Poll: 2/3 of active LDS members want medical marijuana

Study released by UtahPolicy.com Wednesday

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The majority of Utah members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they're in favor of medical marijuana, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  

The survey by UtahPolicy.com showed two-thirds of the LDS church's most devout members agree marijuana should be prescribed to patients by a physician.

Breaking down the numbers, the survey shows 63 percent of "active" LDS members and 80 percent of "somewhat active" members support legalizing medical marijuana. 

Eighty-seven percent of people who describe themselves as "not very active" members of the LDS faith feel the same. 

"This shows that regardless of religious identity, that there is widespread support for medical cannibis in the state," said Utah Patients Coalition Director DJ Schanz said.

The survey comes as Utah Patients Coalition tries to collect more than 101,000 voter signatures to put legalizing medical cannibis on the ballot in 2018.

"It gives a renewed vigor for our volunteers to get out there and get signatures," Schanz said.

"I think we have to be very careful about some sweeping generalizations," Sutherland Institute President Boyd Matheson said.

Matheson is critical of the new poll, adding a lot can happen between now and when voters may decide.

"I think the thing that is important is that we have to be careful that, in our rush to help those that are currently suffering, that we don't go end up causing suffering for a whole other class of people as we move forward," Matheson said.

The LDS church urges a "cautious approach" on medical marijuana in Utah. The most recent statement encouraged lawmakers to get more research on the matter for the health and safety of all Utahns.

The survey was compiled by Dan Jones & Associates August 30 to September 5, 2017 among 608 registered Utah voters. It has a margin of error +/-3.97 percent.

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