LDS Church issues new statement on medical marijuana


SALT LAKE CITY — In a new statement issued Friday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified its stance on two competing pieces of medical marijuana legislation being considered by Utah lawmakers.

While we are not in a position to evaluate specific medical claims, the Church understands that there are some individuals who may benefit from the medical use of compounds found in marijuana. For that reason, although the Church opposes SB 73, it has raised no objection to SB 89. These two competing pieces of legislation take very different approaches when it comes to issues like access, distribution, control and the potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC,” the statement said.

Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, would allow so-called “whole plant” cannabis usage for qualifying patients. Madsen clarified that the bill would only allow medicinal cannabis to be used in forms like oils and gummies. Madsen has said in the past that smoking marijuana would remain illegal.

Senate Bill 89, sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, and Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, would allow medicinal cannabis consumers to use an extract with trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

The bills are expected to be debated on the Senate floor next week.

Read the entire statement issued February 12, 2016 by the LDS Church:

While we are not in a position to evaluate specific medical claims, the Church understands that there are some individuals who may benefit from the medical use of compounds found in marijuana. For that reason, although the Church opposes SB 73, it has raised no objection to SB 89. These two competing pieces of legislation take very different approaches when it comes to issues like access, distribution, control and the potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC. 

In addition to the therapeutic, treatment, and control questions, there are several other important issues to be resolved.  At the forefront is that the use of medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law.  We agree with groups such as the American Medical Association, who have said (see the AMA policy below) that further study is warranted before significant public policy decisions on marijuana are advanced. For these reasons, the Church urges a cautious approach.

               American Medical Association Policy – H-95.952 Cannabis for Medicinal Use

(1) Our AMA calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease. (2) Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product. (3) Our AMA urges the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a special schedule and implement administrative procedures to facilitate grant applications and the conduct of well-designed clinical research involving cannabis and its potential medical utility. This effort should include: a) disseminating specific information for researchers on the development of safeguards for cannabis clinical research protocols and the development of a model informed consent form for institutional review board evaluation; b) sufficient funding to support such clinical research and access for qualified investigators to adequate supplies of cannabis for clinical research purposes; c) confirming that cannabis of various and consistent strengths and/or placebo will be supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to investigators registered with the DEA who are conducting bona fide clinical research studies that receive FDA approval, regardless of whether or not the NIH is the primary source of grant support. (4) Our AMA believes that effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions.(CSA Rep. 10, I-97; Modified: CSA Rep. 6, A-01; Modified: CSAPH Rep. 3, I-09; Modified in lieu of Res. 902, I-10; Reaffirmed in lieu of Res. 523, A-11; Reaffirmed in lieu of Res. 202, I-12; Reaffirmed: CSAPH Rep. 2, I-13)



    • BooHoo

      Wrong, I care so your point is invalid! Now go keep living in your hate filled world where only your own opinions matter, oh and have a nice day!

      • connor griffin

        I think what he/she was trying to say is that a majority of people in general disregard what the lds church/temple/ members or leaders have to say on this matter. fact is (1) that the church (Mormon, Baptist, etc) will shoot down any/all attempt on legalizing substances that they consider “ungodly” or “immoral,” whether it is or not. Furthermore (2) the church has NO SAY as to what congress, legislature, lawmakers, or state/national government(s) legalize unless in the rare but most likely inevitable case of a tyrannical uprising due to separation of church and state.

      • BooHoo

        @CONNER Regarding your “Fact 1”, are you implying that things would be better in Utah if our state passed “ungodly” and “immoral” laws? “Fact 2” Correct, the church does not make any laws, explain to me how the church has passed a law by publicly stating their opinion, along with that, how should the church publicly state their opinion regarding their stance on social issues?

  • Joy Middlemas

    It is our human right to have access to medicinal herbs and to even NEED a dr involved it insult enough but to just refuse to learn, to see, to hear what is in front of them because THANK GOD it also included a little mental relief as well. It was a gift from GOD, Let us ALL benefit from it and leave medical & science matters to the professionals.

    • BooHoo

      In America it is our “human right” to practice a religion if we so choose. This religion is also protected by law to publicly state it’s opinion regarding societal issues. Therefore it is a “human right” to accept this religious opinion or not. Isn’t your statement so ironic?

  • TheCakeIsALie

    If the Mormon Church would only stand up and weigh in on education and expanding health care services, maybe I could tolerate their opinion more. There are many mormons outside of this state using medical marijuana to relieve chemo side-effects, MS, PTSD, and I could go on. The world has not ended, families have not disintegrated, and in fact, people are getting relief without the harmful risks of pill addiction. Let the legislators due their constituencies’ bidding, not the church’s!

    • BooHoo

      The church simply stated their opinion/stance, how is that not acceptable to you or anyone else? Last I checked they weren’t casting any votes?

      • bobby

        Problem is they know there statements influence many of our great states lawmakers. Hopefully sen Madsen gets his bill passed atleast he has the backbone to keep pushing for the people. The percentage of people who support legalization here is much larger than those who dont. Thc is needed for all pain patients . Cbd does not act fast enough,where as the tetrahydracanabidol acts immediately. The doctors are responsible for this huge opiate addiction nationally, yet people refuse to accept a NATURAL plant. Man I’m just astounded at the blindness here.

      • BooHoo

        @BOBBY Did anyone here actually read the church’s stance or did they just see “LDS” in the headline and react with their hate speech? The first line should clear up a lot for everyone, also, the church has asked for a “cautious approach” to this matter seeing as it is still against “Federal Law”. I will agree with you that the blindness is astounding with the folks on this site.

  • Dim Whit

    “…potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC,” the statement said.
    The stupidity and ignorance is off the charts with this statement.

  • Thor

    Well they may also want to change their stance on the compound THC, as Marinol a 100% synthetic THC schedule 3 Prescription drug has been used in all 50 states since the early 80’s…

    Additionally, what happened with Separation of church and state? These statements or stances from the church should not be swaying our elected officials on this matter or any other matter.

      • Tom Barrus,_Section_4.html
        Home Utah Constitution Article I Section 4
        Article I Section 4
        Article I, Section 4. [Religious liberty.]
        The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust or for any vote at any election; nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror on account of religious belief or the absence thereof. There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or for the support of any ecclesiastical establishment.

  • Rob Shaffer

    Now that the LDS has clarified their position my opinion has went from “TRULY couldn’t care less what they think” to only ‘couldn’t care less what they think’. Progress was made.

  • Brian McIsaac

    The money-addicted brainwash cult known as The Mormons are a far greater threat to your kids than cannabis. If their missionaries get their grips on your teenager you won’t see some minor personality changes, you’ll suddenly have a stanger in your midst. But not for long because almost immediately your kid will be away on a 2 year mission converting other peoples vulnerable teenagers. Pray your teen discovers cannabis before the Mormons discover your teen.

    • Emily

      “Personality changes”… like what? Being kind? Trying to love and serve others?? I don’t quite see your point here.


    It does not matter what the polygamist think. This state is about to be completely surrounded by states that have legal (retail/recreational) marijuana and the massive amount of weed that will be passing through this state could and should be taxed. You law makers have your head in the sand on this subject and instead of being proactive about it you are going to take a wait and see approach. In the end legalization is inevitable whether you believe it should be or not. We now need to education our citizens with the truth about the effects of MJ and stop feeding them with inaccurate information. It is ok for this state to sell a substance that kills thousands of people a year….the state is selling this to you…but it’s not ok to sell something that has never killed a single person. You have been lied to about this plant just like your parents lied to you about religion…or forced their believes on you.

    • BooHoo

      I will agree with you that the state does allow selling substances that do harm, but it proves the church does not make policy as implied by so many on this site! PS – you discredit yourself by making false statements as well, the church does not accept polygamy but you know this already, it just doesn’t portray enough hate in your claim to state facts, does it?

      • FATSAC (@FATSAC)

        No, I am just stating what your religion was founded on and you’re attempting to justify it. Your kids will be exposed to this substance whether you like it or not and you can have them smoking something that was grown by someone that is not regulated or they can be smoking something that has been tested for pesticides and other foreign matter. Please look around and see the writing on the walls. This is not the days of past…this is the future and you can be fully involved with the way that it is distributed/regulated. One other thought is legalizing weed can be considered protecting your children due to the regulations that will be enforced.

      • BooHoo

        @FATSAC So close on having an educated discussion but you still had to bring up polygamy. You understand that many women lost their husbands when the church was founded? This left the women with children and obligation to provide, but again, that is not the topic of conversation for the here and now. As far as “my kids” I will opt to educate and teach “my kids” how I see fit. They can then decide whether or not they will use any substance. I believe the church is being fully involved in todays current events, if you actually read the letter, they ask for a “cautious approach”. They also remind everyone that it is still against Federal Law, perhaps the Federal Government should be the topic of conversation and not the church?

  • Love Utah

    Can we please just take the tax exemption away from the LD$ corporation already and make it official that they do run the state. Is there actually anyone that does not think the church controls Utah?

    • BooHoo

      What does tax exemption have to do with this? You do know that the church provides massive welfare to the state? Have you ever educated yourself on what the church actually does that is good for the state? You should try it, it is a ray of sunshine in your dark vision of the world around you!


      Many Mormons including the those in government feel obligated to “follow” what the church leaders say is right/wrong just so they keep their status in the religion. IRS tax-exempt status states: “In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.”

    • Nowiknowy

      Listen everyone…When the church makes a statement it’s directed at the members of the church. To clarify their stance. They are not trying to “push any political weight around.” And for those that think that the church is all about $ (LD$ – “Love Utah”) the church is a completely lay church. Those that serve from the Prophet down to the Sunday school teacher are not paid. The church is never in any debt also. It is organized and ran perfectly.In the future your opinions should be based on knowledge and facts.

  • Sensible Advocate

    Yes, more study is needed to make medicines out of cannabis that can be “prescribed” by doctors. However, thousands of years of ingestion in societies across the globe along with almost 20 years of use for specific medical needs in California show us that whole plant cannabis is is less toxic than vitamins and nutritional supplements that doctors are free to “recommend” with out prescribing them. Most medical marijuana patients simply want to use cannabis to supplement their current regime. Cannabis not only rescues pain on its own, it has been shown to regulate how the opiate medications are absorbed by human opioid receptors. Basically, cannabis helps the body use opioid medications more efficiently and not uptake too much which results in stopped breathing and/or heartbeat.
    In California, Drs. can recommend supplemental cannabis with out prescribing it. That system has resulted in a 30% decline in opioid overdose deaths in that state.

    • BooHoo

      I believe this is exactly what the church is stating. They are essentially siding with the Federal bodies to further the study and effects and urging the use of caution as this moves forward.

  • Dim Whit

    They forbid the use of tea, a plant which the science across the board confirms is so very good for you. This is more of the same. To hell with this tax-free corporation.

      • Dim Whit

        Boohoo I didn’t say the church took any rights away from me because it doesn’t, so that is a fallacy. I’m saying they do not operate within the realm of truth.

  • Tom Barrus

    D&C 89:10-11 “10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
    11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

    • Tom Barrus
      Doctrine and Covenants
      Section 89
      Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833. As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was led to ponder upon the matter; consequently, he inquired of the Lord concerning it. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, was the result.
      1–9, The use of wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks is proscribed; 10–17, Herbs, fruits, flesh, and grain are ordained for the use of man and of animals; 18–21, Obedience to gospel law, including the Word of Wisdom, brings temporal and spiritual blessings.

  • R

    I would say to each his own and to the LDS, Please allow free agency! To do otherwise is going with Satan’s plan! I personally have had to have chronic pain control and after reviewing the studies on how dangerous Opioids are and how benign Cannabis is I see no reason for your LDS boot on my neck,

  • Brenden Whitelaw

    First off, fox 13 needs to list accurate facts. THC has all the same medical benefits as CBD and other components. #fox13 THC is not hallucinogenic, that is a false statement, it’s psychoactive and proven to help people with PTSD.

    Of course Senator Evan Vickers would support a building involves Manufacturing compounds. He’s a pharmacist and that’s the only way he can process it to make a profit in the pharmaceutical industry. Whole plant production what harm business for someone in his standing. It’s a corrupt system.

  • Anthony

    Why is this even a story? The church doesn’t have a vote, doesn’t pay taxes, doesn’t have any say but here is good ol’ Fox, covering the stories that shouldn’t be covered in the first place.
    “Why is this news,” one might ask. It’s because the basis of conservative views is that someone is telling YOU what is conservative, whether that be a church, parents, teachers, ect. If the church doesn’t tell people how they feel, conservatives in Utah won’t know how to think or vote.

  • Michelle Elrick

    I find this so ironic, that the Mormon Church is going to ” cautiously ” check into Medical Marijuana , as Utah is built on stepping stones of PROZAK … interesting concept though.

  • George S

    Don’t understand WHAT the church is putting they’re 2 cents in for the need to keep it the way it is sapose to be CHURCH AND STATE SEPARATE AND KEEP they’re opinion to they’re followers and no where else but then again that is utah for you MORMON RAN ALL THE WAY……..NOT RIGHT…

  • Dale Spann

    So let me get this straight cause I’ve been to your state and will NEVER go back again or even drive through it after what I’ve seen, so it’s OK to have 15 wives 70 kids live out in the desert and basically start the girls out at 12 and 13 years old and you think you know what’s best for Utahs residents much less everyone else, is this whole state ruled by the church and I use that term loosely it’s a CULT and you believe that you know what’s best for everyone else, oh yeah that’s laughable and sad at the same time!!!!

  • Myself.

    And once again, point made. Why is their control over those who do not belong to their church, still have to be affected by their need to control everything here in Utah. CHURCH STATE. Send it to the ballot. Don’t change it, give it to the citizens to make this decision, WE ARE ADULTS HERE!!!! Don’t insert your perspective and views into my “types” of choices I choose to make for myself. They are seriously over stepping here by miles and miles…

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