The Valley Catholic January 16, 2018 - Page 27

COMMENTARY | January 16, 2018 27 Recreational Marijuana: Pleasure, Panacea, Poison? By Father Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S. Adjunct professor, Graduate Department of Pastoral Ministries, Santa Clara University The New York Times concluded its December 28 article about the January 1, 2018 legalization of rec- reational marijuana in California by stating, “People are gaining confi dence as legalization spreads, and the growth is going to be huge.” Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana legal in 8 states. Companies investing in marijuana are growing exponentially, well-exampled in Silicon Valley and Oakland, especially since selling mari- juana in California has the potential to generate $5 billion yearly. The moral slope is worrisome and dangerous as society grows in its support of recreational mari- juana use (about 58 percent of Americans). California led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As demonstrated in the 2013 documentary Weed by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, positive medi