Saturday, September 30, 2023

Bowl Eligible?



The New Mexico Bowl was created, in part, to draw tourist dollars from out-of-state visitors. 

But don’t expect New Mexico’s newest industry to benefit from the influx of fans from the schools playing in this year’s New Mexico Bowl, to be played at University Stadium next Saturday (Dec. 17).

Brigham Young University and Southern Methodist University were founded by religious institutions and, judging by the stances on cannabis of those churches, Albuquerque-area dispensaries don’t need to stock up.

Until 2019, SMU was affiliated with the United Methodist Church, whose position on cannabis use is confounding. It clearly stands opposed to recreational use but seems to fumble the guidance it provides its flock on medical cannabis.

UMC recently issued what’s essentially a policy statement on the question: “Is using marijuana for medical reasons acceptable?” Apparently, according to the church, it’s not a moral question. No, the answer seems to depend on whatever the law says wherever you live.

UMC’s statement starts by saying the church has long supported abstinence from “illegal drugs,” a policy also captured in its “Book of Resolutions.”

It goes on to acknowledge that marijuana can have some “palliative” medical effects. “The medical use of any drug, however, should not be seen as encouraging recreational use of it,” it goes on to say. “We urge all persons to abstain from all use of marijuana, unless it has been legally prescribed in a form appropriate for treating a particular medical condition.”

One can only get a legal prescription to treat a medical condition in states with a medical program. So the church seems to give its blessing to a “legal” medical cannabis patient. But if you’re suffering from, let’s say, nausea from cancer radiation treatments, Crohn’s disease or chronic back pain and living in a state without a medical program, using cannabis to “palliate” those conditions wouldn’t be “appropriate.”

On the other side of the ball, BYU is backed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the Mormon Church, which has some pretty strict rules about what you should put in your body, intoxicating substances in particular.

Interpreting its "Words of Wisdom" guidance on physical and spiritual health, the church placed an outright ban against cannabis a century ago. But as the benefits of medical cannabis have become more recognized, the church has made an adjustment.

“Such habit-forming substances should be avoided except under the care of a competent physician, and then used only as prescribed.”

There’s that word again: prescribed. Finding a doctor with a god complex might be helpful.

Interestingly, the church has been credited with helping to get Utah – a state whose population is about 60 percent Mormon – to start its medical cannabis program.

In 2018, it appeared the legislation was headed for defeat. But forces within the church reportedly nudged legislators toward a compromise. Utah is now among nearly 40 states with medical cannabis programs, though with more limited qualifying conditions.

There are some religions that use cannabis as a sacrament or view it as a pathway to enlightenment. But none that I know of are affiliated with a college football team.


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