Separation of Church and Nothing Threatens Medical Marijuana in Utah

It is really no secret that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominates many aspects of life in the state of Utah.

So as the state looks to join 30+ others by passing their own medical marijuana laws in the fall, maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the LDS church is using their unrivaled power to oppose the proposed new regulations.

Sure, there’s that whole “Separation of church and state” thing, but that’s from so long ago, right?

The LDS church rakes in over $8,000,000,000 every year just on the 10% tithing that they squeeze from their flock. That doesn’t count the revenues and profits from their myriad of investments and ancillary streams of income. The best part for them is that they don’t even have to pay any taxes on that money.

But, that foundational plank of American democracy always came with a caveat.

You can keep your holy underwear and your precious dollars, but you gotta stay the fuck out of politics*

*not an exact quote from a Founding Father, but close enough

In fact, it’s not just churches, the law stands for all 501c3 “non-profit” groups that do not pay federal taxes. In 1954, the Johnson Amendment was added to U.S. Tax Code and it prohibited these groups from opposing or supporting any political candidate or policy position.

Earlier this year, begging for their support in the upcoming midterm elections, President Trump told a group of religious leaders that he did away with the amendment - he lied.

Clearly, the Mormons never got the message, or more likely, just continue to stuff hundred dollar bills in their ears and ignore it.

But let’s be honest, how can the church be expected to be separated from the state when a reported 90% of the Utah State Legislature is composed of members of the LDS church?

How can the church be expected to refrain from weighing in on political matters when the two major newspapers in the state are owned by members of the church?

The Salt Lake Tribune, for example, reported this week that the church has done a complete U-turn on the medical marijuana issue and now wants an MMJ program in place before any voter-approved measure could take shape.

The move is clearly and offensively a ploy to circumvent democracy and allow the ultra-conservative state lawmakers to draft some bullshit plan to irreparably cripple any eventual medical marijuana program right out of the gate.

The Tribune, though, is owned by the Huntsman family, an LDS powerhouse in Utah business and politics. So, of course, their article allows church representatives to say things like, “We would like to get a solution that will help alleviate pain and suffering for the residents of our state. Our preference is not to have these people wait any longer”, their blatant hypocrisy left unchallenged.

So, if you’re following along, Mormon lawmakers are being influenced by church leaders via the Mormon-owned media and tax-free tithings in a Mobius Loop of corruption and a carefree disregard for the Johnson Amendment.

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The article in the Tribune lays the ConcernAboutTheKids™ on real thick, warning WITHOUT ANY LINKS OR CITATION WHATSOEVER that Colorado saw a 59% jump in marijuana-related road fatalities and a 26% increase in marijuana use by youth.

Of course, none of that is true, but that doesn’t stop the Salt Lake Tribune from putting it in print and it certainly doesn’t stop ignorant lawmakers and law enforcement from regurgitating it anytime they need to demonize weed.

The LDS church is so incredibly out of touch on the issue of cannabis it would be funny if it weren’t for the thousands of Utah residents currently suffering under their ignorance.

Just last month, some withered white creep who represents the church and calls himself Elder Jack N. Gerard said, “The church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy.”

Who wants to tell the old fart that until people like him get out of the way, we still have not made the plant legal on the federal level and until then doctors cannot “prescribe” it and pharmacies cannot dispense it. Not one legal state can live up to that standard.

You may remember our report from back in June when we told you that the LDS church was holding nearly a BILLION and a half dollars’ worth of Big Pharma stocks including AbbVie Inc., the company that produces the synthetic cannabis substitute Marinol.

Interestingly, despite the stranglehold that the church seems to have on everything from state politics to local media, an impressive 64% of Utahns polled say that they either “somewhat” or “strongly” support the Prop 2 medical marijuana vote in the upcoming election.

The only thing that still shocks us about that church is that they haven’t started their own pyramid scheme around weed… yet…

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