June 20th, 2014
10:14 AM ET

Pope says nope to dope

By Michael Pearson, CNN

(CNN) - Are you stoned?

That's the message Pope Francis seemed to be sending lawmakers Friday, saying the growing worldwide trend toward legalizing recreational drugs is a very, very bad idea.

"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.

The Pope's call isn't shocking. Francis has spoken of the dangers of drug use before.

But it lends his voice and the authority of the Catholic Church to the growing worldwide debate over legalizing or at least decriminalizing some recreational drugs, most notably marijuana.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. revrickm

    So, does this mean the RCC will be replacing their sacramental wine all over the world with Welch's grap.e juice? I'll bet not.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  2. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I appreciate the fact that the CNN editors made the title of this article a smidgen more amusing...

    June 23, 2014 at 7:48 am |
  3. christopherkwun

    Anybody daring to challenge Catholicism's interpretation of history will need so much world support. But they are wrong for so (so) many important events that a make a difference in this world. Jewish and Muslims are very good, kind-hearted good (good) people.

    June 22, 2014 at 12:59 am |
    • Reality

      One assumes that you are joking that Jews and Muslims are kind hearted people? If not, apparently, you have never read the OT /or Koran.

      June 22, 2014 at 9:27 am |
  4. caliboss

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana....changed the world, hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's rights

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

    "any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever


    June 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  5. sealchan

    "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."

    Actually, I think that I have a problem with this statement as it takes on what I would consider a medieval att-itude towards evil. If you only think of evil as an other, an enemy to fight, you miss the whole point. In fact, if Satan were a real being, he would score that as a win in his/her column. The way to combat evil is not to be unyielding or uncompromising, the way to combat evil is to study its motivation, the doer's history, understand their perspective and then, with compassion, offer them another alternative. Say no when you can give them something better to say yes to. With drug use, and this extends to nicotene, caffeine and alcohol, you have to treat the person as a human being and help them find ways of coping with their pain other than through substance abuse. This should be obvious to any representative of a religious order.

    June 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • sealchan

      The challenge here to Christianity is this...can a faith based treatment for addition do better than a non-faith based treatment? If not, then that faith needs education and reform.

      June 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
      • igaftr

        Is there also faith based treatment for subtraction?

        June 21, 2014 at 8:06 am |
        • whippstippler7

          What's the difference?

          June 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
  6. saintjustev

    with our conscience full of guilt, we are looking for some relief instead of turning away from sin.
    And the best remedy is to legalize evil, then everything becomes ok, at least in our conscience.
    SIN isn't a sin because people say it is, sin is a SIN because contrary to who we are and what we are meant to be: CHILDREN OF GOD, HOLY PEOPLE

    June 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • igaftr

      Alleged children of an alleged god.

      Didn't Jesus turn water into wine at a wedding? Seems he had no issue with recreational use of pharmacuticals.( and alcohol has been proven to be one of the most harmful...it is a poison after all.)

      June 21, 2014 at 8:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Could you point to the scripture that speaks of marijuana? Could you point to the scientific data that states that marijuana is more dangerous that alcohol?
      Sin is a biblical concept, nothing more. It doesn't pertain to anything or anyone outside of your belief system.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • doobzz

      "with our conscience full of guilt, we are looking for some relief instead of turning away from sin."

      You may believe in the man made construct of sin, and have a guilty conscience, but not everyone is so gullible and easily led.

      June 21, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • saggyroy

      After being a Catholic for 75% of my life, then becoming an atheist – I am free from 99.99% of the anxiety and guilt that smothers you from being Catholic. The .01% is my problem.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:19 am |
  7. saintjustev

    Thank you Pope Francis for speaking out the truth in this evil world full of lies and confusion.
    when we sin, we know within us it's wrong, but we pretend it's good and as long as the majority is ok with it, we think it's fine.

    June 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oh but alcohol is fine and yet the use of it results in disease and numerous deaths each year whereas use of marijuana has been attributed to no death or disease. An Education on the subject might be in order before calling something natural and that isn't even spoke of within your cult's book a sin.
      Cut out the need for a dealer and you cut down on access to more dangerous drugs such as cocaine and heroine. It takes a little research but the legalization in Colorado has proven to be beneficial-crime rate cut in half; tax revenue with a huge portion going to support public schools. We know that medicinally it benefits; we know that the reduction on the prisoner population would be drastically cut; we know that a person if more likely to commit a crime when they are drunk opposed to stoned.
      Educate yourself before judging others.

      June 21, 2014 at 6:56 am |
  8. Reality

    Last time I checked alcohol, nicotine and caffeine were legal, addictive drugs so Francis what sayest thou?

    June 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  9. tallulah131

    The hypocrisy of the catholic church continues.

    June 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
    • Alias

      I wouldn't call this hypocritical, thay want us all to suffer because we are sinful.
      Bad, bad us.

      June 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Of only Christ had turned oregano into marijuana instead water into wine.
      "Smoke of this joint for it is my breath...."

      June 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
  10. Science Works

    Full story here .

    "To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem," he said


    Did he fall off his rocker and hit his head ?

    June 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    A day late and a dollar short. If my livelihood didn't depend on having a security clearance... I would be smokin' and listen to Bob Marley all day and everyday...

    Preacherman, don't tell me,
    Heaven is under the earth.
    I know you don't know
    What life is really worth.
    It's not all that glitters is gold;
    'Alf the story has never been told:
    So now you see the light, eh!
    Stand up for your rights. Come on!

    Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
    Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!
    Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
    Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

    June 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • G to the T

      And a valid point is that some people shouldn't be allowed access to these because of the specific responsibilities of their job. That being said, I've know quite a few alcoholics that were able to keep jobs that responsible users of pot had been fired from... and I don't feel safer because of it that's for sure.

      June 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I used to work for National Defense and I can verify that one.
        Raging alcoholics were abundant but smoking a joint was tantamount to treason.

        June 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Same here, but I still listen to Marley.

      June 21, 2014 at 6:37 am |
  12. G to the T

    For a religion that uses a recreational drug as part of it's sacrements, I have trouble taking him seriously in this instance...

    June 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • saggyroy

      You mean the wine? Sorry, but you are wrong. It isn't wine, it is the blood of Jesus after they mumble a magic spell.

      June 21, 2014 at 6:35 am |
      • doobzz

        Yeah, and Father Roberts didn't stumble into homeroom half potted from saying early morning mass before he taught us when I was in high school. I guess when it changes over from wine to god blood it loses its alcohol content. Two miracles for the price of one.

        June 21, 2014 at 11:59 am |
  13. doobzz

    If the pope wants to start writing legislation for the rest of us, he should pay taxes like the rest of us.

    June 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • Akira


      June 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  14. Akira

    I would like to know exactly what his objections are concerning marijuana.

    June 20, 2014 at 10:40 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The church will cloud up with smoke and the people will think with clearer minds

      June 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • Akira

        Better than that incense.

        June 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I and I see no problem, mon.

      June 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.