Article by Jim O’Sullivan, Boston Globe
The Boston Archdiocese is pouring $850,000 into a last-minute effort to defeat a state ballot measure to legalize marijuana, calling increased drug use a threat to the Catholic Church’s health and social-service programs.
The church’s contribution represents about a 50 percent increase over what the antimarijuana Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts has collected so far. The total, however, is still less than half of what has been raised by the referendum’s proponents.
The church’s donation will likely help fund an existing advertising campaign. Archdiocesan officials have also sent materials to parishes and schools arguing against the ballot question.
“It reflects the fact that the archdiocese holds the matter among its highest priorities,” archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said of the donation. “It’s a recognition that, if passed, the law would have significantly detrimental impacts on our parishes, our ministries.”Just last week, convening a group of interfaith leaders around strategies to defeat the measure, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said the archdiocese would spend only a small amount in opposition.