The Mormon church has come out against a bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Utah, which could present problems to lawmakers in getting the bill passed.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced their opposition to a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, citing unexpected consequences that could possibly come with use of the drug.
According to the Associated Press, the majority of Utah lawmakers belong to the Mormon religion. The church’s opposition can decide the outcome of the bill.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins says that the church objects to Sen. Madsen’s bill, which would allow the use of edible marijuana products, but does not oppose another bill proposing the medical use of marijuana-infused oil.
Sen. Madsen says that church lobbyists declined to explain their reasoning when informing him of their stance.
“Maybe they don’t want to be known as the special interest who put their thumb on the scale and decided this for everyone in the state,” Madsen told The Salt Lake Tribune. “If they’re going to put their thumb on the scale politically and force everyone to a standard, then I think they owe something of an explanation to the people.”
Both proposed medical marijuana bills are expected to be debated before the Utah Senate in the upcoming week of Feb. 8, reported AP.
Madsen’s bill would give residents suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions access to edible marijuana products, but would not allow smoking marijuana.
The other proposal would allow those suffering from cancer, HIV, and other conditions access to marijuana-infused oil, which is made from a strain of cannabis that is low in THC and high in CBD, which is believed to help fight seizures. The proposal would include strict restrictions on the production and administering of the oil.