Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Wednesday in response to questions about a proposal that would put an initiative legalizing medical marijuana on the Utah ballot in 2018.
The Utah Patients Coalition filed paperwork for a ballot initiative on Monday. If the Lt. Governor’s Office certifies the paperwork, the coalition will attempt to gather 113,000 signatures by April 15 to put the issue on the 2018 ballot.
“Lawmakers across the country have wrestled with whether to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. “This discussion raises legitimate questions regarding the benefits and risks of legalizing a drug that has not gone through the well-established and rigorous process to prove its effectiveness and safety.”
The Utah Legislature approved a bill that earlier this year authorizing further research of marijuana use.
The church’s statement pointed out that passing a ballot initiative in Utah would put state law at odds with U.S. law.
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