Bad news for Amendment 2 supporters: Pope says just say no to legalizing drugs

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The news today out of the Vatican does not bode well for supporters of Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana.

Pope Francis condemned the legalization of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment on Friday, lending his voice to a debate which is raging from the U.S. to Uruguay and beyond.

Francis told delegates to a drug-enforcement conference in Rome that even limited attempts to legalize recreational drugs “are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.”

Likewise, providing addicts with drugs doesn’t solve the problem and is “rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon,” he said.

“Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs!”

Francis has frequently railed against the “evil” of drug addiction and has met with addicts on several occasions. When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he similarly devoted much of his pastoral care to addicts.

Just last month, Uruguay — next door to Francis’ native Argentina — approved selling marijuana cigarettes in pharmacies. Recreational marijuana is now legal in the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington, and Oregon may put the matter to a vote later this year.

Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but possession of small amounts is not prosecuted and it is sold openly in “coffee shops.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.