Canadian Bishop Condemns Cannabis Use, Compares It To The 'Plague Of Pornography' In North America

A group of Catholic Bishops are speaking out against Canada's decision to legalize recreational cannabis.

Monsignor Frank Leo - General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops - considers the use of cannabis and any other recreational drug as an act of sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church. He says while there is an argument to be made for medicinal use, recreational consumption should remain restricted.

"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," Leo told Crux.

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast agrees with Monsignor Leo, saying children should be taught to avoid smoking cannabis in the same way they are for tobacco, and compared it to "other contemporary problems such as the plague of pornography" in North America.

"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."

While most Canadians have voiced their support for cannabis legalization, it is not surprising to some groups continue to uphold the principles of prohibition. Still, it would be encouraging to see religious leaders in Canada take a proactive stance towards cannabis reforms like some of their American counterparts have. 

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As medical marijuana continues to gain ground across the US, more and more colleges are adding cannabis to their curriculum. In fact, more than half of America's pharmaceutical schools (62 percent) now teach students about medical marijuana according to a new survey conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy. "With more states legalizing medical marijuana, student pharmacists must be prepared to effectively care for their patients who may use medical marijuana alone or in combination with prescription or over-the-counter medications," the study's authors wrote.