Watch CBS News

Cardinal Dolan Wary Of Recreational Marijuana Legalization

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The head of New York's Catholic archdiocese is voicing concerns about the possible legalization of recreational marijuana, a legal change under review by lawmakers in both New York and New Jersey.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan said in an interview on WCBS 880 that he worries about "any move to legalize something that alters us."

Read the Report: Legalizing Marijuana in New York City

He said he might be open to the prudent use of marijuana for medical reasons, reports CBS2's Cindy Hsu.

"The meaning of Christmas is that really, the only thing that can give us happiness and bliss is God and our faith in him," said Dolan. "Anytime we try to find that somewhere else drugs, alcohol, money sooner or later we're going to be disappointed."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both voiced their support for legalizing recreational marijuana use in New York.

New Jersey's Gov. Phil Murphy made legalization of marijuana a campaign promise during his run for office.

Recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states and Washington DC.

De Blasio's administration just released a report with recommendations on how to legalize marijuana safely in New York City, including users needing to be at least 21 years old, and no smoking pot in public.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill says he has lots of concerns.

"One of my most serious concerns is about driving while impaired, because everybody knows it's not an instantaneous test for that now," said O'Neill. "It requires drug recognition experts and we're going to need some time to get more people up to speed."

Sales in New York could generate more than $1.7 billion a year, which would mean hundreds of millions in new tax revenue. There are already lots of proposals of how to use that money, some are pushing to funnel the funds into the city's subway system while others want it invested in under-served Black and Latino communities.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.