This is a security feature. In order to su to root (or any other account with superuser privileges), you must be in the wheel group. If this feature were not there, anybody with an account on a system who also found out root's password would be able to gain superuser level access to the system. With this feature, this is not strictly true; su(1) will prevent them from even trying to enter the password if they are not in wheel.
To allow someone to su to root, simply put them in the wheel group.
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