Statement on Recreational Marijuana Legalization

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Statement on Recreational Marijuana Legalization

April 7, 2021

Following is a statement by Dennis Poust, interim executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference:

“The passage of legislation to legalize possession and consumption of marijuana for recreational use in New York State is terrible policy that sends a message to children that marijuana is harmless fun endorsed by the state. The reality is quite different.

“The impact of today’s ultra-potent marijuana on developing brains is unclear. What is clear is that marijuana is a gateway drug that will have detrimental effects on untold numbers of young people and compound the current health crises of teen vaping and drug use, and will result in higher incidence of impaired driving and operation of machinery by adults.

“Furthermore, to legalize recreational use of a substance designed to be inhaled deeply and held in the lungs is never a good idea, but at this particular moment in history when we are suffering from a horrific pandemic involving a novel virus that attacks the lungs, it is the height of irresponsibility.

“The lure of money should never overcome what is best for society, especially children. Sadly, today that is what has occurred in Albany.”

The Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.

For 2019 Catholic Conference statement on legalization, go here.