Mormons, Green Jell-O & Other Drugs


If there's something non-believers know about Mormons, it's that they treat their bodies like a temple. And that caffeine, alcohol, and drugs have no place in an individual's house of the holy. So the news that Utah, where 70 percent of residents accept the Plates of Nephi as scripture, leads the country in use of anti-depressants (not to mention sugary green Jell-O), was met by many with surprise—or smug satisfaction.

It needn't surprise. Americans may worship more gods and monsters than the Greeks, but we share a national devotion: weird hypocrisy about drug use. When Mormons shrink in horror from Starbucks but pop Paxil like Pez, they're indulging the same kind of mystification that decides U.S. drug law. Or, for that matter, that can lead pot smokers who say they self-medicate to denounce those "drones" on artificial anti-depressants.