The Mormon church eased its opposition to a broad medical marijuana plan that Utah legislators are expected to debate Monday.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement Monday that restrictions added to the proposal last week substantially improved it.
Republican Sen. Mark Madsen of Eagle Mountain made changes that include a ban on giving the raw, unprocessed plant to patients out of fear they may smoke it.
The church's softened stance may help the plan pass as many lawmakers are members of the church.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins says the faith still believes Utah legislators should focus on how to allow people who are suffering to use marijuana extracts.
A competing medical pot plan would allow very restricted use of marijuana plant extracts that produce no psychoactive effects.
Utah Senators voted in support of the more restrictive of two medical marijuana proposals.
The measure would allow those with cancer, AIDS and similar conditions to use a cannabis extract that has very low levels of the plant's psychoactive components. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives.