Caution dictates Church’s stance against legalization of recreational marijuana
Marijuana on its own is not bad, but people can easily abuse it, so caution or good judgment dictates that it is not legalized for recreational purposes.
This is the basic teaching of the Catholic Church when it comes to legalizing pot. This especially comes into play now in Minnesota, as last May the Democratic-controlled House voted 72-61 to pass the HF 600, which among other things establishes a regulatory framework that allows people 21 and over to buy and sell. to sell weed. The second of two years of this session opens on Jan.31, leaving enough time for the Republican-controlled Senate to hold hearings, debate and vote on the bill.
The legislation does not have the support of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which represents the public policy interests of the state’s bishops. The conference argued that legalizing marijuana will expand its use, make it more accessible to people under the age of 21, and increase the dangers on the road for drug-impaired drivers.
“The HF 600 is a bad bill,” Ryan Hamilton, MCC government relations associate, told the House trade, finance and policy committee on February 17. “This bill is bad for teens, bad for our siblings with addiction problems, bad for those who use our roads, and bad for the common good.
Mgr. Steven Rohlfs, spiritual director of St. Paul’s Seminary in St. Paul and a moral theologian specializing in medical ethics, told The Catholic Spirit on September 16 that marijuana is not “inherently messy,” or something that, for its very nature. nature is not fair with God, like the acts of abortion, euthanasia and contraception. But “for most people, most of the time,” using marijuana is not a good idea, Msgr. Rohlfs said. With the best interests of individuals and society in mind, the Church opposes its recreational use. This can be said for many drugs, including alcohol and prescription drugs, he said.
“No drug is always and everywhere bad, as a substance”, declared Mgr. Rohlfs said. “It’s part of God’s creation. He’s got some good. The Church opposes recreational drugs as a prudential decision. For most people, most of the time this is not a good idea. Regardless of the drug ‘X’. You can always give me a case that would be good for that person at this particular time. The problem is to generalize this.
Pope Francis has spoken out strongly against the recreational use of marijuana or other drugs, including in a 2014 speech at an international anti-drugs conference in Rome and at World Drug Days. youth 2013 in Rio de Janeiro.
“Let me say it in the clearest possible terms: the problem of drug use cannot be solved with drugs,” the Pope said at the conference on the fight against drugs. “Drug addiction is evil, and with evil there can be no surrender or compromise. “
Legalization also doesn’t work on a practical level, the Pope said.
“Attempts, however small, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative point of view, but they are not producing the desired effects,” Pope Francis said.
During World Youth Day, the Pope proclaimed to the crowd that “the scourge of drug trafficking, which promotes violence and sows suffering and death, compels society as a whole to act courageously,” adding that legalization would not give “a reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also deals with drug use, stating that “drug use inflicts very serious damage to human health and life. Their use, except for strictly therapeutic purposes, constitutes a serious offense. The illegal production and trafficking of drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct cooperation with evil, since they encourage people to practice seriously contrary to the moral law ”(2291). The Catechism also demands the protection of the political community of the family against threats to safety and health such as drugs, pornography and alcoholism (2211).
Father Chris Collins, vice president of mission at St. Thomas University at St. Paul and a systematic theologian, or who seeks to organize religious truths into a cohesive whole, emphasized the dignity of each human person and the plan of God for human development. .
“Not all substance abuse is good for the person,” said Father Collins. “Each person should weigh these considerations. Does this help me to be fully alive? “
Social considerations include protecting the mental health of young people, including concerns about feelings of isolation and the lack of desire to do meaningful work that recreational drugs can bring, he said.
Father Collins recognized the need to discuss the issue of marijuana and the changing landscape as the medical use of marijuana came into play.
“Medical marijuana was seen as a potential good,” he said. “But the next step is recreational use? It is certainly more problematic.
Although the MCC is strongly against recreational marijuana, the conference was neutral on the medical use of the drug, which has been legal in Minnesota since 2014. Do not take a position one way or another is a nuanced position, Mgr. Rohlfs said.
“People who oppose it (medical marijuana) will say it’s a slippery slope. Which is right, “he said.” And if you deny it (medical marijuana) people will say, ‘You want this person to suffer.’ It just depends. It’s a prudential decision. Would using this medical marijuana be a prudent decision right now? And the Church doesn’t want to get into how you regulate that.
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