As election day gets closer, all sorts of political activity is ramping up. And the Catholic Church is joining the fray as well. The Boston Archdiocese just gave $850,000 to an anti-marijuana campaign called the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. The group is working to defeat a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.
Catholic Church Donation Details
On November 8, Massachusetts will vote on Question 4, an initiative that would make recreational pot legal. And so far there’s been a lot of campaigning on both sides of the issue.
But the Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church has become the biggest opponent of the bill (at least when it comes to financial contributions).
The church’s $850,000 donation is by far the biggest one received by the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. In fact, that single donation gave the group a 50 percent boost in funding.
“It reflects that the archdiocese holds the matter among its highest priorities,” Archdiocese spokesperson Terrence Donilon told sources in Boston. “It’s a recognition that, if passed, the law would have significantly detrimental impacts on our parishes, our ministries.”
Opponents of Question 4 have said that legalizing cannabis would create new problems. In particular, they’ve said that cannabis is a gateway drug that could make the opioid epidemic even worse. Opponents have also said that legal pot would be dangerous to children.
But proponents of the new bill said those arguments don’t hold water. Pro-legalization advocates stated that Question 4 would create a safer, better-regulated cannabis market. And it would generate new taxes for the state as well.
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The Catholic Church isn’t the only church to speak out against upcoming marijuana votes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, has also spoken up against legalization. Leaders recently sent letters to members in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
“We urge Church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana use,” the letters said.
Cannabis legalization is a hot issue this election cycle. Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Nevada and Maine are deciding whether or not to legalize recreational pot. And Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota are voting on medical cannabis initiatives.
Despite outspoken critics like the Catholic and Mormon churches, support for legalization is at an all-time high. In Massachusetts, 49% of voters said they support Question 4 while 42% stated that they don’t. And at the national level, 54% of all Americans said they support legalization.