One of the first (and best) concerts I ever attended was to see Peter Tosh perform in San Luis Obispo. I was 16, visiting my older sister who lived nearby and was excited to go. If you’re not familiar with him, Peter Tosh is one of the most acclaimed reggae performers, one of the original Wailers (along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer); he was tragically murdered during a home invasion in 1987. His Equal Rights album is framed and hanging on the wall in my powder room. His songs are all about equality, decriminalizing marijuana, dealing with poverty, and maintaining a live and let live philosophy.
There is currently an initiative on the ballot in Arizona to decriminalize small amounts (1 ounce) of recreational pot for adult recreational use. The Church has published a letter to encourage members to vote against this initiative. Having read the letter, here’s my question: why? The Church letter seemed to take it for granted that we are all going to agree, but it didn’t address the concerns that are driving this legislation: 1) the large prison population of minor drug offenders, particularly black people, 2) that the science on marijuana, CBD and THC are looking like it’s more beneficial than damaging, 3) the wasted police resources trying to punish minor personal-use drug offenses, and 4) that we don’t have to legislate morality. The Church isn’t seeking to close down all coffee shops or prevent the sale of alcohol (because last time they tried that it failed big time). We live in a pluralistic society. Not everyone has to follow Mormon rules. Not even Mormons do. It’s voluntary.
I’m not personally interested in smoking pot. I’m not currently suffering from an ailment that would improve by its usage, either medically or recreationally. Those who say it’s like alcohol are probably close to right in my book. This initiative will not change my life at all either way. According to my teenage daughter (my go-to source for what these youngsters are up to nowadays), stoners smoke pot, but it’s not like some gateway to other things, as Nancy Reagan and other pearl-clutchers warned us in the 80s, and it’s mostly just appealing to a subset of Pineapple Express kids. Those who want to get high will get high either way. Alcohol and vaping are far more popular these days. In many ways, marijuana is far less of a problem than underage drinking. For example, sexual assault has a long history of association with underage drinking (and drinking in general), and there is no such association with marijuana usage. It’s also not linked to crime (aside from the crime of possessing it). It also doesn’t prevent you from going to work the next day.
The people I know who currently smoke pot are mostly black working class people who want to relax after a hard day. Criminalizing pot is one of the biggest reasons we have so many black people incarcerated in this country.
Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates. In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/racial-disparity-in-marijuana-arrests/
Decriminalizing it seems like a good way to reduce that inequity in jailing. In a Church trying hard to distance itself from a racist past, this seems like an issue we should be on the right side of. Aside from these folks, I know others who consume edibles the same way others use a glass of wine in the evening, to unwind before bed. It’s not my jam, but it seems far less addictive and harmful than ambien which is legal.
I suppose my biggest question is, why does the church even care about this? If we claim (as we like to do) political neutrality, then why shouldn’t we encourage people to read up on these issues and vote based on good information? The letter published to Church members in Arizona also encouraged us to publish our dislike for it on social media, but there were no arguments provided that explained why we should oppose it on moral grounds or otherwise. It’s not like it being legal (like cigarettes and alcohol) means Mormons will suddenly use it, any more than Roe v. Wade means Mormons will flock to abortion clinics. There are plenty of legal things that are not permitted in the church.
Peter Tosh’s arguments to legalize it are more cogent than the Church’s letter from what I can see:
Legalize itLegalize it
Don’t criticize it
Legalize it, yeah yeah
And I will advertise it
Some call it tamjee
Some call it the weed
Some call it marijuana
Some of them call it ganja
Never mind, got to legalize it
And don’t criticize it
Legalize it, yeah yeah
And I will advertise it
Singers smoke it,
And players of instrument, too
Legalize it, yeah yeah
That’s the best thing you can do
Doctors smoke it
Nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it
Even lawyer, too
So you’ve got to legalize it
And it don’t criticize it
Legalize it, yeah yeah
And I will advertise it
It’s good for the flu
Good for asthma
Good for tuberculosis
Even numara thrombosis
Go to legalize it
To wit, his arguments are: 1) everyone uses it, including “respectable” people in medical professions, 2) it helps people with various medical conditions, and 3) he just lists a bunch of other cool names for it. This argument’s biggest flaw is that medical marijuana is already legal here, although it does require a card. In small amounts like those in this proposed legislation, there’s no real reason to believe that we will suddenly land in Reefer Madness, the ridiculous black and white movie that asserts that pot smoking leads to both murder and maniacal piano playing (they get the vibe of this drug exactly opposite).
By contrast, a Mormon I know posted on NextDoor that we needed to vote down this ballot initiative because if it passes, our precious little ones will suddenly start smoking pot. This argument is dumb for a few reasons I can see: 1) the initiative makes it legal for adults not kids, 2) pot is actually kind of passe for kids compared to other things out there unless they belong to that specific subset I mentioned, and 3) taking away the forbidden nature of something usually makes it less desirable to rebellious teens, not more desirable. No teen is out there coveting their dad’s dandruff medication or their mom’s hypertension pills. The more it becomes associated with parental behavior, the less likely it seems cool.
In a different discussion about the ballot initiative, a neighbor claimed that marijuana leads to schizophrenia and homelessness (the reefer madness argument with a twist?) and then another neighbor counter-argued:
No one has ever proven causation. This assertion is patently false propaganda pushed by the private prison lobby. You are either complicit or misinformed. Legalize it, don’t criticize it.https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=160736202&comment=463323861
This argument poses another question, though. Why are we still criminalizing drugs rather than addressing drug addiction through public funding? Do we really want to ruin people’s lives over drugs (through imprisonment) rather than having public programs to help them overcome addiction (if they are addicted)? One of these things is in the public interest, and one of these things is in the interest of private prisons, a corrupt lobby currently protected by conservatives.
I know there are many who would argue that the Church should lose its tax exempt status for lacking political neutrality, and while I personally believe that’s something that should be revisited for ALL religions, the Church is usually more politically neutral than most other faiths, this letter notwithstanding. Many Evangelical churches do openly support specific political candidates, something the Church never fully does.
The problem I have with letters like this coming from the Church is that they seem to imply that we should be voting as a monolith, they provide no rationale (on the contrary, arguments are weak sauce an unscientific), and they don’t treat these as serious multi-faceted issues. If we aren’t going to engage with the real issues, then we shouldn’t be telling people how to vote. To me, this feels like what I see conservatives doing in general, trying to oppose progress without evaluating current information or understanding how societal trends have changed. For example, in a recent conference talk a speaker blamed out-of-wedlock pregnancy on the sexual revolution, a stance that’s laughable. Is he really implying that out-of-wedlock pregnancy just started in the 1960s?? Last I checked it’s been around since the dawn of time. On the contrary, the sexual revolution improved sexual responsibility by engaging women’s issues for the first time: access to birth control, sex ed, reproductive rights, and taking rape seriously. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies are at an all-time low.
- Are you for or against legalizing recreational marijuana in small amounts? Why?
- Should the Church try to get Mormons to vote as one block on policy issues or encourage members to read up on issues and vote accordingly?
- Is the Church making itself irrelevant by not providing a rationale for political arguments like this? Is it creating a credibility problem for Church leaders or do most members agree with their arguments without any rationale being provided?
 Although coming to Church high would have to be an improvement. Based on That 70s Show, smoking pot makes the most mundane things seem deep.
 Yes, my neighbor just quoted Peter Tosh lyrics.
 Even if we all dig through every stray political comment for a mite of evidence that they have done so, one way or another.
I agree with most of what you say and also don’t understand why the church would weigh into this, but want to push back on your assertion that “the science looks like (marijuana) is more beneficial than damaging”. I see this a lot and a lot of people have this belief. CBD may have some potential medical uses, likely far less than many believe, THC probably really doesn’t. I think this is a pretty good summary of the current science.
When medical marijuana was on the ballot in Utah, I think the church’s law firm published a lengthy document criticizing the ballot measure, and the church linked to it in an email to members. It actually did attempt to use logic and research to convince members to oppose the ballot measure for medical cannabis. But it was a mess. The document was factually incorrect on many levels and poorly reasoned. It was so bad, and the resulting rebuttals were so convincing, that I wouldn’t be surprised to find that on balance they would have been better off not giving any reasons at all. It seems the church leadership may have reached the same conclusion.
I may comment later on whether or not taking a stand on ballot measures is a breach of political neutrality, but I’m holding off for the moment.
Hawkgrrrl, Thank you for writing this.
I support recreational and medical cannabis. I am also a former medical marijuana patient.
From a patient’s perspective, “medical” and “recreational” marijuana need each other so that the consumer dictates demand. A patient ought to have the right to choose the genetic quality and agricultural methodology of the cannabis he or she uses. Big Pharma wants the exclusive. Poor genetic quality of cannabis encourages the patient to purchase and use more instead of less. In states without recreational use, legally-purchased medical marijuana is substantially lower quality and costs more money than the illegal black market competition. In states with recreational use, the quality of medical marijuana and the quality of recreational marijuana reach price and quality equilibrium by pure market competition. This is optimal.
The institution that manages the Church abuses power and authority when it wastes political capital on irrelevant, divisive issues that end up fueling distance and contention in among families and members. This policy does not serve membership or the public, it serves the merchants of Big Pharma:
“…for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy [Pharmakeia] were all nations deceived.” Revelation 18:23
Here is an interesting article that talks about how Cannabis is mentioned in the Bible and has many healing properties.
Good post. The answer to the reason why the church would get involved is the same reason it gives in other cases: it’s politically neutral, but it feels compelled to weigh in on “moral issues”; a term that is purposefully broad enough to give the church a decent amount of leeway. Also, some of this is performative: Almost all religious institutions seek to portray themselves as some sort of moral arbiter, holding back the forces of evil by “taking a stand” on a variety of political issues that they mistake for moral issues. The Mormon Church is no different. Think of how much of General Conference rhetoric is about Satan’s minions waiting to storm the fortress of the righteous, etc. The church’s use of such rhetoric means that it must take stances like this and make them public, otherwise people might think that this church is no different from all of the other ones that also claim the moral high ground.
I think E’s comment is a good one as there appear to be fewer benefits of marijuana use than some of its more zealous advocates would admit, but I also think it strange that a church that talks so much about serving others, spreading Christ’s love, etc., seems so much more concerned with regulating marijuana use than with global humanitarian issues, at least in terms of press releases, etc. I know the church does a fair amount of humanitarian stuff, like the clean water initiative, etc., but I think they need to get out of the business of commenting on issues like this one.
Yes, the church did something similar in Utah in 2018 (which was just a legalization for medicinal purposes but the church felt it was too broad). In my view it backfired on them. People didn’t take kindly to being told how to vote and with such misinformation.
If the church wants to tell people how to vote, fine (well, I guess not fine from a tax exemption perspective), but don’t claim to be politically neutral.
Overall I’m supportive of decriminalizing drug possession so that we stop incarcerating mental illness (in for-profit prisons!) and start treating it instead.
Another Arizona resident here. My wife has used cannabis products for medicinal purposes for years to treat her fibromyalgia and anxiety, starting when we lived in Oregon. It has been nothing short of a godsend. To E’s comment, not only CBD but also THC (which refers to a group of related chemical compounds) actually both have a host of medical applications, such as the treatment of chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and other neurological issues, and it can do it usually with fewer side effects than synthetic pharmaceuticals, and zero chance of physical dependency or fatal overdose (unlike opioids, for example). Medical marijuana (already legal in AZ) should be a no-brainer, and “recreational” is what allowed my wife to try this treatment as soon as was possible, and with no barriers to entry.
The letter from the area presidency or whatever displays a rather flippant ingorance of all the issues at play here, which go far beyond health and health care. But as far as I’m concerned, we have the facts and we’re voting Yes.
Not sure if Tosh ever used the lyric, but in Rastafari parlance, “Babylon” refers to degenerate, oppressive societies that, inter alia, criminalize marijuana. Thus, colloquially, “Babylon” also refers to police. It is, of course, juxtaposed with the term “Zion.”
I served a mission the West Indies, and I’ve come to see that we American Mormons can learn a lot from this subversive redefinition. Not least of all, that oppressive policing is an enemy to Zion. After all, “Babylon knows teh weed haffi burn!”
Remember how yesterday we discussed the future Church? I made the point that we’ve moved from the Golden Plates era to the Family Values era to now the Christ-centered Church era. That’s what you do when your historical and truth claims have been exposed as 1/2 truths.
To that end, the Church needs to focus on Christ and helping members to be more Christ-like. And they need to get out of the business of politics disguised as “moral issues.” Why the heck does the Church feel the need to get involved with local and national issues that have NOTHING to do with religion in general or Christ specifically? What kind of mentality exists at the Church Office Building that allows the Brethren to think that members care what they say about issues of the day?
My wife and I have 4 kids. One thing we’ve learned with them is that you pick your battles. You focus on the big picture, not every detail of their existence. The Church better learn to pick its battles with its members in terms of these issues or its going to discover that, like the boy who cried wolf, nobody is listening anymore.
I live in AZ and already sent in my ballot. I initially was going to vote in favor of legalizing recreational use because the law won’t affect me personally. I have zero interest in smoking anything but thought it’s one more choice we can give people.
However I was curious and reached out to two doctor-friends and another three pharmacist-friends. Surprisingly they said that in their opinion marijuana is as strong as or stronger than many other drugs, but because it has a reputation as being less addictive that it is perhaps even more dangerous. Also in the informational packet that Arizona sends out, one of the groups opposed to recreational marijuana was an association of pediatricians (I don’t remember if it was state or national organization).
The church should stay out of politics in my view. They claim neutrality except for what it feels are super duper important topics. And watching Book of Mormon the musical (which I loved).
I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana possession, but I am also not in favor of heavy legal penalties for possession of small amounts.
I’m a convert, so the Church does not affect my thoughts on this matter.
I remember too many potheads in my youth — I simply do not agree that it is non-habit-forming and non-harmful — if those things were true, the potheads I knew would not have been thought of as potheads. I do not want my son, or anyone else I care about, to be a pothead.
Yes, legalize it for five reasons:
– The war on drugs has been lost. After a decade in Southern California, it was pretty clear to me that pot is everywhere and not hard to get. The impact on particular communities of incarcerating people for possessing small quantities of pot has been devastating and is indefensible.
– Marijuana does offer benefits to many people suffering from various addictions, and MUCH, MUCH more study is necessary to figure out how it can alleviate pain, reduce anxiety, etc. Maybe we can find many benefits without THC.
– It’s an untapped source of revenue. Tax the crap out of it. I think a more ethical, and lucrative, approach to revenue generation is to tax a substance like marijuana rather than trying to collect fees from those in prison. That’s just stupid, by comparison.
– So long as there is alcohol, there will be a relatively strong argument for marijuana. Booze is more detrimental, destroys more lives, offers no health benefits, leads to stupid arguments and behaviors. When was the last time you heard about two stoned guys getting into a fight and one shooting the other? That’s a daily occurrence with alcohol. From the early 20th century forward, pot has been lumped with cocaine and heroin as substances that must be controlled. They don’t belong together and should be uncoupled.
– It removes one method by which fascist law-and-order types disrupt communities of color and ensure revenue for the private prison system. Yes, this is corollary to the first bullet, but it deserves to be considered on its own.
Footnote #1 lifted my mood: “ Although coming to Church high would have to be an improvement. Based on That 70s Show, smoking pot makes the most mundane things seem deep.” Thank you, I needed that.
*The second bullet should read “… people suffering from afflictions,” not addictions. Mea culpa.
Legalize weed and SURE AS HELL same-sex marriage will be next. Mark my words.
Toad & ji: I appreciate your contrasting viewpoints. Thanks for chiming in!
Our business used to be next to a pot lawyer, and once when we were chatting him up he said something pretty negative about pot as well, although I suspect it was related to its then illegal status. Obviously, for him, pot being illegal was the bedrock of his personal finances, and he made a great show of being freedom / pro-marijuana for his clients. He kind of rolled his eyes about a lot of his clients, though, or their life choices, and there were also some risks related to cash flow in businesses like that due to their adjacent-to-illegal status. My business networking group refused to consider pot lawyers for membership as a result. One of the other lawyers said to make sure we had extra security being next to them. Maybe that’s prejudice or maybe that’s because when something is illegal, it’s inherently more dangerous. Maybe both.
Is it more immoral to posses a plant, or to violently lock someone in a cage for possessing a plant? Having personally experienced numerous mind altering substances, legal and illegal, cannabis is by far the most mild. I’d much prefer my kids use cannabis over alcohol. Alcohol has killed numerous family and friends. Cannabis hasn’t had a detrimental effect on anyone I know, and has greatly benefited the lives of many loved ones.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to downplay the links between cannabis use and schizophrenia, I have heard many discussions on the subject over several years, and the following only strengthens the link:
I agree with you that it’s bizarre that the Church just sort of waves their hands, Jedi-like, and says “You *will* oppose this ballot measure” without offering any real reasons. I almost wonder, kind of thinking along the lines of Brother Sky’s comment, if this isn’t just thoughtless on Church leaders’ part. Meaning literally thoughtless, like someone (perhaps not even up to the Q15) takes 30 seconds to notice that the proposition says something about marijuana, remembers from Sunday School that marijuana = bad, and so writes a little letter reminding members to do their duty and oppose it.
I’m totally with the decriminalize/legalize argument. I feel like especially now, at a moment when we in the US are maybe awakening a bit from our slumber on racial issues, the race aspect that you point out is particularly salient. Making marijuana (and lots of other drugs) illegal when we have policing that disproportionately targets people of color is just an excuse to lock more people of color up over stuff that we’re not even checking the white people on. And that’s just one argument of many I find compelling. I hope the ballot measure passes. And I hope someone sensible at Church headquarters looks at stuff like this at some point and realizes that maybe the slippery slope from a bit of marijuana to death by opioids doesn’t quite hold as much water as they think it does.
“Coming to church high would be an improvement “ Great idea. I also live in Az and am a lawyer and plan to vote I for the proposition. I work as a religious volunteer at the State Prison and teach an addiction recovery program to inmates. Talking with them has convinced me that the risks of using it are grossly exaggerated and can not justify criminalizing it’s use.
I think the Church is overplaying its hand here. In my view, they expended all of their limited political capital fighting against gay marriage and women’s rights for years. Nowadays, whenever the Church tries to take a stand on any political issue, I’m automatically inclined to vote in the opposite direction. I’m tired of being on the wrong side of history…again.
I live in a state that has had legalized recreational cannabis for years. The cannabis industry here is heavily regulated and taxed, which not only ensures quality of product for those who choose to consume, but also adds hundreds of millions of dollars to state coffers every year. Despite warnings from religious conservatives, there has been no sharp increase in teenage drug use or general moral turpitude; if anything, marijuana has lost much of the “forbidden fruit” allure it used to have when I was a teen in the 90s. I talked about this with a police officer friend who was skeptical back when the law was first passed, and worried about the possible increase in DUI arrests and accidents (“driving while high”), but that never materialized; as it turns out, the people who are dumb enough to drive while high are the same people who are dumb enough to drive drunk, so the rate of DUI arrests has stayed about even. And the police/courts/jails aren’t overwhelmed with having to deal with minor pot possession charges. The people who need it for medical reasons can get it without hassle. It’s been a net positive, and the best part is, with the exception of a small minority of strident members acting independently, the Church has stayed out of the matter completely.
The Church needs to stay out of medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, euthanasia, LGBTQ+, SSM, and alcohol legislation. All we are doing is subsidizing Kirsten, who should probably be fired. Let the law firm find a new organization to pay for their billable hours. Their advice on Utah’s medical marijuana was ridiculous, and certainly overpriced.
I see there are a lot of opinions that are thought out and some clarity may be essential. I suppose you should ask, study and pray. If your argument is the Church should not be involved in XYZ political matters is disingenuous. The Church does not advocate for political parties or political candidates but on issues they do take a stand. Maybe the gateway drug argument is best for not on a individual basis but on a cultural basis. The path of least resistance argument has never been synonymous with Gospel living. God often gives commandments that we may not be wise enough to understand. Remember the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the bonds are just flaxen cords per Nephi. The Adversary seeks to poison by degrees to have us open portals for him to gain power whereas Christ’s would be lessened. I am glad someone brought up LGBTQ legislation let me pose this question when this came to the forefront in 2003 did you think 17 years from then that a company would now be mainstreaming soft kiddie porn a la “Cuties?” I did not think so at the time. I say this not say you cannot have different points of view on doctrine or church policy but to cautious in your criticism. One powerful lesson I learned from my mission came from my first mission president regarded putting your opinions before doctrine. One missionary was sent home despite multiple warnings about infusing discussions of masonry into teaching the gospel. The concept of gospel keys is important anyone advocating for their position who does not hold keys is assuming a mantle the Lord has not given them. Have you asked this question how will this lead people to believe in Christ and build up their families? Do not take my view point that no laws regarding marijuana use need to be changed because I do think they need to be relaxed. This is a deep discussion but ask and pray to the Lord why this is so before you say, “I know of myself.” As for me I trust the source the prophet’s inspiration and not the desires of musicians or activists.
Hedgehog’s point about the link between cannabis use and schizophrenia is worth noting, as well as the link in Hedgehog’s comment. The science on this is strong.
There are strategies of decriminalization that are worth utilizing.
It would be helpful if the church, in opposing legalization of marijuana, would push for strategies that work to protect vulnerable populations from the risks of marijuana use while decreasing the toll that incarceration takes on the poorest among us.
Incarceration is not the answer. Within the church we advocate for families. Stopping the harm mass incarceration inflicts on families should be a high priority.
As an AZ voter, I think real life experience is quite useful here, at least it is for me. The last time I smoked weed was 35 years ago. I used it as a crutch to deal with boredom, I knew it wasn’t healthy, and when I decided to quit, it was comparatively easy. Far, far easier than nicotine. If I had been subject to any kind of legal sanction, it would have been an annoying complication, and I would’ve resolved it with money, time, and privilege. If I had brown skin, it could’ve derailed my life. That’s why I’m voting to decriminalize weed.
Regarding the cultural argument for it being a gateway drug — that has long since been debunked as a 1969 talking point (it was never really a gateway drug except by virtue of association with more deadly drugs by being criminalized in like manner) and its actual use by people has been transformed by medical applications and subsequent legalization.
The church seems to be investing no thoughtful consideration of this and seems to be trying to maintain the status quo— from 1969. That makes the institution less effective as an influence for good, and some of us are reluctant to seek guidance from that source when real life experience doesn’t connect with the veiled warnings of society’s downfall. It’s long past the time to decriminalize this non-violent infraction.
“I am glad someone brought up LGBTQ legislation let me pose this question when this came to the forefront in 2003 did you think 17 years from then that a company would now be mainstreaming soft kiddie porn a la ‘Cuties’?”
Andrew, are you aware that your post is literally incoherent?
Fellow AZ resident here. My issue with this isn’t about the ballot initiative or the merits/risks of passing it. It’s with the church telling us to only have one opinion. The letter said for all members to raise their voices in opposition to this measure. What happened to the days of using the brain and reasoning that God gave you to review the information and make an informed decision before you vote? Didn’t the church recommend that we ‘vote our conscience’ at one point? I had more individuality and personal freedom in the army than I do in the church (that is, if I am intent on following all counsel from my leaders…).
My stake decided to go the extra mile by adding several suggestions onto the original letter. They told us via email to: review a website that’s set up to oppose the initiative, follow said website on social media, text friends and family about opposing the initiative (sample text language provided) and ask them to text the same to their friends and families, hosting a virtual or in-person gathering to discuss it with people, including a representative from the No on 207 group attending, and giving a 2-3 minute talk to our civic, political or church groups. For convenience, links to a ‘fact’ sheet, scripted remarks and a prepared slide deck were also provided.
I know I wasn’t in CA for Prop 8 and the pressure the church put on members to oppose that was much worse, but this still really flamed me. I guess we are only supposed to think for ourselves if we arrive at the same opinion as the one the church leaders have tried to issue us.
EE, the tactics you are describing (text your friends and get them to text others) sound an awful lot like the recruitment tactics used by MLM’s. It’s all about the downline, right? Yet another reason the church’s behavior leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Joni, great analogy. It’s just galling for the church to be this obtuse, and essentially assume that nobody who is a member could feel otherwise. It’s hypocrisy to proclaim free agency as a tenet of the church and then make attempts to tell people how to think and vote.
EE, I think you are missing the point of the Church leadership. They may stridently advise but as long as they do not compel you to make the choice they advise. I would advise to read the 1 Samuel again. Israel petitions for king to be like the other nations. Samuel the prophet gave the admonishment of God regarding all the ills that such a choice would bring. Yet the people insisted and the Lord allowed it and then the Kingdom of Israel/Judah fell as a result. Church will uphold any good thing that leads to a person to believe in Christ and discourage anything that does not. The letter I read is establishing the Church’s position but it is by no means a commandment to do it otherwise you covenants with God are stake. How does legalizing Marijuana for recreational use as President Nelson put it: “Let God Prevail?” Buyers and users of weed need to be helped but who would profit from their addiction do not appear to be serving the needs of the users.
AZ voter here. After extensive research, I’m opposing Prop 207 primarily for the following 2 reasons: (i) it’s structured to grant the current providers a functional monopoly and to limit competition, and (ii) it’s a ballot initiative, which in AZ means that later legislative adjustments are foreclosed.
I don’t care what the official church position is; I think recreational MJ should not be a criminal issue. But Prop 207 is a bad way to achieve this objective. A better approach would be action by the legislature.
I really agree with tubes on the monopolistic approach taken by many states in legalizing marijuana — only very few who grease the appropriate palms are given licenses. If they want to legalize it, let everyone play in a free and open competitive environment.
I have a close relative who has schizophrenic-like symptoms that didn’t start showing until well into adulthood (think 40+). The evidence points to this person’s long term marijuana use as being the chief culprit behind their ‘mental’ illness that has devastated their life and this person’s family’s lives. Recreational marijuana use doesn’t lead to anything good or redeeming in an individual. How can the fabric of society stay strong if the individual threads are rotting?… oh, right.. it can’t!