Unholy Smoke

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.

The Bishops of California and Massachusetts, in particular, have voiced their opinions and clearly stated that this legalization of marijuana for recreation would have dire consequences on society.

Cardinal William Levada, emeritus prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and retired Archbishop of San Francisco stridently wrote: “We already hear daily reports about an ‘epidemic’ of drug use in this nation, with its negative consequences on family, work and health… The jury of qualified experts seem to find marijuana an entry level drug that, in far too many cases, can lead to even stronger and more dangerous drugs… Experimenting with the health and welfare of our children, the potential impact on road safety, not to mention the medical and legal implications that are far from resolved, seem to me to take us in a dangerous and unwise direction.”

In Massachusetts, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston acknowledged the massive dangers to youth that any passage of a bill legalizing marijuana would have. He wrote: “The availability of marijuana for adolescent users already constitutes an environmental factor for the later use of other illicit drugs. Its legalization will only serve to worsen this problem.”

One needs to look only at the effect that the legalization of marijuana has had on the state of Colorado. Often, these legalized marijuana growers are based in poorer neighborhoods and already have led to a growth in the number of homeless and destitute in that state.

Recreational use of “soft drugs” like marijuana can lead to the use of harder drugs and the use of marijuana can create an addiction in itself, leading the addict into a downward spiral of lethargy and laziness, with cognitive abilities lessened and eventually damaged beyond repair. These are facts. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is an irresponsible move at best and, taken to its logic consequences, is an evil act at worst.