SALT LAKE CITY – Hundreds of Utahns marched around Temple Square Saturday to protest the LDS Church’s stance on Proposition 2, a ballot measure that would bring medical marijuana to Utah.
A little over a month ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made public their stance on Proposition 2.
It claimed their opposition is not to medical marijuana, but to how Proposition 2 presents it. The wording, they believe, is too loosely written and will open the door to a culture of recreational marijuana in Utah, not just medicinal use.
“Separate church and state!” the protesters repeated again and again.
Chants continued to ring out through Temple Square.
“Plants over pills!” the chants continued.
The group, comprised of Utahns from across the state, looked to send a big message to the LDS Church.
“Church and state do no equate!” the protesters chanted.
“The church cannot tell us what is right and wrong in our bodies,” one woman yelled out to the group.
But in a sea of pot leaves and green, a family in black shined the brightest.
“I am here today in support of Proposition 2 so that my daughter, Savannah, can stop suffering every day of her life,” said Jennifer Hahn as she stood next to her daughter’s wheelchair.
Savannah has her spine fused, needs a tube to breathe, and another tube to eat.
“My daughter has Rett Syndrome, it is a chromosome mutation,” said Hahn. “Nothing she did, nothing anyone did, dumb luck. Savannah also suffers from Grand mal seizures.”
For Jennifer, taking care of her daughter is a full-time job.
“She still suffers from seizures daily, she’s in chronic pain,” she said.
“It’s terrifying… there’s not a night where I don’t go to bed wondering if I’m going to wake up without my daughter,” Hahn said with tears welling in her eyes.
She believes medical marijuana would change her daughter’s life.
“My 16-year-old is an opioid addict,” said Hahn. “She is currently on four different anti-seizure medications.”
So Saturday, she pushed Savannah’s chair with the protesters, trying to put a face on medical marijuana.
“I want to show them it’s not just recreational use, that’s not why Prop. 2 was put in place,” said Hahn.
“Prop. 2 was put in place to help people like Savannah. To help me sleep at night knowing my daughter isn’t going to die from a seizure,” she added.
All the while hoping to give the church a change of heart in support of Prop. 2.
“I hope they at least pay attention, I mean who can look at this cute little face and not see what it can do? Maybe if it was their child that was suffering from it, they would think twice,” Hahn said.
Voters will decide the fate of Prop. 2 at the polls on Nov. 6.