Canada may have just become the 2nd country on the planet Earth to federally legalize the adult recreational use of cannabis but if you think you’re going to partake in such indulgences and just waltz on through the Pearly Gates when all is said and done, the Catholic Church has some bad news for you.
Though the church does make some exception for medicinal use of marijuana, it falls back on some incredibly tired tropes to try to demonize the plant for any other use, especially… god forbid… enjoyment.
Monsignor Frank Leo is the general secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and he’s got news for anyone who dabbles in the devil’s lettuce. “The virtue of temperance, as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ‘disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco or medicine. In a particular way, the catechism underscores that the use of any drug, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is also a ‘grave offense’ — for the use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.”
Not scared yet?
Take this fire and brimstone from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops who calls the nation’s move towards legalization both unwise and potentially dangerous:
“The very significant health risks associated with the use of cannabis are widely recognized, particularly in young people,” their 2017 statement on the matter read. “They include the heightened risk of heart attack, stroke, all of the respiratory and carcinogenic pathologies associated with tobacco smoke, and a multitude of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia.”
And they wonder why they have a credibility problem.
“At a time when so many resources are already being spent to discourage recreational tobacco use, it is difficult to comprehend the disregard for public safety entailed in legalizing marijuana, which is arguably much more dangerous.”
It seems that a lot of things are difficult for these old men to comprehend.
The church still warns that cannabis is a gateway drug that will not only lead to the use of other, harder, drugs but is also being used as a gateway to escape “the burdens and challenges of life”.
No seriously, they said that with a straight face while promising eternal paradise in a cloud kingdom in exchange for a lifetime of servitude and monetary donations.
But honestly, what’s the problem with escaping the burdens and challenges of life?
The problem is being able to do it on your own, with just a seed and some soil and some water in your own backyard. The problem, as these Bishops see it, is that if you can find the answers to your questions in a nugget of kush, you won’t be there on Sunday to drop your tax-deductible offertory into the golden pot.
Under Canada’s new cannabis law everyone over the age of 18 can possess up to 30 grams of buds, can grow up to four plants at home, and can even legally process excess material into edibles.
Even those between the ages of 12-18 would need to be in possession of more than 5 grams of weed before facing any criminal charges – which only makes sense! Ruining anyone’s record, especially a kid, over such a ridiculous offense would be the real crime.
But the Bishops remind us that growing, trading, or selling any form of cannabis constitutes “direct cooperation with evil”. This guilt trip comes from a church mired in countless scandals of child abuse, sexual and otherwise.
So when the Catholic Church rolls out pathetic arguments about gateway drugs, and comparisons to cigarettes, and especially some fabricated concern for the kids – consider the source.