Utah medical marijuana campaign may pit Mormon church against governor

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Medical marijuana isn’t a hit with everyone in Utah.

Even though MMJ legalization is polling at about 77% in favor and is almost certain to be on the ballot in November, Gov. Gary Herbert said he’s formally urging voters to reject it.

And the initiative is garnering attention from other big players in the state.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to meet with at least two groups of MMJ legalization backers, including the campaign running the ballot measure.

However, the Mormon church has not yet taken any firm position for or against MMJ, Salt Lake TV station FOX 13 reported.

MMJ supporters hope that the religious institution will at least stay out of the fight and not side with Herbert.

“They’re very sensitive to the needs of patients. They know patients who use it out of state, legally, and have had some benefit from (MMJ),” said one activist who met with LDS church officials.

“It’s the pathway forward they’re most concerned with.”

The church has opposed recreational legalization in other states. Herbert opposes MMJ because he sees it as a steppingstone to rec.

Herbert did sign a pair of restrictive bills this year that allow for terminally ill patients to try medical marijuana, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The proposed ballot measure would establish a much broader medical cannabis system.