http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/L_R_Geoff_Bennett_Fr_Peter_Mussett_MJ_Menendez_and_Dr_E_Christian_Brugger_took_part_in_the_panel_on_marijuana_in_Denver_on_July_1_2014_Credit_Matt_Hadro_CNA_CNA_7_1_14.jpgDenver, 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.”