Help us expand our reach! Please share this article
A group of about 40 faith leaders from around the Boston area gathered at the Archdiocese of Boston's Braintree headquarters Oct. 18 to discuss their opposition to Massachusetts ballot Question 4, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the Commonwealth.
According to organizers, the gathering included representatives from the African Methodist Episcopal, Armenian, Baha'I, Baptist, Black Ministerial Alliance, Coptic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Greek Orthodox, Hispanic Evangelical, Lutheran, Maronite, Melkite, Muslim, Evangelical Campus Ministers, Pentecostal communities.
A number of local Jewish leaders were unable to attend the meeting due to observances of the Festival of Sukkot.
Opening the packed lunchtime meeting, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley thanked the faith leaders for their willingness to attend on "such short notice," the meeting being organized only days before.
The cardinal explained that when the ballot initiative first arose, he felt a "false sense of security" that the measure would not pass after major political figures, such as Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and numerous public health and law enforcement groups came out against it. However with the vote only weeks away, and with polls showing support for legalized recreational marijuana, he realized it was time for faith leaders to act to educate the public on the initiative, which he called a "real, present danger."