Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, citing church teachings, has written a column opposing legalization of marijuana. It is entitled `Nope to Dope.’
Quoting the church catechism, Tobin wrote in his Without a Doubt column that ``the use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.’’
Tobin also said that, despite coming of age in the 1960s, he has never used pot. ``I should emphasize that my observations here are from a purely theoretical viewpoint. Although I came of age in the moral wilderness of the 1960s, when just about everything was on the table, I’ve never smoked marijuana – or anything else for that matter. For me, `Puff The Magic Dragon’ was a song about childhood, nothing more.’’
The Bishop also said that he recently spoke to a `prominent businessman’ who had returned from a trip to Colorado, where pot is legal.
``He said that the local scene is disturbing. Some public places he visited were filled with zombie-like individuals, completely stoned,’’ stated Tobin.
During a recent 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence, Tobin said, a woman was caught smoking the weed. ``She was quickly removed and the local police called. ``Really, if I’m going to smell anything in our cathedral, I want it to be holy incense, not cannabis.’’
And Tobin quoted Pope Francis, who said, ``Let me state in the clearest terms possible. Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise….No to every type of drug use.’’
Legislation that would legalize pot and regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol is pending at the Rhode Island Statehouse. The measure has been introduced for several years but has never been approved by either the House or Senate.