August 17, 2018,
The medical cannabis initiative in Utah is facing yet another threat from anti-cannabis activists. This time around they are trying to exploit religious sentiments to sabotage the legal access of medical cannabis to patients. An alliance of anti-marijuana groups including Eagle Forum, the Utah Medical Accusation and Drug Safe Utah has filed a lawsuit on the behalf of Walter Plumb who is an active member of the Church of Latter-day Saints.
The lawsuit maintains that the Proposition 2 violates the religious freedom of the citizens because it bars landlords to exhibit discrimination against tenants who are legal medical marijuana users. The lawsuit further articulates that this stipulation of the Proposition would force the people like Plumb to go against their religious beliefs.
The opposition coalition, therefore, urges the court to withhold voting on the Proposition 2 in upcoming elections. Anti-marijuana groups have taken the pre-medieval stance that the religion disbars those who use mind-altering substances and precludes the believers to disassociate themselves from such individuals. Although, studies have proved that cannabis is not a ‘mind-altering’ substance. Moreover, the CBD-based MMJ products are completely devoid of any psychoactive tendencies. However, it’s futile to make this point because religion and logic seldom go hand in hand.
Cannabis activists are in shock the way anti-legalization groups are trying to bring down the MMJ measure by taking such a regressive path. They are hoping that the court will not entertain the demand of the anti-cannabis coalition.
On the other hand, the anti groups are optimistic to get the decision in their favor. They have cited a US Supreme Court ruling in the case where a baker declined to take the wedding cake order for a homosexual couple because of his religious obligations. The country’s apex court ruled in baker’s favor. Proposition 2 opponents strongly believe that this legal precedent has strengthened their case.
A few weeks ago, the Mormon Church, one of the oldest religious establishments in the state, issued a statement that they did not support the legalization of marijuana for medical use. However, the Church is not a co-petitioner of the lawsuit. It shows that the anti-cannabis groups are just overstating the religious concerns of the masses.
Nevertheless, the groups are being backed by Walter Plumb who has a considerable influence on the Church community of the state. It is important to mention that Plumb, a lawyer himself, is one of the key financiers of the campaign to nix the voting on the Proposition 2. He has put around $100,000 dollars in the campaigns trying to convince Ohioans against medical cannabis.
Plumb was really active during the unsuccessful canvassing of the anti-cannabis groups persuading voters to remove their signatures from the petition calling to add the Proposition 2 to the public ballot.
MMJ activists are lambasting the legalization opponents to associate sick patients with moral repugnance by using religion, even after knowing that MMJ medications are not used for recreational reasons.