Arizona Catholic Conference: Bishops’ Statement Opposing the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Arizona Catholic Conference
ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE BISHOPS’ STATEMENT OPPOSING THE LEGALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference oppose the campaign to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona because it is harmful to both children and families in Arizona.

Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana sends a message to children and young people that drug use is socially and morally acceptable. As people of faith, we must speak out against this effort and the damaging effects its passage would have on the children and families of Arizona.

Studies have shown that adolescents who use marijuana have significant differences in brain structure and cognitive functioning compared to those who do not use marijuana and experience up to an eight-point drop in IQ. Furthermore, based on what happened in just two years after Colorado legalized marijuana, it is estimated that if Arizona passes this measure, tens of thousands of additional 8th graders here will smoke marijuana for the first time.

Marijuana-related traffic accidents and other problems are also likely to dramatically increase if recreational marijuana use is legalized. In Colorado for example, marijuana-related traffic deaths dramatically increased after recreational marijuana was legalized. Additionally, Colorado witnessed similar dramatic increases in hospitalizations and emergency room visits related to marijuana usage after recreational use was legalized.

In states that have legalized marijuana, there has also been an increase in the use of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin since marijuana was legalized, which only further increased societal costs.

For the reasons mentioned above, and others, it is anticipated that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona will lead to more abuse by teens, more emergency room visits, more traffic deaths, and more societal costs. Accordingly, due to the detrimental effect it would have on children, families, and all of society, we strongly oppose this dangerous proposal.

Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop of Tucson

Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Sine Die – Finally!

The Arizona Legislature adjourned last night, ending one of the most significant and successful sessions for Arizona families. Our CAP Team is grateful for the leadership shown by Governor Brewer and our pro-life, pro-family legislators. Next week, we will release the Family Issues Voting Record, which recaps how each legislator voted on CAP-supported bills, and the final tally of CAP-supported bills that were signed into law.

On the Governor’s Desk

Before adjournment, the legislature sent four CAP-supported bills to Governor Brewer. Legislation to defund Planned Parenthood (HB 2800), protect employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs (HB 2625), protect professionals licensed by the state from losing their certifications for the free exercise of their faith (SB 1365), and expand the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program (HB 2622) are all awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and education establishment have continued their campaign to encourage Gov. Brewer to veto these bills. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute today to send her a quick note in support of these four bills! And, take a few minutes to pray!

A Team Effort! A Time of Thanksgiving!

I live by the Proverb that we are to be prepared for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord.  The victories this legislative session indeed are by God’s Hand.   Thankfully, however, He has blessed our efforts with a team that includes allied organizations committed to foundational values including Arizona Catholic Conference, Alliance Defense Fund, Bioethics Defense Foundation, Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, and our school choice allies. I am incredibly grateful for everything they do to join us to stand for foundational values.

If space permitted, I would also thank each and every legislator who stood with us this session.  Alas, I will ask each one of you to do so when you receive the voting records next week for your two state representatives and state senator. For now, I do want to thank Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin for their leadership in making sure CAP-supported bills made it through the legislative process.  Take time to send those two leaders a quick thank-you email for their support – click on their names above to send them an email.

Finally, THANK YOU! It’s because you turned out to vote your values in the 2010 elections that we were blessed with the pro-life, pro-family majority in the state House and Senate.

National Day of Prayer
Our nation celebrated the National Day of Prayer yesterday. In conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, Governor Brewer once again declared yesterday the Arizona Day of Prayer, despite the ongoing legal attack against her from the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
Thank you, Gov. Brewer, for refusing to be pushed around by this out-of-state organization that is determined to rewrite our country’s history and First Amendment.

Praying Strategically

In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, CAP’s new Church Relations Director, Pastor Terry Anderson is writing a 3 part blog series on the Foundations blog about “praying strategically.” Terry shared this message with our staff last week and greatly blessed the CAP team. Click here to read it.

ICYMI: War on Women? The Undeniable Roots of Pro-Life Feminism

Our friends at the Susan B. Anthony List wrote an editorial in response to two pieces in the Arizona Republic.

On the Foundations blog, we share their editorial, but also point out that today’s pro-life movement is stronger – and more diverse – than ever before. This legislative session is an awesome example of women and men coming together to defend life, vulnerable women, and preborn children.