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    Opening Prayer

    Lord, teach us to pray:

    “Our Father…”

    The Reading
    (To be read by the Leader)

    “Everything is lawful, but not everything is beneficial.
    Everything is lawful but not everything builds up. (1 Cor 10, 23)”

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace, (Numbers 6, 24-26)
    Brothers, last month we looked at addictive potential in marijuana use. We paralleled marijuana use to alcohol use, as both substances were once illegal, both are drugs, both are now legal, both are, by societal standards relatively acceptable. My source for this section on the morality of recreational use legalized marijuana is Fr. Raymond DeSouza, (editor of Convivum, chaplain of Newman House at Queen’s University, well respected Theologian). So, the question. “What advice should pastors and parents give now that recreational use cannabis is legal? Does legalization of Marijuana change the morality of it?” His response: yes and no. Fr. De Souza states that the use of recreational marijuana, though legal is still a sin.

    He notes that some things are morally neutral in and of themselves but because the law of the land decrees a law, involving even a morally neutral object, they can become in fact sinful. Example Traffic lights are morally neutral. Yet the law prescribes that we come to a complete stop when the light is red. So, it is wrong, (a sin) to disobey the law regarding the red light even if you do not get caught while disobeying the law. Fr. DeSouza states that there are also things that are immoral even if there is no law against them. Example, prior to distracted driving laws coming into effect, was it immoral (a sin) to text while driving? No, not in the sense that there was a law against texting while driving. However, if you were driving recklessly or endangering the lives of other motorists because of your lack of  attentiveness, then yes, it was morally wrong (a sin) even if no law was broken. “More relevant to marijuana, there is no law against drinking to great excess, just as there are not laws against adultery or being rude at work or being ungrateful to your mother.” But all remain sinful behaviors, even though there was not a law being broken.

    What he is saying is that just because there is not a law against recreational use of marijuana, this does not mean it is not immoral, (a sin). However, this does mean that we cannot argue against marijuana use with our children based on illegality. That argument and that ship have sailed. So, why is recreational marijuana usage still considered to be immoral? In June 2017 when the Cannabis act was passed, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, (CCCB) issued the following statement: “It is lamentable that the federal government has decided to facilitate the provision and use of an

    addictive substance that will have disastrous effects for so many people.” The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the Canadian Pediatric society have all linked cannabis use to addictions, depression, anxiety, psychosis, damage to brain development and lung problems such as asthma and emphysema. “But cannabis use is not immoral because it has foreseeable negative health and social consequences. So, does alcohol, not to mention eating fried chicken while playing video games, (DeSouza).”

    The Reflection
    (To be read by the Leader)

    Fr. DeSouza states: “Rather, there is something about using cannabis in itself that is contrary to the moral law.” “With the exception of cannabis use for medicinal purposes, consuming marijuana violates the virtue of temperance and should be avoided, (Msgr. Frank Leo, General Secretary, CCCB).” When thinking of the virtue of temperance the key word is excess. Note the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) statements on the virtue of temperance. “The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea or in the air, (CCC #2290).” “The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offence…(CCC # 2291).”

    “Here the Christian tradition links drug use to the excessive-intemperate- use of food and drink. But there is something different about drugs, namely that it is not the “excess” that is sinful-gluttony, drunkenness-but the use itself, (DeSouza).” Next month, the link between excessive alcohol use and the use of cannabis in and of itself.

    “Everything is lawful, but not everything is beneficial.
    Everything is lawful but not everything builds up. (1 Cor 10, 23)”

    Meditation Period

    (The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)

    Fraternal Sharing

    (The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)

    Closing Prayer
    (Recited by all)

    Let us pray: “Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”