Legalizing pot erodes communities and laws, panel warns [CNA]

#1, Colo., Jul 10, 2014 / 05:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts in several states to legalize recreational marijuana use poses serious harm to individuals as well as to communities that are already broken, said members of a recent panel.

“For the state to say something that’s really manifestly harmful - though it might have some benefits, manifestly harmful - is legal, is just short-sighted and irresponsible,” Dr. E. Christian Brugger stated at a July 1 panel discussion at Denver’s Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

Brugger is the J. Francis Cardinal Stafford professor of Moral Theology at Denver’s St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. He was one of several panel members discussing moral, legal, pastoral and personal concerns with recreational marijuana use.

Brugger argued that recreational marijuana use carries many long-term negative side-effects and is morally wrong because users intend to impair their cognition.

Legalization of the drug teaches that its use is permissible, he cautioned.

“The law is a moral teacher. And when the law says something is legal, what it does is it removes a stigma from that thing and over time we start to look at it not only as neutral, but even as something that can be good for us,” he stated.

“So for the law to remove the legal stigma against pot smoking,” he said, “when we can hardly call ourselves a community of unity and charity and selflessness and love, when we know it’s going to have bad effects upon our youth who are affected most by this, when our families are weak and certainly not flourishing….is very short-sighted. I think it was stupid for the country to do it.”

Full article…


It would be a service if the OP took the time to clean up the article before posting. If it’s the bot’s fault, then fix the bot. As usual, it’s almost unreadable.


This is not surprising. Of course it does. Why they didn’t realize that to begin with, I don’t know. I am for the legalization of medical marijuana for serious health conditions and with very strict restrictions but I am definitely not for the legalization of recreational marijuana.


It is annoying. Here goes anyway. These discussions need to have more balance. I don’t think anyone argues that substance abuse is a sin. We need to clearly define what that is. Let’s start with alcohol. Is it possible to have a drink without losing control of ourselves? I think the answer to that is yes. If the answer is no, then why did Our Lord change water into wine at Cana? I think that’s very key to what it means to be in violation of church teaching. Loss of control to me means severely impaired mental judgement. From what I’ve been able to gather from the article, the author seems to be saying that people who smoke pot only do it to get intoxicated. There is no other possible reason, therefore they are always in violation of Church teaching. But then the author doesn’t define intoxication. It could mean anything from being relaxed to severely impaired mental judgement. I think the latter violates Church teaching.

I also think these discussions need to focus on whether or not the public policy that criminalizes possession (of whatever substance) is sound public policy. Prohibition had good intentions. The hope was if alcohol could be banned from society all the social problems that go along with it could also be removed from society. It didn’t have those good affects. Al Capone said prohibition was the best thing that ever happened to his business. Prohibition had the affect of removing all of his competitors from the marketplace at the threat of federal prison. With no competition, all profits from the illegal sale of alcohol would go to him. And since demand for alcohol didn’t go away just because the feds tried to ban alcohol, Al Capone made lots of cash…just like the drug lords today make lots of cash. Prohibition was a good experiment that failed and was wisely repealed. Today, gangsters aren’t killing each other over alcohol turf…way too much competition in alcohol sales. And no one is suggesting we go back to banning alcohol even though alcohol abuse is as high as it’s ever been.

A final point I’d like to tackle…the idea that legalization sends the wrong message that society approves of any or all of these substances. I understand this is the fear, and that fear is rooted in good intentions. But the reality is different. Even today, with the sale and possession of alcohol being legal…alcohol abuse is still not socially acceptable. There are many programs out there that try to help people conquer this addiction without sending them to prison.

We need to get past the idea that people who struggle with addictions are criminals. That idea enables organized crime.

God Bless.


Alcohol and it’s abuse has done more to destroy, erode and continues to kill and destroy more communities and families than marijuana could ever possibly dream of doing.

But because of the over exposure and TRILLIONS that are spent on commercials and advertising, and since it’s “legal” people don’t realize this simple truth.



It bothers me that no-one has mentioned anything about the long lasting physical effects of marijuana use. I have seen those that he mentioned in the article myself.Yes, alcohol has side effects too, however we aren’t talking about alcohol here. The article was about marijuana use and alcohol use/abuse wasn’t mentioned. Continuing with illegality as opposed to legalizing something for the first time are two different things.

Also, being from Washington state, I wonder what takes precedence - the state (which is what it would seem) or the federal law.


And the current crisis at our southern border? Thousands of refugee children…the least of Our Lords brothers? What are they escaping from exactly? The Al Capone types enabled by the war on drugs. That is the devils work folks. At my parish I have become very good friends with 2 families. One from Mexico. Another from Honduras. Bet you can’t guess why they’re here. Give up? To protect their beautiful families from the increasing lawlessness of organized crime back home (enabled by the war on drugs BTW). God has softened my heart and blessed my life with their presence.

We spend 50 billion on the war on drugs annually. In large part to house hundreds of thousands of non violent drug offenders in state and federal prison. But baby killing is OK. Our Lord proclaimed liberty to captives. Let’s not forget that. If today you listen to his voice do not harden your hearts. God Bless.


Are they escaping from the war on drugs or are they escaping from the drug cartels? In either case, it is a problem caused by America’s demand for illegal drugs. The war on drugs is not working very well, since it is known publicly that many famous celebrities and even politicians have used illegal drugs without being penalized for it. In fact, there was a presidential election in which a son of the vice presidential candidate was found to be selling illegal drugs on a college campus. Even though he was caught red-handed selling these illegal drugs, he was given a sentence of house arrest and not sent to prison.


So a professor of moral theology says that marijuana use is wrong and that is should stay illegal. Well, no surprise there.



They are escaping from the drug cartels who are enabled by the public policy called the war on drugs. This was the lesson of prohibition and why prohibition was repealed. The other thing enabled by the war on drugs is big government. Lots of police and prison type jobs are also enabled by that 50 billion we spend annually on the war on drugs. They don’t want the policy to change either. The reason should be obvious. And politicians defend the war on drugs because they don’t want to oppose police unions and the prison guard unions. The pretense is that the war on drugs is necessary to protect kids from access to drugs. But in spite of all the money we spend, the reality is any kid can get any drug anytime he wants. The policy doesn’t deliver even on its most basic expectation. No. What’s really being protected is drug lord jobs, police jobs, and prison guard jobs. These three groups benefit from the war on drugs. No one else benefits but those three groups. And many innocent people are harmed by this policy…the tens of thousands of kids at our southern border are trying to escape the gangsters back home who have so much cash at their disposal thanks to the war on drugs. Ironic isn’t it? We need to wise up people. The politicians are playing us. God Bless.


There is a major effort here trying to legalize it.:mad:


Mass incarceration is what we’re getting for that 50 billion we spend annually on the war on drugs. This is appalling.


To break apart families by locking up parents and to attach a permanent stigma in the form of a criminal record for marijuana is manifestly harmful, short-sighted, and irresponsible.


I disagree. I think it is manifestly irresponsible to feed the drug cartels by buying their illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Marijuana may not be as bad as cocaine and heroin, but it is still quite harmful.
A February 2001 article in The British Journal of Psychiatry states that marijuana use can “cause dose related impairments of psychomotor performance with implications for car and train driving, airplane piloting, and academic performance.” “A 1999 Drug Abuse Warning Network report found that visits to the hospital emergency departments because of marijuana use grew steadily during the 1990’s from an estimated 15,706 visits in 1990 to 87,150 in 1999. This is a 455 percent increase. Patients thirty-five years old or older experienced the largest increase in marijuana mentions (1,078 percent, from 2,160 to 25,453) from 1990 to 1999. Among children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, marijuana mentions increased 489 percent (from 2,170 to 12,784) over the same period.”
“Smoking marijuana significantly elevates the risk of a heart attack. On March 6, 2000, Dr. Murray Mittleman of the Harvard School of Public Health told an American Heart Association conference that marijuana-smoking baby boomers are at increased risk of coronary artery disease.”
And more:


I agree that substance abuse is harmful. If the war on drugs was effective, we wouldn’t see any of these things you mention because people would simply be denied access to controlled substances. The reality is any kid can get any substance any time he or she wants.


I’m in favor of legalization and regulation similar to the way tobacco and alcohol are regulated.

I also am completely aware that there are serious side effects that impair motor function, etc., which is why people who use pot should be banned form driving under the influence - just like alcohol.

The problem (as previously cited) is that prohibition never works. You simply can’t legislate people into becoming responsible users. Alcoholism and organized crime exploded during prohibition, and we’re seeing the same thing in the US with the “war on drugs.” Legalization will see a bump in use, follow by a gradual decline and steadying, with a sharp reduction in organized crime - mirroring the 1920’s and 30’s.

A final point is that marijuana is a seed-bearing plant. “And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat.” -Genesis 1:29 (DR trans.)

God created this plant, and saw it, from His eyes, to be “very good.” Why the stigma over God’s handiwork?


I doubt that any kid can buy cocaine and heroin. This is just an assumption on your part.


Once you start legalizing mind altering marijuana, cocaine and heroin, you are going to have a worse condition on the freeways than exists now. Not to mention the problems that could arise with air pilots taking mind altering drugs.


Do you have any evidence to back up these claims? This is just speculation.

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