Today’s Newsday (4/26) has a survey of Long Island political leaders who have been asked their opinion on the legalization of “medical marijuana.”  Permit me to add my position on this.  I am opposed to it.

Clearly I have no expertise in medicine.  However I do know that our Catholic Health System hospitals are leaders in the field of palliative care.  I find it difficult to believe that there are not many other means available to offer patients the kind of medical help some claim demands this kind of legalization.  In addition, every study for as long as I can remember has cited the fact that marijuana is the softer “introductory” drug from which untold numbers go on to harder and harder drugs.  I know some scoff at the “slippery slope” argument.  As a pastor I have encountered enough very concrete instances to say I am convinced this would certainly not help prevent that kind of decline from happening, especially for young people.

Finally more and more I see our society becoming what the philosopher Methol Ferre calls a culture of “libertine secularism.”  Social mores and common sense standards of conduct that assist healthy and dignified living are constantly being scuttled by an appeal to individual “preference,” “feeling” or momentary “desire.”

My vote is NO to medical marijuana.