in earth a little more tolerable.

    Say I suffer from anxiety: I can go to my doctor and ask to be prescribed Xanax or Klonopin (both powerful, addictive anxiolytics), or I can go to a dispensary and buy as much (or as little) marijuana (a powerful, possibly-but-not-necessarily addictive anxiolytic) as I choose. Why do I need the doctor anyway? I know what anxiety feels like. I know how much relief I want. I know WHEN I want relief. And the fact is, I know more about anxiolytics than most doctors.

    My husband suffers from a neurological disorder that's painful and debilitating. My son suffers from Tourette's. If pot will help manage their symptoms, how is it somehow WORSE than using a cocktail of benzos? Because there might be a "high" involved? Believe me, drugs prescribed by doctors have plenty of "high".

    Give us control over our own bodies! Let us manage our own pain and other symptoms ourselves if we choose to.

  • MurrayMike Murray, UT
    July 3, 2017 2:17 p.m.

    My mother suffered greatly from cancer prior to her death. The amount of pills she took was staggering to relieve her pain. Medical Marijuana would have easily been more effective in treating her pain then handfuls of morphine pills, (not to mention helping her appetite). This is where I and the church (or State of Utah) differ. If someone is dying of cancer, leukemia or a tumor, wouldn't it be far greater to ease their suffering than fistfuls of morphine pills? Are the majority of states wrong, (29 have legalized medical marijuana) to allow medical marijuana? Are we allowing our religious beliefs to influence what common sense tells us should be allowed? Who is it hurting to allow critically ill patients to ease their suffering? Our sense of morality? I for one think this is a norm, we as Utahans, can change with a simple vote.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    July 3, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    The more research thing a a US specific issue. US research has been officially agenda-driven restricted.

    The University of Mississippi is the only source of marijuana permitted to be used for research. I cannot help but wonder how much they can produce on their 12 acre farm. How much can be harvested for research? How many varieties are available? How many variations in horticultural methods are in use?

    The ability to do research is seriously in need of having the shackles removed.

  • Amy Loveless Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 2, 2017 10:29 p.m.

    I have not read through all the comments, but as a member of the church I find this whole subject fustrating. Why? Isreal approved this for medically decades ago and the medical research is so extensive overseas. They use marijuana in medicated lotions for Neuropathy overseas and use whole plant enemas for cancer treatment.
    Are we so arrogant to believe that just because the US FDA controls the substance that other nations and scientists have not been light years ahead of us.
    Back in Utah in the meantime members are popping their pain pills made with heroin based narcotics acting like they do not have a serious problem. I am sad for those kids with siezures or cancer whose parents are HAVING to move to Colorado to find doctors to treat them. Medical refugees who want to beat brain tumors are happening. People are leaving their homes because of BAD propoganda and misinformation.

  • xstaticprocess2 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2017 10:03 p.m.

    Making marijuana legal would remove the risk of buying it on the street, in a park or dark alleyway. Joe Rogan said it best: "Prison is for rapists, thieves, and murderers. If you lock someone up for smoking a plant that makes them happy, you're the . . . criminal." I couldn't agree more. The church, the government, and other people need to mind their own business. This is not a "moral issue" (why is everything in Utah assigned a morality value?), and the church ought to stay out of it. Let the science and medical professionals (not the government either, btw) determine the medicinal value of cannabis. In the meantime, it ought to be recreationally legal. To say it again, it's nobody's business.

  • DaleG slc, UT
    July 1, 2017 9:31 p.m.

    "More study" is a delaying tactic. Disturbing since lds scriptures, and all Christian scriptures are very clear that God created all plants for the use of man. To see the lds church essentially parroting the prohibitionists at FDA/DEA, is wrong on so many levels.

  • keyboarder College Station, TX
    June 30, 2017 10:11 p.m.

    What continues to boggle me is the attacks by some, offense by another, and insistence by yet others that the church either remain out of politics or science or whatever. They speak as though there is some unstated, yet universal rule about what a church should be, or how it should act. Honestly, doctrines or policy or beliefs of a particular religion may well define *its own* restrictions and boundaries, but there is no "natural" or universal standard by which religions should behave. Who would dictate such standards, other than God, but that's already questioned by many who argue against the church. Anyone who demands that the church restrict on what it comments publicly--especially to the point of demanding it stay mute--essentially becomes of themself some kind of over-godly entity who self decrees the ability to control other people and their religion and their churches. So now we're supposed to bow to a new god that limits what religions and churches can do and say in the public square? Hmm... that begins to sound rather like... well... a prophet(?) Ironic, to say the least.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    June 30, 2017 6:42 p.m.

    I love DN comments; sometimes as interesting as the article. Interesting, y'all!

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    June 30, 2017 4:15 p.m.

    Many here claim that the Church's position is superfluous because "the research is all there." Marijuana is still currently illegal in the United States (federal law, although unenforced, takes precedence on this matter), the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and many other countries, and was only recently legalized for medical purposes in places like Germany and Mexico. I find it highly unlikely that the supposedly enormous body of medical research regarding marijuana is conclusive in the slightest once you consider how difficult it is to perform research on an illegal drug. Everything even marginally reputable I read states that there is some limited evidence supporting marijuana's medical uses for things like certain forms of cancer, pain relief, and certain eating disorders (the munchies are well-documented among marijuana users, so I doubt this one needs much verification), but the research for the 99.9% of other mystical uses people claim either isn't there, is inconclusive, or hasn't been successfully repeated.

    In other words, the Church is correct when it says that the research needs to be done before any decisions are made.

  • Sir Eloquence Ogden, UT
    June 30, 2017 10:37 a.m.

    When will the Mormon church remove itself from the political lives of its members? When it involves itself it puts a strain on some its members' devotion.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    June 30, 2017 9:45 a.m.

    In Colorado they have quite a bit of public advertising for abuse and treatment for drug users. Recreational brings in a lot of non-Coloradoans. Benefits For Colorado????

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    June 30, 2017 9:13 a.m.

    Thank the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their part in defending truth and law and order. They have a right and responsibility to live up to Doctrine and Covenants section 134 for us.

  • Dogon Logan, UT
    June 30, 2017 8:33 a.m.

    Stay out of it there is no science in religion.

  • Colonel X HYDE PARK, UT
    June 30, 2017 6:49 a.m.

    I know, from personal experience, it genuinely works to alleviate some very bad side effects from chemotherapy. It was unbelievably inexpensive in comparison to the drugs I was being prescribed that didn't work as well. It should be available as a prescription in pill and smoking form, BUT it should remain illegal for recreational use.

    Where recreational use is concerned, let's wait 6 or 7 years and see how the Colorado experiment turns out. From what I'm hearing, the results are not going well if you're an employer.

    I am conflicted about one thing; The cost for a prescription of marinol, which is the prescription form of marijuana is $300.00 per week, my entire cost for twelve weeks worth of illegal marijuana was $50.00, or $4.16 per week. I even had some left over which I gave to someone who was also undergoing chemo and has since died.

    Keep it illegal - but the cops should use discretion and look the other way for true medical usage. That keeps an option available to people without a lot of money.

  • Middle of the road Mormon South Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:13 p.m.

    The LDS Church owns and invests in many businesses. Can anyone out there tell me if they own any pharmaceutical companies or are invested in them?

    This needs to be put to a state wide referendum. One for medical and one for recreational use as well. Let the people decide! Lets have freedom to make our own choices in this world. Which faith we decide to follow or not follow is a freedom we should have, and not have it forced upon us by the religious leaders of the biggest church in the state.

    Right now the GOP is claiming they are going to deregulate the insurance market to make sure people have more affordable choices - bull-loney.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 29, 2017 10:08 p.m.

    Medical usage quickly becomes de facto recreational legalization. If it is to be legalized for medical use then it should be prescribed only by specialists in areas where there is strong (double blind studies) evidence showing actual benefit. Only pharmacies (not dispensaries) to distribute.

  • Eddie Savage Layton, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:38 p.m.

    The same people that think drinking tea will keep you out of heaven want more research on medical marijuana? That's funny. They could, you know, look at the plethora of research already out there and the thousands of case studies and the thousand years of history of its use, but no. We need "more".

  • KentBrowning Houston, TX
    June 29, 2017 9:13 p.m.

    More study on Medical Coca-Cola should be next...

  • Stop.The.Liars Logan, UT
    June 29, 2017 6:23 p.m.

    I love the Church and have served in many leadership postions over the years. I understand the reason for thier caution. However, what most people fail to understand is that large pharmaceuticals are the number one fighter against medical marijuana. Why, so they can charge outrageous amounts of money for the synthetic marjuna called Marinol. Marinol is legal in Utah and a simple Google search proves that Marinol is manmade THC. The very thing that so many are so afraid of. A monthly supply of Marinol cost approximately $1200 a month. Medical marijuana is free if grown by those who so need it. I took part in a study after having a stroke that UCLA sponsored. The findings showed that injested medical marijuana was better in all areas than Marinol. Including being safer because the patient's system assimilated it into their body at a more constant level. I hope the hype is soon replaced with what is needed by those who suffer needlessly while some pharmaceuticals increase their bottom line!

  • mark91345 Portland, OR
    June 29, 2017 5:38 p.m.

    It really has been "studied" to death. Look, I'm not crazy about it, but we've gone from one extreme (making it illegal, prison time, etc) to now the other extreme. It isn't hard to see the long-term effects of marijuana usage: lethargy, little drive to improve one's life (since you're zoned out), couples splitting up because the husband is too lazy (high) to get (and keep) a job. It's not brain surgery to figure it out. However, it is a trend that is not going to reverse. You can do all the studies you want, and delay, delay, delay, but our culture has changed, good or bad. I don't think the Church should be involved in this at all. Let it go.

  • Born in Bountiful Provo, Utah
    June 29, 2017 5:17 p.m.

    I spend most of my time in states that have some form of legalized marijuana. One interesting statistic is that most prescriptions are written for young men between 21 and 29. Most prescriptions are written on Thursday and Friday. This issue does not mean marijuana does or does provide any benefit, but speaks volumes to another possible "prescription abuse" issue that is on the horizon. Why do the marijuana advocates fear testing? Why fear Mormon church leaders who advocate for a well thought out and scientifically proven testing? Is that not the responsible approach? Yes, there are some who have great stories of the benefits, but the only real evidentiary studies suggest great harm for the young. Take the counsel and proceed with caution.

  • Cat,kittyCat St George, UT
    June 29, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    And who is the LDS Church? No seriously.....So when the Mayo Clinic publishes something one assumes that it is backed by medical professionals, scientist and such and we take counsel in their research as it is backed by reputation and science and research. The LDS church is a bunch of men making or trying to impose their morals or beliefs on the public. Don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person. Remember when the LDS church thought that would bring down society, it hasn't. Hate, judgement - that brings down society. If cannabis oil stops a child's seizures - maybe that is God's plan. He created the plant after all right? Stop talking about the LDS church like they are a person or any kind of reputable source on the subject. They are not!

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 29, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    Tobacco is a legal product that any adult can buy. This despite all the proven health risks of smoking. I am much more concerned about tobacco use than someone who uses marijuana prescribed by a a licensed physician. The hypocrisy on this issue is ridiculous. If someone is terminally ill and wants to use marijuana in the privacy of their home I say leave them alone and stay out of it. Not my business or concern.

  • Kolob64 Ogden, UT
    June 29, 2017 4:23 p.m.

    The church has already established that it does not support following the law in the issue of illegal immigration. For this reason I take this as advice and opinion, not doctrine. Both issues involve people doing what they can to survive what life dealt them.
    Every member I know who has personal contact with someone who has had a legitimate need for medical marijuana supports legalizing medical use. I know good solid members here in Utah who are currently breaking the law for relief. There is a ton of research so that argument can be laid to rest. I have seen it save the lives of friends and family.
    This reminds me of when Utah voters cast the deciding votes to end prohibition against the advice of the brethren. They may want to seriously revisit this issue as they are deeply at odds with good solid members on this. I am grateful I do not personally need it as following the law in important to me so I would have to leave the state. Some of my family live outside of Utah for this reason.
    Meanwhile our state in the name of money is looking at liberalizing liquor laws, a drug I have never, ever seen anyone benefit from.

  • pcran84 South Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 3:21 p.m.

    If Marijuana wasn't first recreational I think the states would not be so hesitant to legalize for medicinal purposes. Most people are completely comfortable will all sorts of synthetic drugs which cause huge societal problems, but as soon as a natural herb is considered then everyone gets up in arms. Huge pill problem but let's perceive pills in a more lofty matter.

  • Danielson West Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 3:04 p.m.

    To kaysvillecougar -

    First off, where are you getting your information that cannabis is more harmful than tobacco? This is completely false. I would like to see the studies you are referencing that show this, because I can name several, from reputable organizations like the NIDA and the NIH that say the opposite. Secondly, how hipocritical is it to say that pro-cannabis people are ignoring the negatives, when people like you ignore all the positives?
    Third, and most importantly, even if cannabis was every bit as harmful to a person as you say, why do YOU and people like you have the right to tell people whether they can or cannot use it? Nobody is making you use it if it is legal, so why is it your business if other people choose to use it? It is not the business of the LDS church or the government to tell patients and their doctors how they should treat their medical conditions. Please, study more on cannabis. If you look at the evidence objectively, you will see that cannabis is a blessing, not an evil.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    June 29, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    I applaud the church for it's reasonable stance on this issue. It's interesting that there are so many who are willing to ignore the many negative side effects of marijuana and treat it as a cure all. This kind of deceptive rhetoric isn't helpful in finding answers to society's problems. Don't any of you "pot pushers" find it ironic that we have so many emotional anti-smoking campaigns and yet pot is hailed as the cure all despite being more harmful than tobacco. Please, let's use reason, science and research to find answers.

  • Fitz Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 2:31 p.m.

    Just to help everyone have a bit of clarity in marijuana, whether it is medical or recreational. Marijuana is illegal in every state. The Federal laws do not allow medical or recreational use of pot and DEA can shut down any 'supposed' legal shop. In this situation, the Feds override the States.

    Saying that, some parts of marijuana may, and I emphasize may, have medical use. But it does need more research. Again, the Feds have not allowed much in medical marijuana use. The use and dosage is unknown, more research does need more time.

  • sensible advocate slc, UT
    June 29, 2017 2:08 p.m.

    Passing the ballot initiative is the best way to get the research that the LDS church is seeking. The only movement in the legislature is toward study of one highly refined marijuana based medication from GWPhaaceuticals. The trials seem to be going well and have showed promise.

    The question becomes. Why make patients pay $1500/month for an FDA approved therapy when an array of quality tested artisanal cannabis products from a dispensary have the same effect and cost a fraction.

    Along with being good clean-living test candidates for the effectiveness of cannabis therapy, Utah residents would hold every job down the line in a whole new industry.

    Currently employers are losing good employees because of marijuana testing. Data actually shows better work attendance where medical marijuana is available and a survey of actual users of legal marijuana show that they are higher earners than the average public.

  • Danielson West Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:49 p.m.

    To the Deuce -

    If someone uses cannabis and causes an accident or harms another person in any way, they should be held accountable, just like everyone else. The problem is using excuses like traffic accidents to keep a substance illegal, even when it Is used responsibly. Cell phones, screaming kids, and all sorts of other things also cause traffic accidents, yet nobody is calling for any of these things to be banned. We only ban texting while driving, not in all circumstances, so why is cannabis looked at differently? Because it has been deemed "evil" by so many people in the government, religion, and society as a whole. Also, if you look at the data from states with legal cannabis, DUI and traffic accidents have gone down, youth use has stayed the same and even dropped slightly in some legal states, and opioid deaths are down 25%, so the "safety" argument is invalid anyway. Using the children and safety as an excuse to keep cannabis illegal is just a scare tactic, and has no basis in fact.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 29, 2017 1:27 p.m.

    To those who are asking the church to "butt out", they aren't butting in. They are sharing their opinion and counsel, the same way you and I have the right to do so in these comments.

    As for the church's statement I think it is wise to know all the facts and every angle when considering the legalization of a drug that is currently a schedule 1 under Federal Law. That being said, I've seen the positive effects, especially for terminally ill patients, of medicinal marijuana. And the side effects are far less dangerous than that of opiates from what has been observed, but making an argument for marijuana solely based on comparisons to opioids is a "two wrongs don't make a right" argument. Isn't it wise to evaluate a drug thoroughly before adding it to an already addictive med regimen?

    To the person who said "deal with, that's what they did in the old days", your understanding of the history of medicine isn't accurate. In the old days no prescription was required for codeine, heroine, or could buy it at Sears and Roebuck for crying out loud. It was the opium crises in "the old days" that spurred the drug laws of today.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:19 p.m.

    Light and Liberty - What did people do for pain a century ago? They bought heroine and laudanum, cocaine and even cannabis in patent medicines (and even in soda form) over the counter. Do a search and read some of the ingredients that even cough medicine used to contain, you will be amazed. There was never a time that people didn't seek medical relief from pain.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:11 p.m.

    Calling for a clear, evidence-based policy on cannabis/cannabis extracts is the right policy. It is in agreement with medical science and the FDA. The LDS Church gets credit for stating the obvious. Relying of anecdotal reports and marijuana advocates' desire to make recreational use legal is not in the best interests of society.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    June 29, 2017 1:04 p.m.

    To: Danielson - West Jordan, UT - While I do agree with your comment indicating that the LDS Church may not have the most scientific standing to comment on the research related to use of medical marijuana, I do take exception to your comment "What OTHER people do with their bodies is none of your business".

    There are consequences to taking these types of medications that can have an impact on others, such as impaired driving. I agree with the medical use to help people. I don't agree that the so called "free agency" is without consequences.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    In rocket science we say "In God we trust, all others bring data". The LDS leadership is wise in suggesting that medicinal use of marijuana come with data, testing and trials.

    If the data is there for legalization of medicinal uses of marijuana then let's get congress to allow FDA testing, even put it on a fast track. With as much data as is said to exist it should not be difficult or take too long.

    Let's verify with empirical data the significant medical uses marijuana has, what compounds are medicinal, and what dosages are appropriate. Then by all means let qualified doctors prescribe and pharmacists dispense to help those truly in need. Let's avoid the effort to provide for those who want to go to the "wink, wink doctors" that advertise and give prescriptions in other states for those who have a hang nail or for whom it takes more than 5 min to fall asleep at night.

  • Cooper 1911 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 12:41 p.m.

    First of all Israel has 70 years of research 200.000 pages on the benefits of medical marijuana. Secondly Utah now is surrounded by states that have legalized it recreationally so therefore Utah has a problem there is thousands and thousands of pounds of marijuana in Utah right now for sale it's easy to get easy to use and pretty soon we will be able to go to the Border towns of Utah and Nevada Utah and Colorado Utah and Arizona to purchase said marijuana and bring it back to Utah just like many of us have done with alcohol to avoid the price and the church cut for 50 years. If Utah does not Legalize It for medical or recreational soon are jails will be full and our taxes will go up to build new jails and hire new police officers to patrol the borders of these State's next to Utah.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 29, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    Mormons who live in 29 states with medical marijuana programs can use the drug and remain in good standing, even though the programs violate federal law.

    However, members living in a state like Utah cannot use it and remain in good standing because using it would violate state law.

    In other words, the Church is OK with members who violate federal law but not with those who violate state law.

    It's a states-rights position. Long live the sagebrush rebellion.

  • BobLivermore3 American Fork, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:57 a.m.

    Serious question - why is a church involved in what medications physicians can prescribe to their patients?

  • Danielson West Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    The LDS church is so quick to cry "religious persecution" anytime they do not get their way on issues, but they have no problem persecuting people they do not agree with. What OTHER people do with their bodies is none of your business. You do not have the right to apply your religious beliefs to everyone in the state. The LDS church has every right to voice their opinion, but we have every right to point out their hypocrisy and misinformation when we see it. What happened to free agency? What happened to love and empathy? Would Jesus lock people in a cage for using cannabis to treat medical conditions?

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:29 a.m.

    "To "strom thurmond" what about all of the research showing that coffee is bad? It has been linked to coronary disease."

    Thanks for asking. I'll refer you to the American Heart Association:

    "Many studies have been done to see if there's a direct link between caffeine, coffee drinking and coronary heart disease. The results are conflicting. This may be due to the way the studies were done and confounding dietary factors. However, moderate coffee drinking (1–2 cups per day) doesn't seem to be harmful."

    I encourage you to review the literature on the benefits of coffee in the areas of colorectal cancer, Alzheimer's disease and, in particular, liver disease.

    I'll remind you many Mormons drink caffeine (the suspect in heart disease causation) via less healthy vehicles which lack any of the benefits of Coffee.

  • Redrockcrawler Blanding, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:28 a.m.

    This has been one of the most studied herbs in the world over 22,000 studies have already been performed by many organizations around the world. Also include statistics like 0 recorded overdose deaths and the fact that it has been used by man kind for over 6000 years. The Federal government has given states the option to legalize cannabis if they so choose to. If you do not feel that cannabis would be an appropriate use for a qualified medical condition then simply choose to not use it. For care givers like myself that has a child who suffers with seizures all of the studied and approved FDA medications have failed to control the seizures. Cannabis on the other hand does for which he has a state of Utah cannabis card to use. Yes Utah already has a medical cannabis program. Patients and Doctors are tired of the state dragging there feet to expand the option to other patients to be able to use cannabis as a treatment for there medical needs. Doctors and Patients can make an informed decision for their medical needs. Cannabis has been studied for decades. Dragging out the benefit of cannabis treatment in Utah will cost patients their lives and quality of life.

  • Gruffi Gummi Logan, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:27 a.m.

    I have three points to make:

    1. Science. Some time ago I was on an NIH panel tasked with evaluating "lead" compounds for further development into medicines. Among them was a natural compound traditionally used in Chinese medicine. My opinion, as well as the study section consensus was that thousands years of routine use constitute a strong presumption of safety. No, it is not totally rigorous, but it is sufficiently strong to be recognized by, after all, professionals.

    2. "Look who is talking":

    2a. Do I need to remind the story behind ephedra supplements, and the valiant defense of this industry by Utah politicians? I am unlikely to be convinced that this happened without the church's approval.
    2b. Without opposition form the LDS leadership, Utah has become the nation's antidepressant capital. Antidepressants are, by definition "psychoactive drugs", but just happened to have received an official recognition, in spite of their known, sometimes serious, side effects. I once saw a cop on duty, stoned with Zoloft or something similar.

    3. Now we are an Alzheimer's capital as well, and there is a causative link with the coffee prohibition. Was that prohibition smart and informed?

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:19 a.m.


    "I've had greater peace and increased understanding knowing I'm not at odds with inspired counsel."

    The problem, of course, is when the counsel is uninspired. Leaders make mistakes, even in doctrinal matters.

    I agree with this comment: "Allow those now prescribed opioids and other drugs for pain to be prescribed marijuana if the patient finds that it is more effective for alleviating their pain." We need to stop being so indifferent to the pain of others.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    @Silver Stingray
    "What business is it of the church to think it has a right to pontificate on medical matters?"


    What business is it of uninformed voters who don't know the Constitution from a hole in the ground to speak about or vote about an issue?

    The asnswe is that your average Joe who knows nothing about medical marijuana or about the Constitution or about what is good for society has the right to form an opinion and the right to vote (assuming he/she meets the legal requirements to vote) .

    So therefore does the LDS Church. Like you and I, they have the right to free speech and the right to express an opinion publicly, contrary to the opinions of some with Leftist political leanings. Besides it has already been pointed out that leaders of the LDS Church have expertise in both legal and medical professions, making their opinion even more note-worthy.

  • CJD Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:04 a.m.

    Though I do not disagree with the wisdom of their comment the truth is until the Federal Government reschedules marijuana the FDA will not get involved and I do not see the Federal Government changing that unless the states get involved by passing state medical marijuana laws. This initiative 1. Does not allow for smoking marijuana 2. Limits what can be prescribed for and how many can received a prescription for medical marijuana 3. Has strict guidelines for people who can apply for a dispensary. All has been done to make this a responsible medical marijuana law that will benefit patients and keep them from having to be criminals in order to find the relief they can get from a much safer medicine that opioids.

  • Prostate, Squire & Respirator South Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 11:03 a.m.

    Why does the headline have PARTNER above it? Shouldn't it say, OWNER? Also, when was the last time someone died from smoking to much weed? Never. Safer than Ambien, Xanax, Oxy, Lortab, AND THE ZION CURTAIN.

  • ScienceMatters Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 10:54 a.m.

    If the church wants to exert their political pressure, they should start paying taxes on all of their income.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    June 29, 2017 10:52 a.m.

    There is a high number of job applicants at our firm, especially interns, that are required to take a drug test. Federal mandates are the the standard, this includes marijuana. Thus far this summer, 5 applicants have failed the drug test and were rejected, including children of senior managers.

  • Prostate, Squire & Respirator South Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2017 10:50 a.m.

    So dumb. 29 states and DC allow it. What does the "Church" think they don't know? Plus, who cares that they think what they think. STAY OUT OF POLITICS.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 29, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    To "Rubydo" the church isn't imposing anything on anybody. They are saying maintain the FEDERAL law until we better understand if marijuana actually can do what people claim and we understand the risks involved.

    Would you recommend that people use Marijuana if one of the side effects was bi-polar disorder or pancreatic cancer later in life?

    To "Ranch" if you want the church to "stay out of areas that aren't their area of expertise" then will you do us the favor and do the same? You are not a medical expert, so you should not comment any more. There are many topics which you are not an expert in, yet you comment. Why stop the church giving its opinion? It is almost like you hate the LDS church and want to silence it at all costs.

    To "strom thurmond" what about all of the research showing that coffee is bad? It has been linked to coronary disease.

  • Viva la Migra Denver, CO
    June 29, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    The problem with wanting more 'study' is there is sometimes the FDA seems politicized, and susceptible to pressure from the big pharmaceutical companies which profit from selling addictive opioids and have successfully stigmatized MJ over the years.

    In my own family I saw my mom get hooked on pain medicine after a car accident and struggled with that for years. The pills masked pain to the point where cancer went undetected for years until it reached stage 4 and it was too late to save her.

    My sister-in-law had a stroke two years ago and was in a vegetative state for months. The doctors ran out of ideas on how to help her after using every possible drug and therapy available. My brother became aware of a CBD-based cream developed by researchers in Colorado and was able to get some for her.

    Within hours of applying it to her arms she began improving dramatically. Within a few days she was talking and interacting again. A few weeks later she was out of the wheelchair and walking and now is back home back to her original self. This has been a miraculous experience to witness. It's also much cheaper than the convalescent center and the pills approved by the FDA.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    Sounds like an attempt to stall the inevitable.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:40 a.m.

    The excuses for poor choices are amazing. Let's just legalize everything! That's fine, but don't ask anyone to pick up the tab for people that become lifetime addicts to excuses for any kind of drug use. What did people do a century a go? They just dealt with it! People can live with pain! Why is it that in the 21st century we have become a nation that believes that you can solve all of your problems with a pill and a prescription? Big Pharma is just waiting for the next big thing!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:33 a.m.

    "The difficulties of attempting to legalize a drug at the state level that is illegal under Federal law cannot be overstated," Hawkins said. "Accordingly, we believe that society is best served by requiring marijuana to go through further research and the FDA approval process that all other drugs must go through before they are prescribed to patients."

    Finally a rational, intelligent take on marijuana. I'm impressed the Church sees a potential benefit from the herb cannibas. I think there is untapped benefit and would love to see the study de-politicized/

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    So now medical research matters.

    What about the irrefutable, rigorous scientific research showing the benefits of coffee consumption?

    Meanwhile I see my colleagues exodus to the soda fountain several times a day to down 32oz of sugar and caffeine to start their day.


  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:16 a.m.


    "The difficulty with this position is that, currently, federal law does not authorize "research" for substances which federal law makes illegal across the board. "

    Absolutely correct.

    The church knows this and is using this as a cop out. That way they can say "don't vote for this" without directly taking on the issue, and giving the impression of an open mind.

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:11 a.m.

    Church counsel is on target. Marijuana is illegal even if the state says it is OK. It is a Class one drug at the Federal level and until that changes use of it is illegal. All this energy and resources should be put into changing the Federal law, not the state.

  • Silver Stingray St George, UT
    June 29, 2017 9:00 a.m.

    What business is it of the church to think it has a right to pontificate on medical matters?

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 29, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    I am an active and strongly believing member of the LDS Church. And I support the brethren.

    Legalizing medical marijuana may cause mire harm upon society in general than the benefits gained by individuals, overall.

    But, I believe that, while seeing the great benefits medical marijuana (my daughter carefully studied both what types of marijuana might be most beneficial for her daughter; as well as looking at the reputation of medical marijuana dispensaries to guide her in choosing the most appropriate marijuana product for her child.

    Prescribing either smoking or ingestion of any kind of marijuana for medical purposes, in my opinion, would not be wise at all.

    I don't know how much there is in the way of studies of marijuana for its medical benefits that have been published. I don't know if there is a great need for more primary or more for secondary research that is already out there.

    I think the challenge is to figure out how to best allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, without making it more of a means for the recreational use of that very potent plant.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 29, 2017 8:51 a.m.

    Frankly, my experience is colored by the fact that I used to be a cop. My interactions with pot smokers was never good. I saw that weed turn otherwise normal people into blatant fools. The worst and most dangerous fight I ever had with a suspect was with a gentleman high on weed and nothing else (we got his blood tested to see if anything else was involved). He got busted on his way home from a fireside after being turned in for putting on a wild west show in the middle of a cul-de-sac after dark.

    There needs to be research done. Just taking anecdotal stories that someone's pain was minimized isn't enough for me. There may be useful compounds within hooch that may be of benefit without the THC. That needs to be found out and tested. Big Pharma ought to see this as another money making opportunity and should be leading the way.

    I'd trust the brethren way before I'd trust most of the respondents on this board. The fact they even put out this announcement means to me that they are informed on the issue.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    June 29, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    It's been studied to death. The LDS church should stay out of legislation.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    Calling for more research seems like it would have been a more appropriate request, say 30 years ago. Making the request now seems like a delay tactic, to avoid the issue.

    How about a request for more studies on the vaccines that are being forced upon the people. There is more research on the risks/effects of marijuana, than has been done on many of the vaccines that are approved by the FDA.

    There may be a couple conditions for which marijuana, or its byproducts may treat, for most conditions that it is being taken it is purely palliative; It does not treat but only relieves symptoms. Many people now prescribed opioids for pain relief, may benefit from marijuana which is less addictive, and does not have the risk of death from overdose.

    What needs to be studied is how to control distribution and use of medical marijuana. Allow those now prescribed opioids and other drugs for pain to be prescribed marijuana if the patient finds that it is more effective for alleviating their pain.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 8:13 a.m.


    Among the senior most leaders of the LDS Church there are 2 doctors and 3 attorneys (one of whom was a former justice on the Utah Supreme Court). They probably at least know some things about those fields. They are maybe not the world's leading experts, but let's face it, neither are any commentors on the DNews comment boards. In fact these men probably know much more on the topics of pharmacology and jurisprudence than many of us.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 29, 2017 7:59 a.m.

    Last June one of our grandchildren, a girl, died just a few weeks overturning age 4 due to brain cancer. Though her life was cut short by this disease, it wasn't handstand made longer by her parents use of medical marijuana that both increased her appetite, and made her grow quickly after chemo treatment, where she had skin sagging on her skinny behind, and her ribs and skinny neck showing.

    I have no doubt that this true medical marijuana helped her put on weight, so she had something to fight cancer with, and also decreased the seizures that she had.

    That said, I see lots of hazards in legalizing medical marijuana. I would almost bet that many cases of medical marijuana use might easily become not much different from mere recreational use, especially among some teens and adults.

    Or rather, I believe that recreational use might be greatly increased in the state by legalizing medical marijuana.

    This said, I I am afraid of Utah becoming another Colorado or Washington State. From what I have scene about the legalization of recreational marijuana these states has become a pandemic of big problems in both of them!

  • Peter Cullman Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 29, 2017 7:35 a.m.

    The literature also shows many benefits of cannabis. Although the brain may be adversely affected in younger people, cannabis has been shown to improve memory in the elderly, for instance.

    Cannabis is a plant, an herb. It can therefore be used as food and/or as a drug. Limiting cannabis to the definition of a drug restricts its potential.

    "[All] wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man" (D&C 89:10).

    The herbs and foods God has provided are for our health. There are many proper usages of plants, including cannabis, that promote health. Promote health sufficiently with food and you can cure disease.

    Health and medicine are interwoven. Many variables contribute to the effectiveness of cannabis and each person responds differently. Additional research is indeed needed, and smoking is indeed detrimental. But what is also needed is the freedom to exercise one's agency in its use. For centuries, cultures have been using cannabis for health. Every American should likewise be free.

    Watch "The Sacred Plant" documentary series for in-depth discussions and personal examples of success in the successful treating of many diseases with cannabis.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 29, 2017 7:09 a.m.

    Churches should stay out of areas that aren't their area of expertise. Stick to religion and stay out of the medical and legal arenas please.

  • Give me liberty Phoenix, AZ
    June 29, 2017 6:59 a.m.

    Smoking marijuana that comes from who knows where, with a random and uncontrolled amount of THC in it is like taking the lid off an aspirin bottle shaking it and swallowing whatever happens to fall out for a headache. I.e., not the smartest thing to do. That is one of the reasons the FDA says it has no medical uses.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 29, 2017 6:37 a.m.

    "I came to the conclusion I needed to heed church counsel even when I didn't like it, even when it conflicted with my well thought out views, even if it seemed not to be how I understood some gospel principle or passage of scripture."

    Until one can differentiate between church counsel opinion and guidance from above, I totally disagree with this logic. If one believes in "divine revelation" that is one thing. But I have yet to hear someone tell me when counsel is opinion or word from above.

    How often have we hard that leaders "are just human and prone to mistakes" when history refutes counsel?

    Blindly following is unwise "when it conflicted with my well thought out views"

  • Thomas Thompson SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 29, 2017 5:57 a.m.

    "This discussion raises legitimate questions regarding the benefits and risks of legalizing a drug that has not gone through the well-established and rigorous process to prove its effectiveness and safety." The difficulty with this position is that, currently, federal law does not authorize "research" for substances which federal law makes illegal across the board. To get such research underway will require a great deal of political will and much fortitude, because as things stand now, most proposed research regarding marijuana is routinely denied. That must change.

  • yahoo Logan, UT
    June 29, 2017 5:27 a.m.

    Since this isn't church doctrine, I don't feel at odds on this. My only question is, what do they need more research on. Is it the oil that helps people, is the material which can be made from the plant, or is it merely the smoking of marijuana. There are many uses for the marijuana plant, it just depends on how it is used. That is something I want to have spelled out. Research has already show the oil from the plant is very helpful with no side affects. And the material that can come from the plant is much stronger than what we have today. Smoking of marijuana is the obvious one. So I am not completely understanding of what they need research on.

  • klimber510 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2017 3:53 a.m.

    I recently spoke with a woman in Portland, Oregon who works as a mobile medical marijuana distributor. I asked her what conditions medical marijuana was being used to treat. I thought her answer was ominous. She said, "It would be simpler to ask, 'What conditions can't it treat?'" This delusion that it can be used to treat anything and everything I think is part of the problem. I agree with the Church that the responsible approach is to properly vet its medicinal use like any other drug. To succumb to the anecdotal testimony of a few enthusiastic users could risk the health of many more.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:50 a.m.

    The National Library of Medicine in Maryland is the world's largest biomedical library and the developer of electronic information. They have done many studies, dating back to the early 80's.

    I fully agree with the use of the oil, but not the plant. I've seen the oil work miracles, but have seen no proof that the chemical that produces the high is needed.

    I hope the "further study " is not just a stalling tactic, and that honest study will take place.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    June 29, 2017 1:31 a.m.

    The church needs and should let people use their agency especially for those that live in this state that aren't of the LDS faith when it come to marijuana because thats what the war in heaven was all about.
    We all know where the church stands on the word of wisdom so there's no need to impose it on others in the state.

  • Mick , 00
    June 29, 2017 12:41 a.m.

    If marijuana is going to be used like a drug and written in prescription form by doctors it needs to undergo the same testing that all drugs go through by the FDA. Why should this "drug" all of the sudden be legalized without rigorous testing to determine its effects ?

  • Alden Salt Lake City, 84116
    June 29, 2017 12:24 a.m.

    I was taught that men are that they might have joy - how can someone have joy or fully serve while dealing with chronic pain, or any of the serious conditions potentially treatable by cannabis?

    My grandmother was bedridden for nearly 15 years, and unbeknownst to us or her, completely addicted to opioid pills prescribed by her doctor. Everything she loved was taken from her, especially her ability to serve as an active member of the LDS church. She eventually died of cancer, never finding any relief from her pain until death. We should not judge or prevent those seeking relief from serious disease.

    I don't think the statements by the church are in an effort to encourage voters to oppose the ballot initiative. Members in states that allow medical cannabis can hold temple recommends and use cannabis for medical treatment. And, I certainly don't believe the LDS church would ever encourage its members to not follow medical recommendations to find relief from serious disease.

    Anything can be abused, that's why I don't support recreational laws. I understand using caution and best practices, but the patients I know aren't trying to get high, they are trying to live normal lives.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    June 29, 2017 12:19 a.m.

    Love your comment, NoNames. It shows both maturity and faith, a good combination in today's complex world.

  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    June 29, 2017 12:03 a.m.

    In states where Marijuana is legal the Opioid crisis is less severe.

    As a Latter Day Saint who has lost several neighbors, friends and a family member to overdose I feel like we need to get studies done as quickly as possible and make it legal to use Marijuana in a medical setting.

    Drug addiction is everywhere. It hits the inner city and suburbs alike. The people I knew were good, hard working and kind and got started with opiates after surgery and athletic injuries. They had children and families and jobs. Within 5 years they were dead. What a waste.

  • yahoo Logan, UT
    June 28, 2017 11:59 p.m.

    On this issue it isn't doctrine. They want more research. Question is why aren't they looking to what medical marijuana is, the oil. Research is all over the place and has been for years. Even the Indians proved there isn't anything wrong with it. What are they trying to research about medical marijuana anyway? That is something they haven't specified yet and I doubt they will. Even though they the church leaders want to have more research done, that is fine with me but I would still sign the petition. Unless this is actual doctrine, I am signing it. Nothing wrong with using myself as part of research however that won't happen, I don't need it but there are a lot of people who do.

    When the church puts out a statement like this, I have to wonder what are they wanting to research about marijuana. Is the oil that helps or people smoking it, or the material which can be made from the plant. That is my only question to them. What are they wanting researched?

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2017 11:16 p.m.

    Well balanced and wise counsel here from the Church.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    June 28, 2017 11:05 p.m.

    I am glad to hear this. My oldest son was blown up in Iraq. After about 18 months, he was "fixed up" well enough to serve in Afghanistan for a year. He got out and is 40 % disabled with injuries to his lungs and the bone structure on one half of his chest and shoulder. All the Veteran's Administration has for him are opioid pills. I too, am a disabled vet (100%) and no longer can use the tens unit they gave me for use on my knee (2 surgeries), back, and replaced shoulder, because I am now the proud recipient of a pacemaker. Guess what the VA has for me. That's right, opioids. I have been "John Wayneing the pain" for years. Be nice to have something that would not turn me into an addict to take the pain away.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 28, 2017 10:43 p.m.

    Statements such as this from the LDS church are not released without the approval of the first presidency and quorum of the twelve. It is well and good for active LDS to raise their hands a few times a year to indicate they will sustain these inspired church leaders.

    But the rubber hits the road when counsel from the church conflicts with our personal social, political, economic, or cultural beliefs.

    I've been there. I've had that personal disagreement with church counsel on matters legal, polotical, or social. I struggled.

    I came to the conclusion I needed to heed church counsel even when I didn't like it, even when it conflicted with my well thought out views, even if it seemed not to be how I understood some gospel principle or passage of scripture.

    I've had greater peace and increased understanding knowing I'm not at odds with inspired counsel.

    I still don't understand or even like every policy or counsel that conflicts with my previously held views. But there is great spiritual safety and strength in faithful obedience.

    Sustaining is about far more than raising a hand.