Prof. Michael P. Orsi

Marijuana legalization is an extremely reckless policy

Reverend Michael P. Orsi

Prof. Michael P. Orsi

Religious believers (especially pastors) are called to help people maintain their physical and mental well-being, as well as their moral and spiritual health. This is the ethical imperative of health care. This includes alerting people to threats and taking action to prevent dangers from building up.

Our political leaders share this responsibility. Those who represent us are responsible for both maintaining good civic order and creating conditions conducive to public health. It is their duty to their constituents and (whether they recognize it or not) also to God.

There are some areas of concern where politicians are clearly failing. One is the legalization, and consequent proliferation, of marijuana.

Pot shops have sprung up from sea to sea. Cannabis, weed, hemp, reefer, Mary Jane – call it what you want – is now a huge, legal and well-funded industry.

A recent call by the president for the release of those incarcerated for marijuana use sparked a 30% rise in stock prices of companies involved in the trade.

Cannabis plants grow at Texas Original, a medical cannabis dispensary, in Manchaca on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.

Marijuana is big business.

Despite such acceptance, marijuana remains a dangerous drug that undermines both good civic order and public health. It decreases the ability to control emotions, leading to inappropriate and antisocial behavior. It’s a known cause of crime and violence, as well as car accidents and other mishaps.

It is also deeply self-destructive. Marijuana users commit suicide at three times the rate of the general population. And marijuana is commonly recognized as a “gateway drug”, leading to the use of other more potent and addictive substances. Research suggests that it even increases alcohol consumption.

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