Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jun 2014
Source: Daily Times (Primos, PA)
Copyright: 2014 The Daily Times
Page: 15


VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis condemned the legalization of
recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment as he lent his
voice Friday to a debate that is raging from the United States to Uruguay.

Francis told delegates attending a Rome drug enforcement conference
that even limited steps to legalize recreational drugs "are not only
highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to
produce the desired effects."

"Let me state this in the clearest terms possible," he said. "The
problem of drug use is not solved with drugs!"

"Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or
compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug
addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem," he added.

Francis has years of personal experience ministering to addicts in the
drug-laden slums of the Argentine capital, and he frequently has
railed against drug abuse and the drug traffickers who fuel the market.

But his comments Friday marked his strongest and clearest yet as pope
directed at the movement to legalize recreational pot, which has been
gaining ground in recent years, particularly in the U.S. and South

Recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in the U.S. states of
Colorado and Washington, and Oregon may vote on the issue this year.

In Francis' own homeland of Argentina, personal possession of
controlled substances has been decriminalized.

Next door in Brazil, authorities don't punish personal drug use,
although trafficking and transporting controlled substances is a
crime. In December, neighboring Uruguay became the first nation to
approve marijuana legalization and regulation altogether.

Oddly enough, Argentina's drug czar, who believes Argentina deserves a
debate about whether to follow Uruguay's lead, is a Roman Catholic
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