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Pope Warns Legalizing Marijuana A Very Bad Idea; Mizeur Disagrees

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Legalizing marijuana has been a hot topic. Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur is saying she’d like to make it legal in Maryland.

Now, as Jessica Kartalija reports, the pope is weighing in, saying legalizing recreational drugs is a very bad idea.

Pope Francis has a powerful message for lawmakers worldwide, saying legalizing recreational drugs like marijuana is a very bad idea.

At the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome, the pope said: “Drug addiction is an evil. And with evil, there can be no yielding or compromise.”

Mike Gimbel is a substance abuse expert.

“The pope doesn’t want to get high. He’s not a baby-boomer, he’s not a politician, he’s not looking for our money to tax pot. He looks after the people and he’s looking at who will this hurt,” said Gimbel.

Gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur has built her platform on the legalization of marijuana in Maryland.

“The pope’s concern is about addiction and growing problems with addiction–we all share that concern. But we know that adults who make a decision to use marijuana is no different than a decision to use alcohol or tobacco,” said Mizeur. “And if you look at addiction rates, tobacco and alcohol are actually more addictive than marijuana.”

Her platform supports: “A Maryland with legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana,” meaning, “Safer communities, universal early childhood education and fewer citizens unnecessarily exposed to our criminal justice system.”

“By legalizing, taxing and regulating it, we’re not out there saying everyone should smoke marijuana in the same way we’re not encouraging people out there to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. But we shouldn’t make it a criminal activity,” Mizeur said.

Still, Gimbel disagrees.

“Nobody’s thinking about our kids and the impact. We just want to get high and make the money. And that’s all anybody seems to care about,” he said.

This isn’t the first time that the pope has spoken out about drug use. He has spoken out before saying recreational drug abuse is a very bad idea.

A recent poll by CNN found that 55 percent of respondents wanted to see marijuana made legal.

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