May 10th, 2015

Mormons and Medical Marijuana

As Libertas Institute has become a leading force in the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Utah—the backyard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—I’ve been paying attention more closely to the experiences and thoughts of Mormons around the country who use, or desire to use, cannabis as a medical treatment option.

Nearly half of the 50 states have now legalized cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational uses, thereby defying federal law criminalizing possession and use of the plant. This patchwork of policies has produced a similarly heterogenous set of experiences by church members.

The fundamental question to be addressed by followers of Christ who seek to keep His commandments is whether the use of this plant for medicinal purposes is an acceptable action. One litmus test used to help determine the answer to that question is the Word of Wisdom, commonly known as the health standard to which Mormons adhere.

This health standard—first revealed merely as a “greeting; not by commandment or constraint” and later turned into a commandment—makes no mention of cannabis. It does say that “all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man… to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

The concern over cannabis is often irrational; many Mormons have no problem with doctors prescribing, and patients using, highly toxic opioids that lead to high rates of chemical dependency. Utah is well known for the large percentage of people dying from overdosing on prescription drugs. These aren’t drug addicts in the familiar sense—they are in too many cases upstanding individuals who find themselves needing pain relief and being sent down a spiral of dependency and self-destruction because opium is societally (and legally) accepted, whereas cannabis is not. An average of 21 Utahns die every month from overdosing on opioids.

The fact that a few politicians have decreed cannabis to be legally verboten has led many in the church’s lay clergy to ecclesiastically punish their congregants who have used it, even if under a doctor’s recommendation. I am aware of cases, for example, in which Church members who use cannabis for strictly medical purposes have had to surrender their temple recommend upon their bishop’s demand.

The gatekeeping questions that must be answered in the affirmative in order to enter the temple include two that may relate to the use of cannabis: “Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?” and “Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?” The Church’s official handbook, which bishops use to determine the worthiness of each member, encumbers the scriptural language of the Word of Wisdom with additional instructions that state, “Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician.” Contextualized this way, the health code becomes tainted with legal implications; one is no longer allowed to use wholesome herbs that “God hath ordained” unless certain legislative and bureaucratic bodies have given their blessing. Doctors have additionally become placed by church leaders as mandatory intermediaries between a person and his or her own health treatment.

Taking medical cannabis thus introduces some uncertainty in determining how to appropriately answer the question regarding the Word of Wisdom. As for the other question, the interviewee can theoretically answer in the affirmative to the extent that the person is not lying about their use of cannabis—even if it is “against the law.”

In at least one area, would-be disciples of Christ who are using cannabis as a medical treatment are being denied the opportunity to be baptized at all. A mission president in Portland Oregon instructed the missionaries he’s in charge of that “no individual who smokes marijuana for ‘medicinal purposes’ can be baptized a member of the Church in this mission.” His reasoning relies upon a faulty—though prevalent—interpretation of the 12th Article of Faith, as well as a misinterpretation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It is quite sad to see priesthood holders subjecting a person’s spiritual progress to the political decrees of (often corrupt) agents of the government. (This becomes especially worrisome when considering the selective approach used; people violating immigration laws, for example, are baptized and welcomed into the faith.)

Having become so deeply involved in the effort to legalize medical cannabis in Utah, I have heard far too many stories about dependence and death, or suffering and side effects from law-abiding citizens who have relegated themselves to using dangerous or ineffective remedies to help treat or alleviate their conditions. Some of these people have confided in me their secret use of cannabis to provide relief when nothing else has worked—and some have been openly admitting their use of this plant. That such people are being pitted between much needed physical relief and good standing within their church is a tragic frustration that will hopefully soon be resolved through educating ecclesiastical leadership about its benefits, and taking politics out of what should only be a medical consideration.

35 Responses to “Mormons and Medical Marijuana”

  1. Kurt Dowdle
    May 10, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    Several years ago, twenty, to be exact, the Relief Society President in our Ward contracted cancer. As her Bishop, I laid my hands on her head and told her that whatever she asked for, the Lord would give her. She asked for two more years and got it. When the cancer came back, she was in a lot of pain. Her doctor suggested medical marijuana. She asked me what she should do. Medical marijuana wasn’t legal at that time but she had an older inactive son, who could get her some if she wanted it. Again, I looked her in they eyes, and said that whatever she decided, she would be fine. She decided in the end to suffer. However, had she decided to “break the law,” there would have been no church court. Conversely, I am sure there are church leaders that look to the law first, which is fine, except they shouldn’t ignore the promptings of the Spirit that may have a different perspective and answer.

  2. Diana Isham
    May 11, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    All smoke, regardless of the source, contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter (PM or soot). Therefore to intentionally smoke anything is nothing short of a death wish for there is no “safe” way to inhale it. Carbon in any form (unless it is activated charcoal) is harmful not only to humans but to any creature that breathes.

  3. Diana Isham
    May 11, 2015 at 6:34 am #

    And even activated charcoal can be dangerous when it is not used correctly: Questions to Help You Use Activated Charcoal Safely: http://www.aspcapro.org/resource/shelter-health-animal-care/questions-help-you-use-activated-charcoal-safely

  4. John
    May 11, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    In regards to the statements above: the word of wisdom doesn’t ban us from intaking substances that are bad for our bodies. For example, there are substances much worse than tea that my bishop isn’t going to stop me from entering the temple for eating.

    The only place I’ve seen the church mention anything about Marijuana is in the strength of youth pamphlet.

    Not sure how that measures up in the grand scheme of things, but that’s where the church chose to mention it.

  5. Brooke
    May 11, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    I am a sufferer of a severe, chronic illness and would love to opportunity to be free of all the toxic chemicals I pour into my body. The side effects alone of these drugs are rather terrifying, I have tried Medical Marijuana in a legal state and found great pain relief with zero side effects. People have got to open their eyes to what is going on in the Big Pharma companies. They know this medication would empty their pockets. I am a good Mormon girl but wouldn’t wish this prescribed poison on anyone.

  6. Michael Andersen
    May 11, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    One also has to consider how the 12th Article of Faith affects the issue. The states that have legalized are in defiance of a federal ban. A person that follows the law would still need to follow the federal ban, at least until we can get it overturned.

  7. Janet Booton
    May 11, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Conditioning in any form creates judgement. That judgement comes from perspective, it is varied but very personal. Agency is our best tool against judgement of self and others. With regards to the use of medical marijuana there are many forms in which this can be internally and externally, thereby removing the inhalation concern. Becoming educated on any topic is wisdom, for then you can make an informed decision. I would like to thank this author for his insights and clarity on this matter, as there is so much disinformation among people in general that needless suffering is experienced far too often. Guilt and ignorance is a choice.

  8. Del Dalton
    May 11, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    My wife found relief and stability for many years with her psychological problems by self medicating with pot. She has since became a Mormon with a temple recommend and some of her psychological problems have returned as she struggles to find a medication that works for her without turning her into a zombie. She threatens to return her recommend and with a medical prescription, resume taking an extract of CBD from pot in an ingested form, non smoking.
    It would be easier to change the stance of the Brethren on this subject than the gay marriage subject!

  9. Michael Stewart
    May 11, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    God said we are to follow his laws. We should always ” render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. If man’s law’s are in conflict with God’s laws and his desire for our happiness, then we are to follow God’s laws. He is the true lawgiver.

  10. Mat Kent
    May 11, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    I think it’s important to keep in mind, as Connor points out, that there is a lot of misconception and misinformation out there.
    As to the health issues already mentioned in previous comments, while it is true that the smoke from burning marijuana is harmful to our bodies, I would again echo Connor’s point that the drugs that are being “legally” prescribed are in many cases just as harmful, if not more so, and much more addictive than marijuana is.
    As far as the legality of it, I would point out that the “war on drugs” is unconstitutional in the first place. Plus, the federal law is not superior to state laws according to the constitution. This is another misconception that would be nice to get cleared up. Too many profess a love of, and a commitment to, the constitution, but then support legislation that is in direct conflict to it. Back to Connor’s point, education is key on this issue.

  11. Cam
    May 11, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Connor Boyack is the new John Dehlin! Stop following the prophet because Connor is here to help us all see how flawed these Brethren are. Only Connor isn’t flawed. He is more educated than the brethren. Just ignore the wise counsel found in the scriptures “when you are learned you think you are wise”. Follow Connor Follow Connor Follow Connor He knows the way.

  12. CJ
    May 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    only 3 days left (May 13th)
    LET’S GET LEGAL IN TEXAS IN 2015!!
    http://tinyurl.com/legalize-texas-2015

  13. Daniel King
    May 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    I served a mission in California and a missionary asked a member of the seventy whether or not we could baptize someone on medicinal marijuana. He replied that if the individual had been prescribed marijuana by a doctor, then we were to think of it like any other prescription medication. I was under the impression that was church policy. In matters of health, we differ to doctors whenever the word of wisdom isn’t explicit.
    Also, someone above mentioned that smoking is always dangerous whatever the substance. I have never heard of anyone taking marijuana for medicinal purposes who ingested it by smoking. There are other ways to take it for health that are less harmful.

  14. Mike from Canada
    May 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi:

    I am a convert to the church and have been a member for well over 30 years. I’m happily married (in the temple), a father of four and a grand-father of four. I’ve held many callings in the church, most in leadership positions, and consider myself a “good Mormon”.

    About eight years ago I began suffering from depression. I think it was due to having worked an insane amount of hours during my 40s (to stave off bankruptcy), all while serving as Bishop of a struggling unit and raising a family. The depression hit me like a ton of bricks and I was barely able to function. I had enough oomph to do my job but when I got home I found myself staring at a computer screen (or the wall) with tears rolling down my face. I was totally burned out. My Stake President at the time was also employed by the church as a counsellor for LDS Social Services. I scheduled an appointment to see him on a professional basis and told him my story. The first thing he suggested was that I see my doctor to get a prescription for Effexor, an anti-depressant. I have friends who are on this stuff and wanted no part of it. I had also read that many people take pot as a mild anti-depressant and I had read enough about pot to know that it was a relatively safe substance. My depression was far from mild and after several months of not being able to bounce back I decided to give pot a try. I never was a smoker and opted to eat it instead. I used what I thought was a very small quantity and after a few hours I felt normal for the first time in months. I was not “stoned” nor was I becoming a lunatic, I merely felt normal which for me, was truly amazing. I was happy to be with my wife, I was attracted to beautiful things again and for the first time in a very long time, felt compassion and charity towards others.

    Ever since that experience I’ve struggled to understand why LDS and the bulk of the Christian world react so stridently whenever the subject of pot comes up. I am not advocating the use of it but for me it was a lot better than a dangerous pharmaceutical that causes so many adverse side effects.

    Why is it that LDS will instantly go on about the risks and quote the word of wisdom when 99+% of us fail to live the word of wisdom? The word of wisdom is absolutely clear about the use of meat and of the hundreds of LDS people I’ve met, not a single one is remotely close to living a vegetarian lifestyle. I remember when I was a brand new member of the church asking Stake leaders why they would host a summer BBQ when the word of wisdom taught otherwise and got railed upon by these guys.

    Why is it that so many LDS are quick to support oppressive laws to legislate morality when D&C 121 is so clear about the abuse of force and authority by mankind?

    Why is it nearly impossible to have an intelligent discussion about pot with members of the church?

    Why is it that so many members of the church would like to see pot users excommunicated when we, as a people, have failed rather badly at accepting the true gospel of Jesus Christ? We’ve gone from Joseph Smith berating Elders for wanting to kill a few rattle snakes to the church owning its own hunting preserve for the rich and well-to-do. We’ve gone from caring for the poor and needy to owning big houses, SUVs and worrying about things of this Telestial world. We’ve had Dick Cheney, a mass murderer and war criminal speak at our church-owned university. Something is not right!

    Sorry for the rant but when I see a plant placed on this earth by design so maliciously maligned, I have to ask myself what all the fuss is about. As for Cam’s comments about Connor and the Brethren, Connor makes no claim that he is smarter than them. The Brethren, however, have made many claims that are at best questionable. The Adam-God doctrine, polygamy, making the word of wisdom into a commandment but only certain parts, the building of a high-end shopping mall… All is not well in Zion.

    My experience with pot was a life saver for me. I’ve bounced back from a severe depression without ingesting any harmful substances. That plant was able to make me feel compassion and charity again at a point in my life when I had virtually no feelings, good or bad. That plant helped remind me of the covenants that I had made and helped get things straight in my thinking. A depressed person does not think logically and I was tempted to do many stupid things while depressed. Pot seemed to amplify my feelings of guilt and helped me stay on a much straighter and narrower path. Pot did not always make me feel good. Some of my experiences were highly unpleasant but they were always instructive.

    Despite what I see happening to my church and despite how most LDS feel about marijuana, my experience has been a positive one. I was saved from doing many stupid things, my testimony and understanding of the gospel have been strengthened and I am now almost free of what was a very debilitating state of mind.

    Finally, in response to Diana Isham, I think we miss the point when we begin thinking of the word of wisdom as a law to prevent us from ingesting harmful substances. If caffeine is the reason we do not drink coffee then why is it that we do not drink decaffeinated coffee? If we as LDS are so gung-ho about the word of wisdom why is it that the vast majority of us violate it when it comes to the consumption of meat? I believe that there are deeper, more spiritual reasons for the word of wisdom. All substances we ingest are toxic; it’s just a question of how much we take.

    Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is scripture. The Brethren are human and prone to making errors, many of which are large ones and I’m okay with that. God lives and Christ is the Saviour. All of us need to calm down and be much less judgemental. “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge…”

    All the best,

    Mike

  15. Ted
    May 11, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Diana Isham states that carbon in any form is bad to breathe. I beg to differ – carbon dioxide is a form of carbon that everyone breathes daily as an integral part of air.

    Carbon monoxide, though, is deadly. Smoke does contain that.

    Also, the Word of Wisdom does not ban meat, only encourages us to eat it sparingly. While most Mormons eat more meat than “sparingly,” the Doctrine and Covenants states specifically that anything banning meat is not from God.

  16. Thom Allen
    May 11, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Sad the choice I want to make about using medical majuijana to ease the pain of cancer is one that will jeopardize my eternal progression.

  17. Mike from Canada
    May 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    Regarding meat, the Lord states specifically in verse 13 of the WOW that it is, “pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine”. I know the vast majority of us LDS choose to ignore this one but it is what it is. I have drastically reduced my consumption of meat but not yet to the point where I eat it only to stave off starvation.

    To Thom Allen: Why do you feel that using marijuana to ease the pain of cancer would jeopardize your eternal progression? My father died of cancer and the chemo made him so sick that he just did not want it anymore, despite the fact that his life would have been potentially lengthened by it. In his case, marijuana would have eased the pain, eased his stomach and would have stimulated his appetite. Cancer is a terrible disease but watching my dad go through chemo was a most terrible thing. What is truly sad is that there are men in authority that would like nothing but to lock people in a cell because of their choice to use a plant to ease the pain of a deadly disease.

  18. Frank Gardiner
    May 12, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    While I have no objection to Medical Marijuana dispensed by specialized physicians under STRICT conditions —-who are we kidding here? Do we want to encourage —or more likely give an excuse—-to the myriad of child like minds who excuse their habituation :(or in some cases “addiction” under the label “medical.” Teachers in Vancouver B. C., complain ” that “Stoned students cannot learn>’ Take a look at our inner cities and then tell me that a “drug culture is not a formula for societal failure.

  19. Mike from Canada
    May 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    Drug culture, in and out of our inner cities, is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem. I grew up in a northern mining town where everyone’s father worked in a mine. We didn’t have that much but we were oblivious of that fact. All of us went to church on Sunday and were raised in a Christian environment. Our parents instilled in us a belief in God and a belief in right and wrong. I went to high school in the early 70s, a time when pot, alcohol and other substances were readily available. Students were not stoned nor drunk in the classroom. I remember very few fights at school and even then, there was a definite code of honour whenever there was a bit of a dust-up. You never, EVER, hit anyone when they were down nor did we carry knives and had to walk through metal detectors at school. Society is falling apart; we can all see that. But, the reason for the falling apart has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol.

    As a child I wanted to try coffee, tea and alcohol, drinks that my parents seemed to enjoy occasionally. My mother’s answer to me was a definite, “no”. Not because these substances were bad for me but because they were drinks for adults and I was told that when I was an adult I could drink these if I wanted to. I was okay with that. I respected my parents; they had never lied to me.

    I don’t claim to know all of the reasons why society is failing but I do know that we have shirked our duty towards the poor and handed it over to the government. We have embraced socialism and the evil taxation by force that helps to fund it. Once we start relying on governments, or the arm of flesh, we begin to ignore God and rely less and less on Him. As a child I knew that certain things offended God and I refrained from doing these things for that very reason. Today, young people are mocked for believing in God. God has been replaced by a smug philosophy based on science. Although I love science, I realize that its methods are limited to a Telestial sphere, which sphere is where evil is permitted to exist.

    We send our kids to government schools where they are taught “progressive” values at the age where they are the most impressionable and when they develop their sense of values. Today in Ontario, where I grew up and currently live, kids are sent to school full-time, a full two years younger than when I started school in grade 1. A new sex-ed curriculum has just been introduced in the province that teaches young people about alternative life styles and different types of families where there are two dads or two moms. Praying or the mere discussion of Christ in schools is forbidden.

    When there is no God, there is a much more blurred version of right and wrong. Our children are being taught values by agents of the state, a corrupt bunch who lust after power and influence. This is most definitely a formula for societal collapse. Remember D&C 121!

    The Book of Mormon describes in great detail the rise and collapse of many societies. None of these collapses were brought about by the consumption of inebriating substances, even though they were plentiful and available to all. Societies began their downward spiral as soon as they stopped caring for the poor and needy and instead, started caring about the prosperity that came to them because they cared for the poor and needy. I love irony :-)

    I believe we need to be careful about how we deal with moral issues and moral behaviour that we see in others that we do not agree with. Unless the behaviour infringes upon our liberty or causes damage to our property, we really need to follow the counsel of the Lord given in D&C 121. In verse 37, “Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man”, is most serious, especially when we realize that the world was created by that very power and authority.

    The prohibition experiment that took place in the USA in the 20s-30s was a colossal failure. The intent may have been pure but the use of force to bring about a moral change created a much worse problem and never brought about the desired effect. Why is it that we fail to make the connection between the use of force and the greater evil that is brought about because of it?Our latter-day scriptures are so very clear about this principle yet most church members would not hesitate to use force to bring the world to their way of thinking. We should all study the prohibition experiment much more closely through the lens of LDS theology. There is much to learn from its failure and the resulting creation of a very powerful and violent mob, not to mention the corruption of police forces, politicians…

    Finally, I want to thank Connor Boyack for this blog and for sharing his libertarian views as they pertain to LDS thought. I’ve read the majority of his posts and enjoy the comments that follow. These discussions allow me to express my thoughts and to have them challenged. I appreciate that most of the people who post here are civil and polite. I really do not like contention but rather, open discussion where contentious views can be shared in a civil and intelligent manner.

    Keep it up, Connor; this is good stuff!

    Mike

  20. jpv
    May 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    All of you opposed to medical marijuana–please answer this question and why:

    Do you you think regulations on doctors prescribing cannabis should be :
    1) The Same
    2) More Strict
    3) Less strict
    than the regulations on doctors prescribing cocaine and methamphetamine?

  21. Randall Brower
    May 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    this whole discussion highlights how the word of wisdom has created Pharisees and Sadducees that Christ so vehemently opposed. it is a word of wisdom and was never meant by way of commandment. It’s in the actual text of the Word of Wisdom. The only reason it became part of a temple recommend interview question was to push the utah Saints to vote against the abolition of prohibition to fight the utah legislature. The church lost and utah became the deciding vote to end the prohibition. this is what happens when you take a good word of wisdom and make it a commandment when it shouldn’t be. We all talk about marijuana or opiates or tea or coffee. we sound like the Jews in Christ’s time

  22. cugeno
    May 16, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    I am shocked at how many people assume that the only way to ingest cannabinoids is by smoking marijuana. That is simply NOT the case. In fact, there are much more effective methods of administration.
    As a physician (who, for the record, does not use marijuana), I am likewise saddened that any ecclesiastical leader would deign to harshly judge the therapeutic measures utilized by an ailing member of their flock. That is ugly, a dramatic overstep of authority, and decidedly not Christian.

  23. Bob Smith
    May 18, 2015 at 4:45 am #

    Hi Connor,

    Thanks for the link on the history of the word of wisdom. Hadn’t seen that one before. Here is another in-depth article on the history of the Word of Wisdom, and how it became a commandment:
    A historical analysis of the Word of Wisdom
    http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/MTNZ/id/10572
    You can find it in several forms, including PDF.

  24. Bob Smith
    May 18, 2015 at 5:12 am #

    To get the entire 122 pages of “An historical analysis of the Word of Wisdom” you have to goto the content section on the right. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see Print Version.
    Select that and it will update the “download” icon at the top to include all 122 pages.
    Or you can click on this direct link:
    http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/utils/getdownloaditem/collection/MTNZ/id/10615/filename/10616.pdf/mapsto/pdf
    Sorry I didn’t include in first post. Had to re-learn how to do it.

  25. Mike from Canada
    May 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    A great big, “Thank you”, to Bob Smith for sharing the link to “an historical analysis of the Word of Wisdom”. What a great read!

    Mike

  26. Kelly W.
    May 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    There is so much misunderstanding out there when it comes to Cannabis. The Cannabis used for medical purposes has high levels of CBD and almost no THC. You couldn’t get high or addicted to that type of Cannabis. Then there is the whole issue of industrial hemp. All varieties of medical (CBD) Cannabis and industrial Cannabis (hemp) should not fall under the misunderstanding and confusion with the varieties of Cannabis that have been bred over the years to yield high quantities of THC.

    Even the use of THC ought to considered not unlike the use of alcohol. Kudos to the above comments on prohibition.

    The Word of Wisdom is so misunderstood by LDS. They can easily use it to rationalize anything they want so their own use of prescription drugs or meat or whatever is rationalized and justified. But the main reason the W O W was given is not to go by the letter of the law, but to keep us distanced from the “consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days,” we “have been warned and forewarned” by the giving of the Word of Wisdom by revelation.

    So if the Lord told the early saints to avoid these evil and conspiring men by not using the products these evil and conspiring men were pushing, then we ought to be able to realize there is much in our food supply and other care products that are also pushed on us by the same evil and conspiring men. These evil and conspiring men are ones who profit from our buying and using their products. In this grouping we can also place many other things in today’s evil and corrupt world; crops that are genetically modified for the sole purpose of fattening their wallets, pharmaceuticals that do more harm than good, soft drinks (and other foods) that contain the myriad of artificial and unhealthy sweeteners. The list is long and could go on for multiple pages. But the intent of verses 3 and 4 of the WOW is clear – to help us avoid those products from which evil and conspiring men profit.

    Clearly, the evil and conspiring men of Joseph Smith’s day were the ones profiting from tobacco, tea and alcohol. They didn’t stop there. These same men are now hocking to us all different types of products that are unhealthy but very profitable. When we start likening the scripture of 1833 unto us in our day, we can quickly see how to place names to our current world of 2015; Don Rumsfeld’s Aspartame and Tamiflu, Monsanto and their Agent Orange (2, 4-D) and glyphosate and the GMO crops that are bred to be grown with those chemicals, etc.

  27. Kelly W.
    May 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    So, a continuation to my first post is: the evil and conspiring men of our day do not wish to see something as natural and God-given like a Cannabis herb replacing their profits of pharmaceuticals.

  28. Sern
    June 3, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    If there is a god it’s between me and him. He’s suppose to be the judge not the person with the tie and white shirt.

  29. Sern
    June 9, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Kelly W. ,
    From what I understand THC’s and CBD’s work together with their receptors in the brain. The CBD aids in controlling the THC. The plant cannabis in it’s untampered form can be used as a whole plant therapy agent. I believe ccic.net has the information regarding this. I’ve been through so many websites, PubMed and WebMD articles I’m starting to loose track.

  30. Ben Valdez
    June 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    Teach LDS people about their own faith.

    • The Founding Fathers were divinely inspired to write the Constitution of this land.

    D&C 101: 80 – And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

    D&C 109: 54 – Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.
    =====================================

    • What did the Founders say about making laws?

    If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. — George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

    Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government. — James Madison
    =====================================

    • What do the Scriptures say about honoring the law?

    D&C 98
    4) And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.
    5) And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
    6) Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
    7) And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
    8) I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
    9) Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn
    =====================================

    • In 1919 America needed a constitutional ban to outlaw alcohol nationally.

    The 18th Amendment or The Volstead Act, America’s first prohibition made it a national crime to consume, distribute and/or manufacture alcohol. This “noble experiment” used the power of government to pursue, capture and imprison people who chose to exercise their free agency and indulge in one drug over another. It resulted in gang warfare, corrupt government officials, and out of control abuse. The high cost incurred to execute the 18th Amendment, especially in a time of depression, was enormous. America finally accepted the fact that; alcohol may be bad but prohibition is worse.

    In 1933, America repealed Prohibition with the 21st Amendment. It was the only Amendment in US history to be repealed. Americans in the 1920’s and 1930’s learned two hard lessons: It is necessary to have constitutional amendments to have a national prohibition and that prohibition never works.

    As we have already seen, the US Constitution is divinely inspired. Any law, other than a constitutional law, “cometh of evil”. If we want proper government we need to ask ourselves: Where is the Constitutional Amendment to ban medical marijuana?
    =====================================

    • To date there is no Constitutional ban of Medical Marijuana.

    Many Latter-day Saints support the prohibition of Medical Marijuana believing they can save other people from a terrible street drug with no medical value. Mormons sometimes support laws that are imposed against a medical patients will. Even after the advice or recommendation of a qualified medical professional. Even if it means a patient has to suffer.

    If, after reviewing the scientific facts, you still believe that this plant has no medical value. If your desire is still to use government to force other people to stop doing what you consider to be evil, consider this:

    Moses 4: 1 – Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor

  31. Michael Sakell
    June 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    I am Michael Anthony Sakell and for my entire adult life I have practiced unique religious beliefs that ultimately resulted in my excommunication by the Mormon Church for supporting the medical and spiritual use of marijuana. In 1996 after my excommunication I started a ‘ turn myself in’ campaign in Oregon yet no one would arrest me for my controversial beliefs; neither local or state law enforcement nor federal DEA. Hence I went to Utah to challenge my MC excommunication and was yet further ignored thus I created The Latter-day Hempsters of Christ Cannabis Church and hosted a Cannabis Spiritual Revival in Salt Lake City. In 2000 I hosted a similar revival at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in Eugene, Oregon where I currently reside and continue my ministry work hosting similar events intended to share the healing Cannabis plant as I sincerely believe I have been commanded to share the tremendous benefits of this God-given herbal remedy with those suffering and in desperate need of its undeniable medicinal properties. Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 42 and 43: And whosoever among you are sick and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. Doctrine and Covenants Section 59 17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

    18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

    19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

    20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

    21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

    22 Behold, this is according to the law and the prophets; wherefore, trouble me no more concerning this matter.

    23 But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.

    24 I, the Lord, have spoken it, and the Spirit beareth record. Amen. The goal of my ministry is to bring cannabis medicine to the sick protected by the first amendment free of charge in states not yet medical tolerant .. I have in the past and will in the future provided cannabis medicine to the sick. So please spread the good word of a Cannabis Spiritual Revival. May your day be blessed Rev Michael Anthony Sakell https://www.facebook.com/groups/425740227580428/

  32. Jacqueline Willametz
    January 1, 2016 at 5:09 am #

    Thank you for this insight.
    Our prohibition of vices and addictions through government legislation and an industrial complex contract driven penal system of prisons filled with young addicts who performed desperate acts needs to be solved before complete legalization.
    Time to look to our historical past and fashion a new inpatient melieu
    For addicts who can no longer safely function in our culture and society.
    We need to pull in all the homeless off the streets nationwide and triage expertly to get these poor souls functioning again or at least being given a dignified shelter as they fade .

  33. Jack
    February 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    As I read this article and the resulting responses, I realized I stayed in the Church for so long because Mormons are good people. The article is well written. The responses are thought provoking, written by people of intellect, who have given the matter serious, epistemological consideration.

    I recently decided to leave the Church because the First Presidency presented some of our people with the choice between faith and family. This article and its commentary give me hope.

  34. Anonymous
    April 30, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    A lot of you people bashing on cannabis are simply uneducated and too incompetent to think for yourselves without the influence of some liar…. If cannabis smoke is dangerous then why is it that many cultures that have a legitimate belief system not based on lies have been doing it for thousands and thousands of years without damage. All your in knowledge is information straight from the bowels of the earth… Cannabis has always been a part of our human evolution of our brain.. Evidence shows that we are hardwired to utilize cannabis.. Stop thinking unconstitutionally and keep your religious garbage opinions from people’s choice to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” once your cult pays taxes then start your oppression against your biggest competition CANNABIS. There’s no addiction when you use it how freaking sheep are you all to think any of this bullshit propaganda has any fruition… Utah was second to illegalize cannabis for racist jim crow laws right after California because of your hatred toward mexicans and blacks… Read ‘The Emperor wears no clothes’ and open your mind to the truth.. All the places where cannabis is legal there’s been tremendous suppression of crime and overdose rates because people have right to their basic american principles “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and also many cultures and religions use cannabis for religious purposes and even medicinal.. Tell me why sick mormons can go have the right to rape young women under the excuse of religious right as being a polygamist but a polytheistic person has no right to use cannabis that isn’t harming the user or anyone around the user?!?!?! Keep your opinions off of our liberties and watch your cult gain some true respect rather than being hated for bein narrow minded profits over people kind of cult religion whatever the fuck you are. This is america and america had hemp aka cannabis in it’s history and the forefathers who gave you all your constitutional liberties used cannabis medicinally and recreationally. So time we separate religion from state and watch utah become part of the change for the better without being neo nazi like and dictating what others put into their body if you cant stand reading this and wanna see this comment deleted than you are the problem and you are a dictating pos that shouldn’t even be here on earth for someones factual statements.. Anonymous

  35. Thomas Noland
    September 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    I don’t see this as a complicated issue. Of course the Brethren are going to take a “cautious approach” (as they should) to the whole matter. They most certainly are not going to advocate or publicly approve of anything that continues to be against Federal Law (as they shouldn’t.)

    I have suffered from a myriad of mental “illnesses” since the mid-nineties and was the recipient of medical marijuana in the mid 2000’s while living in Arcata, Humboldt County, California. I received my prescription from a retired physician who I paid $200, saw once and who gave it to me after a 10 minute consultation. His office was a revolving door and I know of no one who ever declined a “prescription.” I went to him because no doctor that was still practicing dared prescribe it for fear of Federal ramifications…which goes to show how the ban only encourages people to seek out incompetent, shady “doctors.”

    This is precisely (and with good reason) why the Brethren (as of February, 12, 2016) are recommending caution on the issue, have opposed SB 73 but have no objection to SB 89.

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-urges-cautious-approach-medical-marijuana-issue-utah

    I am confident that when the Federal ban is lifted, they will publicly announce that anyone who is prescribed the drug (by a competent physician) should not be refused baptism or a temple recommend. Until then, those of us who benefit from it are just going to have to wait and suffer…which is part of life. The Son of Man hath descended below much more. Are we greater than He? Nah.

    Furthermore, when it comes to using cannabis, I know it has negative side-effects. I began using it at 14 and it became a nearly hourly thing for me for years while I followed the Grateful Dead from 1988-1994. Thank the Lord that I was blessed with an undeniable confirmation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and was snatched out of that lifestyle, but I still suffer from the effects of the choices I made during that time to this day.

    Yes, the marijuana can pull me out of a depressive mood quite rapidly, but if I’m not careful and use too much it can throw me into a state of psychosis. As for right now, I don’t use it at all and stick to the drugs the Gadianton’s produce because the temple recommend is more important to me than the relief the pot offers. It is what it is.

    What I do wonder, is if the Brethren have given any direction to Priesthood leaders in countries where it has been legalized but there is no conflict between local and national laws, like Austria, France, Germany, etc. I have moved to New Zealand where we are on the brink of legalizing it here.

    At any rate, it will continue to be interesting to watch the issue unfold, but I most certainly will never lose my testimony or criticize the Brethren over it. I mean, there are certain drugs that are not available here because of socialized medicine. The Government doesn’t want to pay for them until they lose their patent and a generic becomes available. That’s life. So you croak a decade earlier than you otherwise would. So what? If you’re ready to meet your Maker, does it really matter?

    I mean, at least we don’t live in Haiti or Uganda or someplace like that. Whinging and complaining about medical flipping marijuana while sitting in some house with AC and a microwave in just absurd and seriously Book of Helaman through 3 Nephi 10-ish.

    Let us all be grateful, repent, forgive, and move on. The Gadianton’s in DC will lift the ban and the grey area over temple recommends will dissipate soon enough…and if it doesn’t, we’ll figure out a way to live (or die) without it. Peace.

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