As a young man studying at the University of Notre Dame, Frank Schillo’s professors taught him the importance of giving back to his community. Since then, he has not sat idle for very long. Schillo has served on the City Council and as Mayor of Thousand Oaks, California, as well as the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. He was also influential in the creation of several Southern California non-profit organizations focused on providing food, housing and other necessary services to those who need it most.
By Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S.
In Weed the People, the author argues that “America is changing its mind about marijuana. For the past 80 years we’ve treated it as a ruinously dangerous drug, a public health menace, an addictive and illegal scourge. This is changing, and more quickly than many of us once thought possible. At the end of 2014 the U.S. reached a tipping point: for the first time ever, a majority of Americans lived in states with some form of marijuana legality.”
The public perception of marijuana has been steadily shifting over the past decade. Gallup polls in the early 2000s found that about one-third of Americans favored legalization. That climbed to 44% in 2009, 48% in 2012, and 58% in 2013. A major factor behind this surge was the growing approbation of medical marijuana. By 2013 medical marijuana use was seen as helpful and safe. Seventy-seven percent of Americans believed marijuana had legitimate medical uses and 83% thought doctors should be able to prescribe limited amounts for patients with serious illnesses.
One moment crystallized the nation’s new openness to marijuana when on August 8, 2013 CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, publicly changed his mind on the positive effects of medical marijuana. Gupta said that he “mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance because of sound scientific proof. In fact, the DEA had no such proof. Though government continued to deny it, marijuana has very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”
The doctor-prescribed use of medical marijuana has led to the worrisome assumption that the recreational use of marijuana enjoys the same level of safety and oversight. This conjecture has led to an increasing number of states to legalize or hope to legalize the use of marijuana for reactional purposes.
This assumption needs careful critique.
Wrapping up on the last day of August, the California Legislature completed its two-year session by sending Governor Jerry Brown more than 800 bills. He now has until September 30 to sign or veto the legislation. We have been and will continue distributing Action Alerts on most of these bills. (You can find the complete list here and below.)
After months of legislative back and forth, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is removing its objections to and offering qualified support for SB 1146, the bill that at one time threatened the religious liberty of California’s faith-based colleges and universities.
The California State Constitution is the foundation of the state government. One of the longest and oldest state constitutions, it holds the enduring principles by which California is governed. Hence, change and modification should be rare.
However, in comparison to federal standards, the California Constitution can be easily amended, and as of the date of this publishing, the document has been changed close to 500 times.
The California Constitution can be amended in these ways:
With less than two weeks to go in this Legislative session, legislators are working furiously to shepherd their bills through both houses and onto the Governor’s desk. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is tracking a number of bills, but several are particularly noteworthy:
This week, SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges and jeopardized higher educational opportunities for the tens of thousands of Californians they serve, has apparently been substantially amended to remove such questionable provisions. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities lead the effort to revise and improve the bill and the California Catholic Conference will now be evaluating the changes. Here’s some background:
CA Bishops Supporting Prop 57, Rehabilitation
The California Catholic Conference (CCC) of Bishops offers its support for Proposition 57: The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act. This balanced approach to the criminal justice system in our state would advance the well-being of our residents and communities by re-focusing our collective efforts on rehabilitation, treatment and education programs. In addition, the initiative will place the decision to try juveniles as adults into the hands of those who best understand the intricacies of dealing with young people – the juvenile court.
During his visit to Poland for World Youth Day last week, Pope Francis promoted his vision of peace and impartiality in the world by visiting the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and contending it’s wrong to equate Islam with violence.
During his third day in Poland, His Holiness visited Auschwitz and chose to pay tribute to the 1.5 million people killed there through silent reflection and prayer. He remained quiet throughout the visit, speaking only to survivors of the concentration camp.
We stand this evening on the sacred traditional lands of the Ohlone Nation. I want to begin by thanking our Ohlone brothers and sisters for welcoming us to their homeland.
I am speaking to you this evening as chairman of the task force on Native American Historic Concerns of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. The purpose of this task force is to work with our California Native communities so that they may tell their true histories and the true history of the missions and to use our influence to assure that these true histories will be heard.