October 31, 2016 - 147 Faith Leaders Across denominations and traditions sign statement urging NO vote on Question 4 and reject marijuana legalization


Group to hold a press event on Tuesday, November 1st    

2 p.m.

Deliverance Temple Worship Center

232 Columbia Rd., Boston

Governor Charlie Baker, Cardinal Seán O'Malley, Senator Vinny deMacedo, Faith leaders as well as other political and civic leaders are expected to attend the press event.
The following statement is being released on behalf of more than 1472 faith leaders in the Commonwealth across denominations in opposition to Question 4/marijuana legalization on this year’s ballot.  
As faith leaders across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we urge all citizens to vote NO on Question 4 on Election Day, November 8th.
In the midst of an opioid epidemic, it is beyond reason that the Commonwealth would commercialize the sale of marijuana.   It is important for our citizens to know the facts: this legislation was written by and for the billion-dollar marijuana industry.  Ninety-six percent of the money supporting this proposal comes from out of state. If passed, the law would make it significantly difficult for local communities to try to opt out.  It would authorize companies from outside of Massachusetts to legally sell marijuana that is 10 to 600 times more potent than that of past decades. We believe this will lead to greater addiction particularly for young people.  For the sake of our children and grandchildren, let us not expose them to the unnecessary danger of shops selling packaged edible forms of marijuana including candy.
It is important to recognize that Massachusetts has already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, so concerns about people being arrested for possession do not apply to this proposed law.  Nor is there a rationale in tax revenues. 
First, there is no amount of money that would justify the dangers of commercializing marijuana.  Second, the expense of regulating it and funding the public safety and medical response to accidents and overdoses would far exceed the supposed tax revenue.  Lastly, the cost and the grief to families from marijuana-related abuse is incalculable.  An example is the tragic death of Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy earlier this year.   The person charged with that motor vehicle fatality is alleged to have used marijuana before driving that day.
As faith leaders, we believe that our efforts as a society should be focused toward improving life for our citizens. A culture that encourages and promotes the use of drugs is failing its people.  As the neighborhood pastors who tend your houses of worship, streets and hospital bedsides, who live in and know our local communities, we have seen the struggle with addiction and we have grieved with our people at the funerals. Each of us can recount the tragic stories of people whose drug addiction began with marijuana.
Question 4, if approved, will generate substantial profit for out-of-state drug marketers at the expense of the health, well-being and the lives of our families and loved ones. Please join us in voting NO on Question 4, for the good of our Commonwealth and our people. 


1. Mr. Ramin Abrishamian, Needham Baha'i Community

2. Rev. Gary Adams, Morningstar Baptist Church, BPD Chaplain

3. Very Rev. Nicholas Apostola, Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of America

4. Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal, Islamic Council of New England

5. I.C.C. Chair Naim Assil, Islamic Council of New England

6. Msgr. Andon Atamian, Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church

7. Dir. Dale Atlas, John 17:23 Ministries

8. Rev. Archpriest Antranig Baljian, St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church

9. Rev. Theodore Barbas, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston

10. Rev. Paul Bebis, Holy Trinity Church

11. Rev. Vassilios Bebis, St. Nectarios Church

12. Pres. Andrew Beckwith, Massachusetts Family Institute

13. Fr. William Bergmann, Church of the Good Shepherd

14. Fr. Thomas F. Bouton, Saint Ambrose Rectory

15. Mr. Scott Brill, Institute for Christian Unity

16. Pastor Randy Cahill, Calvary Chapel, Rockland

17. Rev. Constantine Cambus, Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church

18. Pastor Esteban Carrasco, House of Destiny

19. Rev. George Carrigg, St. Christopher Church

20. Fr. Mark Cherubim, Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark

21. Rev. Thomas Chininis, Transfiguration of Our Saviour Church

22. Rev. Gregory Christakos, Sts. Anargyroi Church

23. Rev. Brian Clary, St. Mary Church

24. Rev. Frank Cloherty, Catholic Collaborative of Lynn

25. Rev. Thomas Cokotis, Holy Trinity Church

26. Dir. Jacqueline Colon, Iglesia La Luz de Christo, Chelsea

27. Very Rev. Panteleimon Costarakis, St. John the Baptist Church

28. Rev. Demetrios Costarakis, St. Nicholas Church

29. Rev. Matt Crane, Institute for Christian Unity

30. Dcn. Michael Curren, St. Augustine Church

31. Most Rev. Edgar M. da Cunha, SVD, Roman Catholic Bishop of Fall River

32. Pastor Edmund C. de la Cour, First Baptist Church of Pocasset

33. Rev. Bob Dibbs, Evangelical Pastor

34. Pastor Chris DiGiacomo, Lifeline Baptist Church, Haverhill

35. Dr. Dris Djermoun, Ph.D., President, Islamic Council of New England

36. Pastor Neil Eaton, New Hope Chapel

37. Pastor Kenneth Ebersole, East Gate Christian Fellowship

38. Msgr. Georges El-Khalli, Ph.D., Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon Church

39. Rev. Anthony Evangelatos, Annunciation Church

40. Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, Mosque for the Praising of Allah

41. Dcn. Michael Fadel, St. Vasilios Church

42. Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, Senior Imam, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

43. Rev. Ben Feldott, Cape Cod Church

44. Pastor Fred Ferreira, 3rd Baptist Church

45. Very Rev. James Flavin, Episcopal Vicar, Central Region, RCAB

46. Rev. Carlos Flor, St. Thomas, St. Mary, and Lourdes Church

47. Rev. Janice Ford, Rector, The Episcopal Church of the Reconciliation

48. Rev. Christopher Foustoukos, St. Vasilios Church

49. Rev. Evangelos Georgiadis, St. Demetrios Church

50. Rev. Arthur Gerald, Twelfth Baptist Church

51. Rev. Asterios Gerostergios, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church

52. Rev. Panagiotis Giannakopoulos, St. George Church

53. Rev. Dr. Dennis Gill, E-Net Evangelical Network of New England

54. Rev. John Govostes, Assumption Church

55. Pastor DaQuall Graham, Full Deliverance Church, Lowell

56. Pastor Paul E. Gramit, Ev. Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS-UAC)

57. Pastor Nicholas G. Granitsas, First Congregational Church, Revere

58. Bishop Brian Greene, Pentecostal Tabernacle, Cambridge

59. Pastor Ronald Grimley, Abundant Life Church, Wilmington

60. Mr. Richard Guerriero, Knights of Columbus

61. Pastor Arlene O. Hall, Deliverance Temple Worship Center

62. Dcn. Charles Hall, St. John the Baptist Church, Peabody

63. Fr. Samuel Hanna, Priest, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Natick

64. Pastor David R. Hill, Abundant Grace Church of Boston, Brighton

65. Chaplain Sherami Hinders, Evangelical Campus Ministries

66. Rev. Dr. Paul Jehle, The New Testament Church of Cedarville

67. Fr. Mina Kaddis, Sts. Paul and John Chrysostom Coptic Churches

68. Rev. Nicholas Kastanas, St. Athanasius the Great Church

69. Msgr. Frank Kelley, Sacred Heart Church

70. Ms. Verna Khantzian, Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church

71. Dr. Nabil Khudairy, Executive Director, Islamic Council of New England

72. Fr. John G. Kiley, St. Anne Church

73. Rabbi Yossi Kivman, Chabad Jewish Center of Mansfield

74. Rev. Panteleimon Klostri, St. Luke Church

75. Grand Rabbi Y.A. Korff, zvhil-Mezbuz Rebbe, Chaplain of the City of Boston

76. Rev. Dionysios Koulianos, St. Catherine Church

77. Rev. Mirek Kowalczyk, FDP, St. Joseph - St. Lazarus Church

78. Deacon John Koza, St. Mary of the Annunciation Church

79. Rev. Nicholas Krommydas, St. Demetrios Church

80. Dir. Michael King, Massachusetts Family Institute

81. Dir. Maryellen MacAdam, New Life Community Church

82. Imam Taalib Mahdee, Masjid al-Qur'aan

83. Rev. John Maheras, St. George Church

84. Rev. Christopher Makiej, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church

85. Rev. Konstatinos Manetas, Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church

86. Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester

87. Metropolitan Methodios, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston

88. Rev. David Michael, St. Joseph Church

89. Rev. Kris Mineau, Massachusetts Family Institute

90. Pastor Paul Minor, All Saints' Church

91. Rev. Vincent Minucci, St. Demetrios Church

92. Rev. Dr. Roberto Miranda, Congregacion Leon de Juda

93. Rev. Dimitrios Moraitis, St. Spyridon Cathedral

94. Pastor Gary Moritz, Twin City Baptist Temple

95. Rev. Demetre Mott, Annunciation Church

96. Rev. John G. Mulvihill, First Baptist Church

97. Rev. Athanasios Nenes, Taxiarchae Church

98. Very Rev. Makarios Niakaros, Holy Apostles/St.s Peter and Paul Church

99. Dr. Vito Nicastro, Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

100. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston

101. Mr. Paul G O'Sullivan, Knights of Columbus

102. Pastor Roy Owens, Baptist Church

103. Rev. Nikolaos Pelekoudas, Holy Trinity Church

104. Pastor Marc Peña Grace, Baptist Church

105. Rev. Ephraim Peters, St.s Constantine and Helen Church

106. Pastor John Pfeffer, Faith Community Church, Seekonk

107. Rev. Costin Popescu, Annunciation Church

108. Rev. Harry Providakes, St. George Church

109. Pastor George Ray, Trinity Evangelical Church, North Reading

110. Pastor Sean Richmond, The River Church

111. Rev. Peter Rizos, St. George Church

112. Very Rev. James J. Ronan, VF, St. Mary- St. Catherine of Siena Church

113. Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield

114. Rev. Thomas Ryan, CSP, The Paulist Center

115. Bishop Nicholas Samra, Eparchial Bishop of Newton Melkite Church USA

116. Rev. Mark Scott, Associate Pastor, Azusa Christian Community

117. Fr. Christopher H. Stamas, St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Springfield

118. Rev. Charles Sutton, All Saints Anglican Church

119. Rev. Anthony Tandilyan, St. Vasilios Church

120. Pastor James Thomasson, Meetinghouse Baptist Church, Middleborough

121. Rev. Demetrios Tonias, Annunciation Cathedral

122. Rev. Theodore Toppses, St. Gregory the Theologian Church

123. Rev. George Tsoukalas, St. George Church

124. Exec. Dir. Yusufi Vali, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

125. Rev. Luke Veronis, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church

126. Rev. Harry Vulopas, St. George Church

127. Rev. Aaron Walker, St. Athanasius the Great Church

128. Rabbi H. David Werb, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Beth Emunah

129. Fr. Richard Wilson, Sts. John and Vincent Churches

130. Rev. Dr. David Wright, Executive Director, Black Ministerial Alliance

131. Rev. Basil Yarde, Final Thrust Kingdom Community

132. Rev. Dr. Mark Yoon, Boston University Chaplain for Evangelical Students

133. Pastor Brian Krogh, Mount Hope Christian Center, Burlington

134. Pastor Rick Picariello, Mount Hope Christian Center, Burlington

135. Pastor Bill Stack, Haven Baptist Church, New Bedford

136. Pastor James A. Fontaine, Friendship Baptist Church, Brimfield

137. Pastor Lance Claggett, Countryside Community Church, Uxbridge

138. Pastor Davie Hernandez, Defenders, Boston

139. Pastor David Aucoin, Abundant Life, Swansea

140. Pastor Harold Shurtleff, Camp Constitution, West Roxbury

141. Pastor Marvin Thomas, Mount Hope Christian Center, Burlington

142. Pastor Benjamin Pitre, St. Edmond Church

143. Pastor David Oluwadara, Christian Athletes

144. Pastor Craig Paczkowski, Light of Life Church, Cambridge

145. Pastor Gus Miragias, Light of Life Church, Cambridge

146. Pastor Jose Rodriguez, Waltham Christian Worship Center, Waltham


147. Pastor Marisol Martinez, Victory Church, Brockton