Fr. Joe Pereira: Drug addiction, a struggle between God and Satan
by Nirmala Carvalho

The consumption and trade in marijuana is increasing in Asia. The Mumbai priest has been dealing with the rehabilitation of drug addicts since the 1980s. The number of young drug addicts developing mental illness is increasing. "The origin of everything is money".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Drug addiction is "a struggle between good and evil, between God and Satanmaintains Fr. Joe Pereira, founder of the Kripa Foundation, a Mumbai NGO that deals with the recovery of AIDS patients and drug addicts. He was commenting to AsiaNews on the proposal for the legalization of marijuana and is concerned about the increase in the trade and consumption of light drugs in Asia.

According to the priest, who was awarded the Padma Shri Award [the fourth civil honor of India, ed] for his work in 2009 "all substances can poison. It is not the substance itself, but the use of that substance that brings confusion and deception among the public ".

He has been working in the field of "demand reduction" since 1981, the year of birth of the association, which today has 76 projects in 26 locations in 11 states and collaborates with several foreign countries. According to Fr. Pereira, the real problem lies in "reducing supply. Prohibition has never had great results. Drug addiction, abuse and the use of substances that alter mental faculties are not just a problem of [drug addiction], but a human problem. This is the 'rational' necessity of those substances that can poison ".

The priest points his finger at the alleged "recreational use" of marijuana: "A growing number of young people who use it end up developing mental disorders. Rich and poor [addicted to drugs] abandon work, they become like zombies ".

"It is money and the search for profit - he concludes - that pushes many countries not only to legalize the drug trade, but also to make it accessible to an angry and hostile generation towards governments and the role of religious leaders. God's people have thrown off their stewardship and Satan has stepped right in! ".

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