Wine enthusiast Pope Francis condemned the legalization of marijuana as a flawed and failed experiment on Friday, apparently unaware of the profound hypocrisy of promoting alcohol while disparaging cannabis.
On Friday morning, Pope Francis made his anti-pot position clear to the International Drug Enforcement Conference currently taking place in Rome. “Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs!” the Pope said .
Francis told delegates attending the drug-enforcement conference 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.”
Time reports this is far from a new position, either for Francis or the Vatican:
In 2001, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care urged governments to resist legalization even on soft drugs in the manual “Church, Drugs, and Drug Addiction,” published at the request of John Paul II. Francis said no to legalization as a bishop in Argentina when he was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. Last summer, Pope Francis condemned legalization when he was in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. “The scourge of drug trafficking, that favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage,” he told the crowd, adding that legalization would not yield “a reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction.”
Francis, and others who share his anti-marijuana position, are wrong to call marijuana a “narcotic.” Those who lump the relatively harmless herb into the same class as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are being either willfully ignorant or deliberately deceptive.
However, alcohol, which the Pope promotes without shame, and on a regular basis, is a much more dangerous and destructive substance than marijuana. In fact, By a wide margin, Americans believe that alcohol is more dangerous to a person’s health and to society in general than marijuana, according to a Pew study released earlier this year.