A new poll from UtahPolicy.com has found that 74 percent of Utahns support the petition bid to legalize medical cannabis use in the state, with 63 percent of “very active” Mormons supporting the measure. A “very active Mormon” is considered someone who attends church regularly and pays tithing; 80 percent of the state legislature’s 104 members are devout Mormons.
The proposal was also backed a majority of Republicans, 61 to 35 percent; Democrats, 93 to 7 percent; and those with no party affiliation 87 to 13 percent. Those who described themselves as “very conservative” favored medical cannabis legalization 51 to 42 percent.
Catholics in the state supported the reforms 80 to 20 percent; Protestants, including born-again Christians, also supported the proposal 61 to 26 percent; while non-religious supported the initiative 96 to 4 percent. Mormons who indicated they were “somewhat active” with the Latter-day Saints Church, also supported the regime 80 to 15 percent.
Last June, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on the medical cannabis issue indicating that they believe “society is best served by requiring marijuana to go through further research and the [Food and Drug Administration] approval process that all other drugs must go through before they are prescribed to patients.”
The following month Jon Huntsman Sr., a well-known philanthropist in Utah and four-time cancer survivor, said he’d “love to” try medical cannabis.
“If medical marijuana was known by another name, it would have been utilized as a pain medication many years ago,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune. “From national research and understanding, the side effects of medical marijuana are considerably less than virtually all opioids and therefore less destructive to the body.”
Petitioners must gather 113,000 valid signatures of registered voters in the state in order to get the issue on the 2018 ballot.