Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, was elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, becoming Pope Francis. He is the first pope from the Americas.
Pope Francis has offered an olive branch of acceptance to the atheists. He is also fast tracking and sacking the financial reforms and panels put in place and launched by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and overhauling the Roman Curia that includes the college of Cardinals and aggressively tackled the lingering clerical sex abuse cases. The Pope works for peace in the Middle East and tries to broker communication with the Israelis and Palestinians.
Now he is speaking out on something that is troubling him, the growing relaxation of marijuana laws in the western world especially in the USA.
“Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise,” he told participants at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome.
But like the church’s hardline stance on divorce, many Americans are not in agreement with Rome. Public sentiment isn’t with him; most Americans are voting in favor of legalization. In South America, countries like Uruguay have legalized marijuana.
Colorado and Washington state have made marijuana use legal, and in California, Nevada, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Alaska it is legal if you get a doctor’s approval and the laws for pot were reduced. Several other states, cities and countries have decriminalized its use or have announced plans to do so. There are states like Texas and Florida where pot is illegal still.
Akikur Mohammad, M.D., is the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with board certification in addiction medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology. He tells Monsters and Critics, “Smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. As a doctor, I assure you that it is almost impossible to administer safe, regulated dosages of medicines in smoked form. Morphine, for example, has proven to be a medically valuable drug, but no responsible physician endorses smoking opium or heroin.”
“However, to address the Pope’s statement regarding recreational marijuana… addiction has been around as long as humankind. It is a typical religious approach that addiction is EVIL, but science had proven that all addiction is a brain disease. However, in some patients, spirituality or religion may help to manage and overcome their addiction. I always advocated decriminalization but not complete legalization of drugs like marijuana.”
Dr. Mohammad adds, “Nicotine is legal around the world and the most common preventable cause of death worldwide, Nicotine kills more people than alcohol and all other drugs combined. Let’s educate the public!”