It goes without saying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is prominent in Utah. The Beehive State has about 3.2 Million residents, and of those, over 2 Million are LDS members.
As one might expect, the LDS Church holds powerful sway over political issues there.
It is beyond shocking, however, that the LDS is pressuring congregants to choose between the church and sick children, and vote against Proposition 2 to legalize medicinal cannabis.
The LDS is being especially crafty in its demand, swaddling its "rather nuanced position" (as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune) in the sweet-smelling guise of acknowledgement that medical marijuana can be a viable treatment for some people who are suffering but "it simply does not believe that this particular ballot measure is the best way to help people without opening the door to recreational use".
We're not big Bible readers, but the LDS Church seems to be giving parents of children who can be treated with cannabis the same choice as God gave Abraham in Genesis 22.
The LDS Church suggests that it supports cannabis' use for medicinal purposes only if "prescribed by a physician and dispensed at a pharmacy." Surely the church knows that Utah doctors are not trained to understand cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol, or any of the one 100 compounds in cannabis; much less how to prescribe them for the dozens of conditions that are approved for cannabis treatment in the 30 states that have approved its use.
And surely it knows doctors cannot prescribe a medicinal product that is not federally approved.
And surely the church knows that Utah pharmacies, many of which are part of national chains, cannot dispense cannabis because it's federally illegal.
Yes, the church knows all that. And it knows that Utah children would suffer and die in the time it would take to develop another proposition it could support.
it's not bad enough that the LDS Church doesn't care about these sick children. The LDS Church is also telling neighbors to vote against neighbors, grandparents to vote against their own grandchildren...
it's truly monstrous.
Utah parents are not fools and they're not devils. They will rebel. They will leave the state, they may even leave the church, but they will not abandon their children.
In the end, we hope that the LDS demonstrates mercy and pulls back so that all the little Isaacs survive this terrible choice.
image source: Salt Lake City Tribune