The current leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has spoken out against recreational drug use in spite of his often progressive views on other subjects. The pope appeared as a speaker at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome where he declared his opposition to the idea of legalizing drugs as a solution for issues of illegal drug activity.
He communicated his viewpoint that drug use is a scourge that continues to spread through trafficking transcending national and continental borders. He sees drug legalization as a questionable and likely ineffective legislative measure to resolve the situation. With the growing push for marijuana legalization, Pope Francis has taken a firm stance against the possibility of allowing recreational drug use.
The Move Toward Legalization
Pope Francis was made pope of the Catholic Church in March of 2013 and has since surprised many people with his progressive views which are often uncharacteristic of traditional Catholic beliefs. He has made many unexpected remarks about the church being unable to judge homosexuals or interfere with their spirituality as well as open minded comments about atheism.
In spite of his often liberal viewpoints, the Pope remains in a traditional stance against the use of recreational drugs like marijuana. Recently there have been more moves toward the legalization of marijuana with Uruguay becoming the first country to officially legalize the drug.
Uruguay has also used this law to regulate the cultivation, production, storage, sale and distribution of marijuana with an official registry of all users’ consumption. Jamaica has also said that it would legalize medical marijuana and allow possession of up to two ounces for recreational use. In the U.S. there have already been twenty-two states to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and a majority of Americans now believe it should be legalized.
The Pope’s Beliefs About Drug Addiction
The current pope has been actively opposed to drug use including marijuana in spite of the climate of many areas leaning toward legalization. Pope Francis has spoken out against legalization in the past and even visited with addicts to support them in recovery.
While the goal of legalization theoretically is to reduce addiction and the widespread influence of drug use, the pope does not believe this outcome will be achieved by making recreational drugs legal. Pope Francis believes that the solution is to confront the underlying issues of these types of drugs and educate young people in better values.
He wants to accompany those in difficulty and give people hope for the future so that they would not turn to drug use to resolve their problems. He has openly said that he believes drug addiction to be an “evil” for which there can be no yielding or compromise. His stance reflects that of the Catholic Church amid the worldwide debate regarding legalizing or decriminalizing recreational drugs.
Pope Francis Drug Legalization
Pope Francis’ stance on legalization goes against the grain of a shift to increasingly softer policies on drug use especially when it comes to marijuana. A recent international survey found that 55% of respondents wanted marijuana to be legalized, a number that is up from only 16% in 1987. With the changes in the world’s view of recreational drugs and legalization, it is surprising that Pope Francis has confirmed his opposition especially in relation to his many progressive views.
The pope, however, remains concerned about the effects that addiction has on every individual and the suffering that people experience even when using recreational drugs. He sees failed logic in the idea that allowing drug addicts to use narcotics will reduce harm or resolve the problem in any way.