Pope Francis I Calls Worldwide Summit to Address Drugs

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“Drugs are a wound in society and a trap for many people – victims who’ve lost their freedom.”   These were the words of Pope Francis at the conference on drugs held today, November 24, in Vatican City.

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, there are so many things to be thankful for in our world — the joy that is possible without drug use.  Although the US leads the world with 56% percent of the world’s illicit drug users, other nations are falling into the same trap.  Substance users and abusers try to find a shortcut to the spirituality that takes years to achieve.   It doesn’t work, as Pope Francis recognizes.

“Pope Francis is a global leader against drug abuse, said Kevin Sabet who will speak at the conference entitled “Workshop on Narcotics: Problems and Solutions of this Global Issue.”  Dr. Kevin Sabet is President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). The Pontifical Academies of Science has organized the conference.

“This event underscores both Pope Francis’ staunch support of protecting young people worldwide through preventing drug use and his strong opposition to the legalization of drugs,” Sabet continued.   “The Pope has stated numerous times, in very unambiguous terms, that drug legalization is not only bad for kids, but that it fails to produce its desired effects.”

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Queen Silvia of Sweden is seated next to Pope Francis, as he address a conference on drugs November 24 in the Vatican

Sabet will address the Pontifical Academy on the subject of “The Social Impact of Drug Policy Change.” He will discuss early findings from marijuana legalization in the U.S. and other issues related to drug policy change worldwide. Other U.S. representatives include Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. Robert DuPont, Dr. Jon Caulkins, and Dr. Bertha Madras. The event examines, among other topics, the prevention of substance abuse related to children and young people. It also includes a papal audience, which Dr. Sabet will attend.

 Other attendees include H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and Mr. Yuri Fedotov, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Drugs give rise to powerful delusions, in a world which can be difficult and challenging.  Escape from reality doesn’t make problems go away, but merely creates new ones.   A followup post contains excerpts from the small group audience.   Please read here.

 

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