Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Catholic diocese of Providence, Rhode Island has written a new column titled "Nope To Dope," where he shared the Catholic Church's teaching denouncing the legalization of recreational marijuana.
His Excellency cites section 2291 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on drug use: "The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense."
In the column, Bp. Tobin made a point of describing the sad state of affairs concerning young people and their electronic isolation.
With so many of our citizens, especially the younger ones, already immune to reality with their addiction to electronics — hoodies on, heads down, earbuds in, and attached to their virtual umbilical cords — do we want to provide another means of escape for our kids, transporting them even further into the land of oblivion?
The leader of the diocese of Providence described an actual situation where a woman was caught outside of the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul smoking marijuana: "[An] individual was found smoking pot in the back of our Cathedral ... during the 10:00 Mass. She was quickly removed and the local police called. Really, if I'm going to smell anything in our Cathedral I want it to be holy incense, not cannabis."
His Excellency also highlighted the problems of marijuana for the police department and for safety on the road.
"I was in a meeting with a leading law-enforcement official who described the increasing incidence of marijuana use among young adults, a problem his officers found especially in arrests for impaired and dangerous driving."
The bishop also quoted Pope Francis' statement on the use of recreational drugs at the 31st International Drug Enforcement Conference in 2014. "Let me state in the clearest terms possible. Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. ... No to every type of drug use."
Bishop Tobin made clear that, although he was brought up in the 1960s, a time of experimentation and widespread drug use, he himself had never tried marijuana.