Colorado is one of the most progressive states when it comes to legalizing marijuana and other drugs. But the Catholic archbishop of Denver is calling attention to serious problems that have arisen because of the legalization of pot, and is urging Americans to reconsider the increasing embrace of so-called “soft drugs.”
In a pastoral letter, “That They May Have Life,” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila brings together natural law, Catholic ethical teaching, and medical data to argue that legalizing drugs is a mistake.
In 2012, Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and in 2014, it became the first state to permit its sale. The Centennial State also recently legalized psychedelic mushrooms.
Aquila’s letter also comes in the midst of news that more and more Americans are dying of drug overdoses, particularly from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. He points out that 106,699 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021.
“As more states follow (as of this writing, recreational and medical marijuana are legal in 23 and 38 states respectively), there is a need to speak about the devastating effects of drugs such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, opioids, and others that we have witnessed,” Aquila writes. “We now have an overwhelming amount of data that reinforces what we have known to be true all along: The legalization of marijuana and cultural…