Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Vote No on 205

11-06-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

So you play your albums, and you smoke your pot
And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot
Oh but still you're aching for the things you haven't got
What went wrong
And if you can't understand why your world is so dead
Why you've got to keep in style and feed your head
Well you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed
And that's too long
Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'
Captain Jack by Billy Joel

Our FullCircle Youth at Risk Program helps teens that are struggling with drugs, alcohol and related issues. When a young person commits to living a drug and alcohol free life we ask their parents in order to show support to their teen and his or her commitment to live a sober life if they the parents are willing for a time to remove all the alcohol from their home if they have any. Most families willingly agree since they see it as a way to support to their child and reduce temptation until their son or daughter has enough new tools to not be tempted to use again.

Some parents however are very unwilling to remove the booze from their homes. We hear things like: “why should I have to do that, it’s their problem not mine” and “this kid has already created a lot of chaos in our home so I should not have to do this”. Again it is only a suggestion not a rule. But when a parent reacts that strongly to a simple suggestion I start to wonder if the parent or parents have a love affair themselves with alcohol? Maybe, maybe not.

I find the same sort of reaction among some adults with regards to the legalization of marijuana. Despite all the possible harms that legalization can bring to our young people and society at large many adults cling to the argument that it is their right and nobody should tell them how to live their life. Well just as it is the right of a parent to keep alcohol in their home despite the struggle their teen is going through it is not the most loving thing to do. Likewise legalization of marijuana while it might be a person's individual right it is not the most responsible thing adults can do for our society and our young people.

Many adults have been quick to regurgitate the myths of the glories that marijuana will bring to our state: more tax revenue, free up jail space and reduce court backlogs, free up law enforcement to focus on more important issues and the biggest myth is that marijuana will be regulated like alcohol. None of this is true. You can get the facts at The reality is that the proposed proposition kicks marijuana up to the level of an individual right unlike alcohol. So much so that employers can be charged with discrimination for firing or disciplining an employee who comes to work stoned. Won’t it be great when bus drivers, large equipment operators, teachers and those who supervise our children take smoke breaks not for a cigarette but for a joint?

What is most important to remember is that since this is a voter approved initiative there is no way a court or the legislature can change, tweak or fix any problem with the implementation of the proposition. That would require another voter proposition. In other words if approved it is carved in stone.

So if you are tempted to vote yes because you have a libertarian bent please consider that the negative consequences that can affect us all but especially our young people place on each of us a moral responsibility towards others that is greater than our individual rights in this case.

So vote NO on 205. Let’s not create a big Marijuana industry like we did with big Tobacco and let’s do the most loving thing we can for our young people just as concerned parents do for their children putting their children before themselves.

Fr. John B.