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Faith leaders rally against commercial marijuana


  • Cardinal O’Malley speaks at a rally of faith leaders opposing ballot Question 4 at Deliverance Temple Worship Center in Dorchester, Nov. 1. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Surrounded by Massachusetts faith leaders, Gov. Charlie Baker speak out against ballot Question 4. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Cardinal O’Malley speaks to the media following the Dorchester event. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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DORCHESTER -- Faith leaders from the greater Boston area were joined by Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh at a Nov. 1 in Dorchester to voice their opposition to Massachusetts ballot Question 4, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

The gathering, held at Deliverance Temple Worship Center on Columbia Road, followed the release of a statement signed by nearly 150 local faith leaders urging voters to reject Question 4, and saying that recreational marijuana would lead to untold social, health and safety concerns for Massachusetts.

Faith leaders who were signatories to the statement reiterated those concerns at the rally.

Rev. Arlene O. Hall, the pastor of Deliverance Temple, voiced concerns that the marijuana industry wishes Question 4 to pass to be able to profit at the expense of others, particularly those will less political pull.

"By what we are seeing, what always get(s) lost in these decisions, is the fact that black and brown people, poor people, those in the urban core like where we are today, those least politically powerful, will suffer the worst of this new freedom," she said.

Rev. Hall said marijuana use can lead to addiction, and those who are the most vulnerable in society, like children, can get sucked up in it. She urged voters to vote against the initiative.

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