Religious leader cites medical pot benefits |

Religious leader cites medical pot benefits

The Associated Press
Shawn Phillips, right, owner of Strainwise marijuana stores, shakes hands with Denver Excise and License technician, Jennifer Scott, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 after receiving his license to legally sell marijuana at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building in Denver, Colo. The city is giving out licenses to the owners of 42 medical marijuana shops and growers Friday. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross)
AP | The Denver Post

Focus on the Family

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COLORADO SPRINGS — The leader of Focus on the Family, an influential national religious organization, said Thursday there are legitimate medical benefits from marijuana, but using it for recreation goes too far and it’s not worth the risk.

Organization President Jim Daly said marijuana legalization hasn’t been a major issue for Focus on the Family because he believes liberalizing use of the drug will be rescinded by voters once people see the long-term effects.

“I think five to 10 years from now we’re going to look back on this and say maybe that wasn’t such a wise idea and we’re going to rescind those laws,” Daly said.

There is a difference between the use of medical marijuana and using it just to get high, he said. “There are some medical benefits derived from it,” Daly said.

In a posting on the Internet, Daly compared recreational marijuana use with warnings in the Bible against getting drunk.

“Granted, a person might drink a glass of wine at dinner and not become intoxicated, but what about marijuana? Isn’t intoxication the main point of using marijuana for recreational purposes?” Daly asked readers.

While Focus on the Family emphasizes that it devotes most of its resources to offering parenting and marriage advice, it is best known for promoting conservative moral stands in politics.

Recreational pot for adults over 21 has been legal in Colorado for more than a year, but retail sales of the drug were not allowed until Jan. 1. Colorado voters legalized medical marijuana in 2000, requiring a doctor’s permission. Distribution and sale of the drug is still illegal under federal law.

Daly disagreed with arguments that tax revenue recreational marijuana is bringing into state and local governments make it worthwhile, KRDO-TV reported Friday.

“We could do a lot more in a lot of different areas to raise revenue. Prostitution, we could go right down the line,” Daly said. “Are these the best things we should do to legalize those things in order to generate revenue for the treasury? I think generations before us have said no, and I think they had wisdom in doing that,” Daly told the television station.