SALT LAKE CITY — A group suing the state to derail the medical marijuana ballot initiative has removed references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an amended lawsuit.
Backers of the complaint filed the new version on the same day last week that the church announced its opposition to the initiative but that it does not object to marijuana derivatives being used in medicinal form with appropriate controls and safeguards.
The lawsuit still maintains the marijuana initiative should be invalidated because it violates the constitutional principles of property rights, due process and equal protection under the law.
"While any other landlord would be able to turn away a cigarette-smoking tenant, for example, solely on the basis that they use tobacco, which the landlord may find repugnant or likely to damage or cause loss to their property, a landlord who receives an application from a medical cannabis cardholding tenant would no longer have those rights under the (initiative)," according to the amended lawsuit in 3rd District Court.
Drug Safe Utah originally claimed the proposed medical marijuana law would violate constitutional protections of religious freedom, specifically among Latter-day Saints. The church is not part of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit contended that "any practicing member" of the church would "find this mandate deeply offensive and incredibly repulsive to their religious beliefs and way of life."
Latter-day Saints and members of all religions have "the right not to consort with, be around or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant, and to refuse to lease their property to people engaging in activities which they deeply oppose," the initial lawsuit said.
The lawsuit continues to seek a court order stopping the initiative from appearing on the November ballot.
Drug Safe Utah, an organization created in April to oppose the initiative, and its president, Walter Plumb III, are among the plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit. The amended version no longer includes Drug Safe Utah but lists a new group called Truth About Proposition #2.