A recent poll continues to indicate broad support for a medical marijuana ballot initiative in Utah, including majority support among active Mormons.
The state is a Mormon, or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), stronghold. While members tend to hold very conservative views, 63 percent of LDS members who describe themselves as active in the Church support the legalization of medical marijuana for specific diseases and/or pain relief. Support among “somewhat active” LDS members is significantly higher – 80.15%.
The results among active LDS members has remained solid. Another survey in June found 63% of active LDS voters and 87% of inactive LDS voters supported the inclusion of a medical cannabis ballot measure.
Support among other demographics reported in the latest poll:
- Republicans: 61.35 percent.
- Democrats: 93.7 percent.
- Independents : 87.13 percent
- Those who describe themselves as “very conservative” politically : 51.42%
- “Somewhat conservative” : 71.25%
- “Moderates” : 84.14%
- “Somewhat Liberals” : 92.8%
- “Very liberals” : 97.2%
- Former Mormons : 87.5%
- Catholics : 80.2%
- Protestants : 61.26%
- No religion : 96.4%
Before legalising medical marijuana can go to a public vote in the state, it must be included on the November 2018 ballot.
Utah Patients Coalition has been pulling out all stops to get signatures on an official petition to see this happen. 113,000 voter signatures need to be gathered , with at least 10 percent of voters in 26 of 29 state Senate districts. Even if that is successful and given the broad support, it doesn’t guarantee victory.
“The Mormon Church rarely loses a public policy battle in Utah,” says UtahPolicy.
UtahPolicy notes more than 80 percent of the 104-member Utah Legislature are what it describes as “faithful Mormons”.
As for the Church’s official stance on the issue; it has indicated it wants to see more research done on medical marijuana and for medicines to be FDA-approved. However, in February last year it didn’t object to legislation related to the use of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.