The Utah Attorney General’s Office has filed a motion requesting the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by activists against the state over its replacement of a medical marijuana bill approved by voters. In the filing, assistant Utah Attorney General Andrew Dymek said the work of the state legislature is not dictated by the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and that lobbying by the Church is a constitutionally protected act.
“Plaintiffs have not alleged facts showing that the Church functioned as theocracy or in tandem with the State on an ongoing basis or that it dominated or directly interfered with state government,” Dymek wrote. “To the contrary, the facts alleged show that the Church, for a limited period of time, simply exercised its constitutional right to engage in free speech on a single matter of public interest (medical marijuana legislation).”
After voters approved Proposition 2 legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis in November’s midterm elections, the Utah state legislature convened a special session to consider changes to the initiative. The legislature then drafted its own replacement bill with input from the LDS and supporters of Proposition 2. Two groups, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) and the Epilepsy