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BRAINTREE -- Despite a last minute push by political, community, and faith leaders, including Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, Nov. 8 Massachusetts voters passed Ballot Question 4, which will legalize the use and cultivation of recreational marijuana in the state.
That push included an $850,000 contribution by the Archdiocese of Boston to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, a coalition that worked to oppose the commercialization of marijuana. The drug was already decriminalized in the state in 2008 and was then legalized for medical purposes in 2012.
In a statement reacting to the measure's passage Nov. 9, the archdiocese said, "We are very disappointed that Question Four was approved, allowing for the commercialization of marijuana in Massachusetts. It was and continues to be encouraging that our parishes and many of our colleagues in the ecumenical and interfaith community gave significant time and support for the effort to defeat this harmful legislation."
"Anticipating significantly increased demands on many of the Archdiocese's social service and assistance programs, due to the documented effects of widespread marijuana use, we will continue to, as best possible, provide for the needs of the people we serve," the statement continued.
Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield, also expressed his disappointment in the results of Question 4.