Dear Editor: As noted in Bishop DiMarzio’s Put Out in the Deep column (June 16), NYS legislators are making efforts to reduce arrests related to the possession of marijuana. If they succeed marijuana, a psychoactive and addictive drug, will become affordable and easily available. Like you Bishop DiMarzio, I strongly oppose the efforts at the decriminalization of marijuana.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Our country and our state are in the midst of a substance abuse crisis. In particular, when we look at the opioid epidemic that seems to be threatening the health of our city, as well as the push for the legalization of marijuana in our state, my concern, as Bishop of the diocese in Brooklyn and Queens and as a social worker for the mental health of our youth, I feel obliged to speak out on this issue.
Dear Editor: Marijuana possessed in public and smoked in public for recreation is neither safe for driving nor for second-hand smoke exposure for non-users. Further, cannabis is not a safe drug for general private recreational use, in view of the body of toxicological effects.
A recent phenomenon is walking down the street of your neighborhood and picking up the scent of marijuana. All of a sudden it’s no longer a strange occurrence. Apparently, pot smoking is everywhere. It’s no longer only at concerts and in clubs, but it’s also outside schools, at the beach and in public parks.
In this year’s election, voters went against nearly all of the ballot initiatives backed by Catholic leaders and advocates, except the referendums on minimum wage increases and gun control measures.
In several states of our country, there has been a push to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are all considering it strongly. Because The Tablet is going to print before the results of the elections are known, we cannot comment on the results.