Bishops neutral on initiative to legalise pot

Legalising marijuana for recreational use is an option voters in California will decide on 8 November. However, the  public policy arm of the state’s bishops, has officially taken “no position” on the ballot.

The conference notes the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the use of drugs except on strictly therapeutic grounds is a “grave offense,” and the Vatican Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry in 2001 stated that the use of cannabis is “incompatible with Christian morality.”

If voters legalize marijuana in California Nov. 8, the cannabis industry can expect sales to increase to $6.5 billion by 2020, a new cannabis industry marketing report predicts.

Cannabis investors can expect 18.5 percent sales growth a year in California if Proposition 64 passes, according to “The State of Legal Marijuana Markets,” published by New Frontier Data and ArcView Group.

The 2016 report says: “Legalization of cannabis is one of the greatest business opportunities of our time and it’s still early enough to see huge growth.”

In 2015, medical marijuana sales in California were $2.7 billion, the study noted.

Meanwhile, a just-released Colorado study of the effects of legalization found marijuana-related traffic fatalities increased 62 percent from 71 to 115 people from 2013 to 2015, youth use increased 20 percent and adult use increased 60 percent based on questions about past-month use.

Marijuana-related hospitalizations nearly doubled from 6,305 in 2011 to 11,439 in 2014, two years after the Rocky Mountain state legalized recreational use, according to the September report by Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which tracks the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

Proposition 64 “is written for the fat cats who are going to get richer,” said Kevin Sabet, a former Obama administration drug policy adviser and co-founder with former Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national anti-legalization organization.


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