The shape of the Utah debate on medical cannabis has changed with the LDS Church’s statement agreeing with the Utah Medical Association’s opinion. The path forward faces obstacles put up by influential parties like these, the Governor, and others.
While dismaying, none of this on its own changes the momentum of the reform movement and supporters still have the wind at our backs.
The science showing cannabis medicine’s efficacy and safety is clear. Over half of the US already has access. And the growing support of Utahns from all walks of life, religions and political parties – even as “the usual opponents” have droned on – had already led advocates to realize working through the Legislature was getting nowhere.
Thus citizens have taken the matter into their own hands by supporting a popular vote this November.
Please keep this in mind going forward: The LDS church has leaned exclusively on the UMA’s ill-informed, non-scientifically accurate statement here. And the UMA’s board and CEO have exactly 11 votes this fall.
Similarly, Governor Herbert – like you – has one vote. He can “veto” nothing citizens decide.
No one expected Temple Square to come out with a ringing endorsement, even though polling shows an increasing number of members – 63% – and more when all members are considered – support MC.
It’s true an aggressive, expensive negative campaign may sway opinion to a degree and advocates don’t have millions to toss into the fray.
However, opinion has moved more strongly in favor despite years of legislative antics and earlier opponent statements – and we believe the good sense Utahns are showing will prevail and bring safe, legal access to many thousands of patients already waiting far too long.
Our focus will remain on the most irrational, should-know-better party – the UMA – which has chosen to forgo medical objectively for strident, empty rhetoric.
The UMA doesn’t reflect the opinion of US doctors (where polls indicate more than majority support), nor do they represent a majority of Utah’s MDs, nor have they consulted their own members:
“‘As a member of the UMA and its legislative policy committee, I was never consulted about my position on the medical use of cannabis,” [Dr. Dan] Cottam [a Utah surgeon] said. ‘Like many of my colleagues, I look forward to having the option of getting my suffering patients legal access to this remedy. There is a vast body of scientific literature which supports its use.’
Cottam added that the UMA’s position reflects ‘nothing more than the opinion of its board … let alone the consensus of the doctors they purport to represent’.”
TRUCE’s goal is to preserve the coalition we’ve worked to foster since the ink dried on our logo. The people of Utah – coming together in common cause – not divided against each other over their affiliations is what matters.