October 24, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Allow me this opportunity to ask for your assistance regarding a matter of great importance for our families, children and our community.
On Election Day, citizens of Massachusetts will be asked to vote on a proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. If this referendum is approved, it will have an extremely damaging impact on our society, particularly on our children and young people. The enclosed Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) statement provides citations from numerous research studies concerning the detrimental effects that follow from the legalization of marijuana.
As our society battles the devastating opioid crisis which each day claims the lives of those who have been snared in the trap of addiction, it is troubling that we would legalize a gateway drug that, in addition to its own damaging effects, has led far too many users to be destroyed by the use of opioids. It is notable that Governor Baker, District Attorney Joseph Early and the School Committee of the City of Worcester all strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, with particular recognition of the harm such an action would bring to children and young people.
I ask that you read the attached MCC statement. We, as responsible and informed citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, have an obligation to understand the seriousness of the risks of the legalization of marijuana.
With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester