Pope Francis condemns moves to legalize intoxicating drugs
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While the legalization of medical marijuana for patients has been approved in many American states, Pope Francis has condemned the "scourge of drug use." He proclaimed that drug addiction is "an evil" and he has spoken out against the legalization of "recreational drugs."
"With evil, there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics," Pope Francis says.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis expressed his "grief and concern" over drugs. The pontiff addressed leaders of anti-drug agencies around the world at the end of the 31st International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome.
"With evil, there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics," he said, "in no way resolves the problem."
In addition, substitute drugs, he affirmed, "are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the problem . no to every type of drug use!"
Pope Francis also deplored the commerce "which transcends national and continental borders," leading to the "inexorable" spread of drug use.
To say "no" to drugs, Pope Francis pointed out, one has to say "yes" to life, love, others, education and job opportunities. "If we say 'yes' to all these things, there will be no room for illicit drugs, for alcohol abuse, for other forms of addiction."
Pope Francis has spoken of the dangers of drug use before. The recent declaration has lent his voice and the authority of the Catholic Church to the growing worldwide debate over legalizing -- or at least decriminalizing some recreational drugs, most notably marijuana.
Both Colorado and Washington have made marijuana use legal, and several other states, cities and countries have decriminalized its use or have announced plans to do so.
The South American nation of Uruguay passed a law in December to create a regulated marijuana marketplace. Jamaican officials said this month that they plan to modify that nation's laws to decriminalize pot use and possession.
Worldwide and nation public opinion has rapidly shifted toward softer policies on marijuana use.
In January, a CNN/ORC International survey found that 55 percent of respondents wanted to see marijuana made legal. That's up from 16 percent in 1987, according to the CNN poll and numbers from the General Social Survey.
Pope Francis says that such policies are "not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects."
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