Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Concerned parents raise worries about legal pot in Colorado
Catholic News Service photoSkylar Hall prepares marijuana buds for sale at the BotanaCare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year's day in Northglenn, Colo., Dec. 31. Colorado became the first U.S. state to license retail sales of marijuana Jan. 1, but doubts ab out protections for children are being raised. (
Catholic News Service photo
Skylar Hall prepares marijuana buds for sale at the BotanaCare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year's day in Northglenn, Colo., Dec. 31. Colorado became the first U.S. state to license retail sales of marijuana Jan. 1, but doubts ab out protections for children are being raised. (
Catholic News Service

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As Colorado allows adults to legally purchase marijuana for recreational and medical use, some parents are voicing concerns about how children may be affected by easy access to pot.

A statewide voter initiative in 2012 legalized recreational marijuana. On Jan. 1, the law was to take full effect.

The state is processing hundreds of new applications to sell and grow marijuana. The market is also expected to soon include a wide range of marijuana-infused products -- including highly potent food items.

In interviews with Catholic News Service, some Coloradans cautioned that the proliferation of legal pot carries inadequate child protections, while the products especially appeal to youth and young adults. They say young people will encounter the drug more in homes and at schools that are not yet prepared to manage the proliferation of marijuana-laced foods and some disguisable forms of the drug.

Denver Police Chief Robert White said in late December that his staff will not actively enforce bans on recreational smoking in public, adding to some parents' fears that the murky situation will become a legal free-for-all.

The state's passage of Amendment 64 legalizing recreational pot conflicts with federal law, which prohibits possession and sale of marijuana.

Denver-based attorney and Catholic parent Rachel O'Bryan, who served on a criminal law working group for the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, doubts most Coloradans are aware of what the new law will mean for society as a whole and for youngsters especially. O'Bryan pointed to 2013 surveys by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the city of Denver's Office of Drug Strategy showing marijuana use by 8th graders is at 6.5 percent nationwide but 18 percent in Denver.

"After my work on the task force ... I realized no one was looking out for the well-being of children in this process and when you make something more accessible in society it seems more acceptable," said O'Bryan, who spoke with CNS by phone during a vacation in Sarasota, Fla.

"The potency (of THC, marijuana's active ingredient) is unlimited and that will lead to higher addictions - we can't even get the government to say there should be no marijuana candy, and that will be bad across the board," she said. "When it looks like real food, the kids can take that into schools you wouldn't even know."

O'Bryan estimates that most Coloradans who voted in support of Amendment 64 did so without considering how marijuana use would be restricted, taxed or regulated, let alone understanding issues of potency or consumption in public places.

"Limiting open consumption on the streets of Denver is one of the issues I have worked hard on, and now they are saying you are on your own in your neighborhood while kids walk home from school. What kind of enforcement is that when the police will not enforce it?" O'Bryan said.

A decade ago, California became the first state to allow medical marijuana sales. Although in conflict with a federal ban on marijuana, almost 20 states and the District of Columbia allow some medical marijuana consumption. In addition to Colorado, Washington state allows small amounts of recreational marijuana use.

Although the Catholic Church has largely stayed neutral in the debate, in December, Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila posted on the Denver Catholic Register's website an essay by E. Christian Brugger, a moral theologian at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Brugger discussed some of the legalization issues, including a long list of negatives associated with pot smoking, especially for teens.

"Moral psychology indisputably shows that desire arises from the senses: from seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling," Brugger wrote. "Children, especially adolescents, who see their peers, their neighbors, or worse, their parents smoking pot, who smell the distinctly sweet odor, who hear about the 'merits of getting high,' are much more likely to desire it, try it and become users."

There are an estimated 228 medical marijuana retail shops in the Denver area. Another 111 are in the process of licensing to sell recreationally.

Gina Carbone, a Catholic mother of four teen boys and founder of Smart Colorado, a parent group advocating for youth safeguards against legalized marijuana in Colorado, opposed the law change.

"Young people are getting it from other people, not necessarily through the stores, but with a proliferation of it there are marijuana products coming into school," said Carbone, who lobbied the Denver City Council against recreational pot. She spoke to CNS from Miami where she was vacationing. "If you talk to counselors and teachers and the kids are showing up stoned."

Carbone said she has spoken to at least one Denver-area Catholic school principal about the need for a science curriculum on marijuana and the need to better educate teachers, parents and students.

"The more kids are exposed to something the more they are desensitized to it and the more youth rates will go up," she said. "Open up magazines and newspapers in town and you will see advertisements for marijuana and along with messages coming through music and pop stars. Kids have been told it is an organic, natural product, will help them with sleep problems, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and so on."

Carbone points out a difference in marijuana potency today from when she was a youth in the 1980s. "Growers have gotten it down to a science," she said. "Pot dispensaries are providing product with THC levels that are extremely potent, and the more potent it is the more addictive it is. There is more research that has been done recently and we know its adverse effects on the adolescent brain compared to the adult brain."

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved