Marijuana is a Gift from God
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Marijuana is a Gift from God
Posted by CN Staff on July 29, 2018 at 06:02:22 PT
By Kurtis Lee
Source: Los Angeles Times
Utah -- Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain, but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using pot.Since marijuana was illegal under Utah law, church leaders told him, it was forbidden. Stoll turned to an opioid painkiller and has continued using it since his marriage three years ago, despite unpleasant side effects and its inability to match the soothing qualities of marijuana.
“This was devastating ... I had to choose between my health and my fiancee,” Stoll said recently. “It seemed asinine that if I lived in another state, I wouldn't have to make such a difficult decision.”Perhaps soon, Stoll said, that could all change for him and his fellow Mormons in Utah.In November, voters here will consider a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana and possibly join 30 others states that allow its use.While opponents, including a group of Utah doctors, have characterized Proposition 2 as a clear and dangerous step on the path toward legalizing recreational pot in the state, supporters say the initiative is a move of compassion.Dozens of parents of children with severe illnesses, including epilepsy, who say they rely on marijuana for treatment, have become the public faces for the campaign. The initiative, supporters argue, is also a necessary response to the opioid epidemic. Every year between 2013 and 2016, roughly 600 Utahns have fatally overdosed on opioids, according to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.“We’re talking about medical marijuana, which science time and again has shown to have benefits for people in pain and suffering,” said DJ Schanz, a Mormon and the director of the campaign supporting the measure. “People are being prescribed pills but can’t use something natural.” Among those gathering signatures to place the measure on the ballot was Stoll. The product of a devout Mormon home in the Salt Lake Valley, he started taking prescription opioids in 2012, after fracturing his back in a fall during his sophomore year at Brigham Young University.The pills helped somewhat, but he hated the possibility of growing addicted. So at 24, Stoll bought a mini bong and some pot, and soon his life changed. The pain faded, and he could sit through church services and go on hikes. Fears of addiction no longer flooded his mind, and his mood improved.But then came his engagement and his desire to be married in the temple. He now takes a tablet of Tramadol most mornings. The powerful opioid can cloud his mind and make him drowsy, but he said that without it, he couldn’t sit through the four-hour service at his Mormon meeting house. The gnawing pain in his back would turn to a throb.One recent Sunday morning, Stoll gulped down the small, white pill as he rushed out the door and headed to his church.Church leaders long remained silent on the marijuana initiative but eventually took a public stance, releasing a brief statement in April lauding a memo by the Utah Medical Assn., a group of doctors opposed to the measure. The church praised the association for “cautioning that the proposed Utah marijuana initiative would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities.” A month later, church leaders put out a document citing legal concerns, including “significant challenges for law enforcement.”According to a recent Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, two-thirds of voters in Utah, where more than 60% of the population identifies as Mormon, support the medical marijuana proposal.The leaders of the church, whose membership tops 16 million worldwide, “have enormous sway in Utah,” said Philip Barlow, a professor of Mormon history at Utah State University. And yet, he noted, “Mormon conclusions are not monolithic.”“Among the majority in the state who identify as LDS, a fair portion of these, as with all religions, are not robust or active in practicing their faith,” Barlow said. “They simply identify as Mormon, as opposed to Baptist or Muslim.”The Mormon Church has a history of weighing in on social issues.In 2008, church members helped bankroll a successful campaign in California for Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state until it was struck down as unconstitutional. Last year in Utah, the church supported a successful effort by lawmakers to create the lowest blood-alcohol driving limit in the country — 0.05% — despite concerns from the state’s tourism industry.While the church’s doctrine regarding health, referred to as the “Word of Wisdom,” does not directly address medical marijuana, it does ask members to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea and “illegal drugs.” In recent years, some church members, including Stoll, have sought clarity on what classifies as an illegal drug, especially as more and more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use.The church declined to comment for this article. Utah has a long history with pot. In the early 1900s, it was among the first states to ban cannabis, following the return of Mormon church members from missions in Mexico, where some historians have said they used pot, according to a reference handbook on marijuana by scholar David E. Newton.During the state’s current battle, Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican and a member of the Mormon church, has voiced his reservations about Proposition 2.“I am concerned about this initiative because of the lack of medical science on the safety, efficacy and proper dosage for compounds found in cannabis,” Herbert said in an email. Referring to the Food and Drug Administration, he added, “We should have clinical studies — just like we do for any other FDA-approved medicine. We need to isolate what helps and heals from what harms.”While traveling the state, Herbert said, he has met with Utahns recovering from addiction who have told him “that marijuana was their gateway drug to other more dangerous and addictive drugs.”“To a person,” Herbert said, “they have argued against the legalization of marijuana.”For Stoll, who works in digital marketing in this suburb south of Salt Lake City with views of the towering Wasatch Range, his pain has propelled his activism.Two years ago, he testified before lawmakers about a bill that would have legalized pot for medical purposes. The measure died in the Republican-controlled Legislature. But lawmakers have passed laws over the years that, among other things, allow oils and creams made from the non-psychoactive component of cannabis.Before Stoll, his wife and their infant daughter drove to the red-brick meeting house in West Jordan on a recent Sunday, he pulled out the green bong he’s kept in a cardboard box in his closet since his marriage in 2015.He can’t help but think about how much pot helped him — about what his life would be like if he could give up the Tramadol.But he fears losing his good standing within the church — a designation that allows him to attend temples, where Mormons marry, have baptisms and other major life ceremonies. At times, Stoll admits, he thinks about moving out of state to better treat his condition. Stoll said he knows Mormons in other states — where pot is legal — who use marijuana and are in good standing and have temple recommends with the church because sympathetic local church leaders have given their assent. He wants that for himself.“This is something that if I drive east or west — to Colorado or Nevada — is 100% legal and helpful to my situation,” he said. “We’re not talking about recreational. This is simply for medical.”His wife, Rachael, said her husband seemed healthier when he used cannabis.“As a family, we need this to become law,” she said, holding their daughter, Everly. “We pray for this.”But her stepfather, Hector Llamas, 63, disagrees, saying he foresees medical pot being sold on the black market.“People buy it with a card and then turn around and sell it elsewhere is going to be a problem,” Llamas said as the family sat at the kitchen table before church.Moments later, as the family got ready to head to the meeting house — one of several in this community where horses graze in backyards under the shade of pine trees — Stoll read a passage from the Book of Mormon:And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land — but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.This, he said, reminded him of his current situation.“Marijuana,” he said, “is a gift from God.”Kurtis Lee is a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, who frequently reports on how Trump administration policies affect states, the nation's debate over guns and marijuana legalization sweeping the country. Prior to joining The Times in August 2014, Lee worked for three years at the Denver Post and covered state and national politics. He’s also reported from the scenes of destructive wildfires and mass shootings and was a member of the Post staff that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Aurora theater shooting. He’s a Colorado native and a graduate of Temple University.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Author: Kurtis LeePublished: July 29, 2018Copyright: 2018 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 01, 2018 at 18:15:39 PT
Those Oark Mountain Daredevils
That was a great song.I just saw a current picture of them. They weathered well, looks like. I'm so glad.Standing on the Ground
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on August 01, 2018 at 07:54:46 PT
If you want to get to heaven...
Here is a spiritual message from those good old country boys, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils - If You Want to Get to Heaven You Got To Raise A Little Heck
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on July 30, 2018 at 20:59:32 PT
>>Since marijuana was illegal under Utah law, church leaders told him, it was forbidden.Wait a sec....wouldn't state law be the purview of the state government?  Utah is a theocracy. America has a theocracy with magical underwear
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on July 30, 2018 at 20:56:25 PT
got it backwards
you quit medical cannabis because of your Church? Time to find a new church. He wants to stay in the church that takes away medicine and makes you sicker.  Why - because of family? Who wants relatives that insist you refuse medicine and become sicker just for the sake of their sanctimony? The 15 years of public schooling didn't take on me, I just can't understand this mindset, why would you choose to enslave yourself to the "Mormons"
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on July 30, 2018 at 00:21:17 PT
Thanks, Hope
I was just about to post a rough draft that I was concerned was perhaps too fierce. When I clicked Post Message, the draft disappeared. In my haste I had neglected to save it first. However, I had all the links still open, so I made a new draft, which did post. I feel that the Creator guided my hand, so that the second draft was a better rendition of the basic truths to share with others who care about this issue. I also really liked The GCW's comment about receiving the Spirit of Truth and loving one another. That fits well together with the quotations I shared. Even Jesus said that He accomplished His miracle healings through the power of the Holy Spirit.Luke 4 King James Version (KJV)
4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 14 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 29, 2018 at 17:56:59 PT
Afterburner... You said it!
Many great references and every word of your rant rings true to me.I always especially enjoy reading, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”Thank you, Afterburner for the reminder. Thank you, God, for the gift.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 29, 2018 at 17:45:58 PT
It's odd that they would feel like that when they
know illegality didn't stop them. What is their reasoning?"While traveling the state, Herbert said, he has met with Utahns recovering from addiction who have told him “that marijuana was their gateway drug to other more dangerous and addictive drugs.”“To a person,” Herbert said, “they have argued against the legalization of marijuana.”"I agree that marijuana/cannabis is a gift from God. Its prohibition has been so bad and so harmful to mankind in so many ways. Catastrophically so. That's why there is a Cannabis News. A place to rant about the injustice and learn as much as we could in efforts to change some hideously unjust laws.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on July 29, 2018 at 11:07:37 PT
Yes, Cannabis Is a Gift from God
The FDA is a corrupt federal agency promoting synthetic drugs and dissing medical herbs and plants. Standing by these discriminatory laws against cannabis, the Mormons strike against the Creator of life, who said that all seed-bearing plants are food and good.Genesis 1:29-31 New International Version (NIV)
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.Keneh bosem - Exodus 30:23
"The Holy Anointing Oil" Holy Anointing Oil was used by Moses to anoint the priests. The Holy Anointing Oil was originally intended for the priests as given to Moses by God's instructions. Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One did miracles of healing and prepared us for eternal life."Messiah is a title given to 'the promised Deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.' Messiah is derived from the Hebrew word mashiach which means 'anointed one' and which corresponds to the NT title of 'Christ' (Christos = anointed one)." Christians we are Anointed to perform healing and miracles:2 Corinthians 1:21-22 New International Version (NIV)
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Peter 2:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. be to all God's promises and blessings. He gives us the courage and the persistence to continue the good fight as long as it's necessary.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on July 29, 2018 at 08:57:55 PT
gift from God
There is so much to take in here. I would refer the readers to check out the Mormon fonder, Joseph Smith. He was no saint. I will say that Mormons are better than average at ballroom dancing though. I checked out tramadol. One of its possible side effects is sexual dysfunction. Not a good thing for a young married couple. Hector shouldn’t worry about medical cannabis being diverted to the “black market”. I suspect cannabis has already been available in Utah on the “black market” for decades as it has been everywhere else. It is ironic that Brian should say that cannabis is a “gift from God”, because the ancient Hindu scriptures say that Lord Shiva brought the cannabis plant down from the high Himalayan Mountains as benefit to humankind. Since we all agree where cannabis came from, I suspect that Brian would also agree that cannabis is good for the body, mind, and spirit. Thankfully, more and more people are figuring this out.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on July 29, 2018 at 07:51:56 PT
Utah: Hate one another.
There are good people and bad people everywhere, however, the proportion of cannabis prohibitionist thinking people in Utah is the majority and in states like Colorado are the minority.Those people believe they are serving The Christ Jesus but they are in reality serving evil.We are requested to love one another. You can not love someone and cage them for using what God indicates He created and says is good on literally the very 1st page of the Bible, at the same time!If bad people make bad laws which are opposed to that which is good and forces people to hate one another, it's time to CHOOSE which fork in the road to take.Loving one another allows Us to receive the "spirit of truth."You can not receive the "spirit of truth," without loving one another.This is explained in John 14-16 and 1st John and is one of the more important places to understand in the Good Book. NASBWhen We love one another We receive other gifts also.*Do not let anything get in between You and the "spirit of truth." Never take the wrong fork in the road.One of the things explained is how when We love one another, God is Our friend.Imagine the concept of christians having eternal life; AND THERE ARE 2 KINDS...One is eternal life with God as Your friend & the OTHER eternal life is with God NOT as Your friend. I BELIEVE THOSE 2 MAY BE DIFFERENT.-0-We are also informed the "spirit of truth," which as quoted is only spoken about in those passages, WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS. Thus, by loving one another and receiving the "spirit of truth," YOU DO NOT NEED A HATEFUL CHURCH getting in between You and the "spirit of truth."AND BY EXTENSION, I'VE JUST EXPLAINED HOW YOU MAY CHECK WHAT I'VE JUST SAID; BY GOING TO GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH TO SEE IF WHAT I'VE SAID IS TRUE OR NOT.-0-Ultimately, when You get to what You came here for (think of Your life here as a transfer station) that is the "spirit of truth," You have succeeded in getting the only thing You can take with You.It's why You are here.-0-When We examine those failed clergy in Utah and anywhere else who support caging humans for using that which is good, thus hating one another, it is evident, they are unable to have the "spirit of truth," and it helps understand their actions.& their actions are further explained in Malachi 6-14, subtitled Sin of the Priests NASB.Love,The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on July 29, 2018 at 06:51:18 PT
Yes, and even Jesus Christ Used Marijuana!
You do not become and you are not a Christian, unless you get anointed with the Holy Oil containing Kaneh Bosm or Cannabis!Know your history and know your religion!Apparently some of these Mormons don't know either!
Jesus Used Marijuana!
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