DENVER — The stakes in Colorado's marijuana debate are getting much higher — as in, all the way to heaven.
A vigorous back-and-forth between pot legalization supporters and foes entered the religious arena Wednesday. A slate of pastors called on Coloradans to reject making pot legal without a doctor's recommendation.
"It's heading to a path of total destruction," warned Bishop Acen Phillips, who leads New Birth Temple of Praise Community Baptist Church in Denver.
About 10 pastors spoke at the event organized by the campaign to defeat the Colorado ballot proposal. If approved, the measure would allow adults over 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Colorado's legalization supporters responded quickly, releasing a list of clergy members who support legalizing the drug and ending criminal penalties for its use. Those ministers argued that religious leaders and parents should guide decisions about marijuana, not the law.