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September 30, 2016 Because We Are Catholic, News

(PDF for Bulletin Inserts - English, En Español) Stanley “Tookie” Williams was one of the early leaders in the West Side Crips, a South Central Los Angeles street gang. An openly volatile and violent person, Williams was a drug addict, and had little regard for human life. In 1979, Williams was convicted of four murders, two with special circumstances for their heinous nature. He received the death penalty as punishment.

September 23, 2016 News, Public Policy Insights

Archbishop Cordileone Issues Statement on Death Penalty Propositions 62 & 66

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone has issued the following statement the Bishops’ position of Yes on Prop 62 and No on Prop 66:

September 19, 2016 Election 2016, News

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.”[1]

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.[2] 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.”[3]

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.

September 19, 2016 News, News

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.

September 7, 2016 Legislation, News

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.)  

August 25, 2016 News, News

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.

August 19, 2016 Election 2016, News, News

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:

August 18, 2016 News, News

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:

August 11, 2016 News, News, Faith in the Public Square

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:

August 5, 2016 News, Public Policy Insights

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.

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