Mormon Campaign Attempts to Block Utah MMJ Ballot Measure

Members of a campaign funded by Mormon attorney Walter J. Plumb filed a lawsuit in Utah state court on Wednesday in an attempt to remove a measure legalizing medical cannabis from the November ballot, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report. The ballot measure would legalize cannabis use for only specific chronic illnesses like cancer and HIV, among others. Wednesday’s lawsuit is the second attempt by the campaign to remove the measure from the ballot.

The filing indicates the measure would “violate the religious beliefs” of Plumb, whose “religious beliefs include a strict adherence to a code of health which precludes the consumption and possession of mind-altering drugs, substances, and chemicals, which includes cannabis and its various derivatives.”

The deeper issue taken up by the lawsuit seems to be a detail of the ballot measure that prevents landlords from discriminating against medical cannabis cardholders. The Plumb campaign and the Church of Latter-day Saints both believe Mormon landlords should be allowed to discriminate against cardholders if desired.

“In the United States of America, members of all religions, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs. This includes the right not to consort with, be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant.” — Excerpt from the filing

Proponents of the medical cannabis legalization campaign called the lawsuit a “wacky attempt” to derail the initiative. The movement’s director issued the statement:

“These groups should be ashamed of themselves for calling sick and afflicted patients morally repugnant in their latest lawsuit.” — DJ Schanz, director for the Utah Patients Coalition

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Authored By

Patrick Beggan is a writer and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. After serving as a US Army medic, he developed a passion for natural and herbal medicine that led him to the West coast. As a photographer, he strives to capture mood & narrative simultaneously to create images that speak volumes.

 

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