Pope Prescribed Medical Marijuana

Papal officials have expressed concern over a choice made by doctors in Gemelli Hospital to prescribe medical marijuana to the Pope for the pain caused by the successful tracheotomy performed on him today in order to ease his breathing.

"Marijuana isn't necessarily condemned by the Bible -- unless it is and we just have to think up an interpretation of a certain passage vague enough to find it -- but this news is disconcerting, all the same," admitted a Vatican spokesman. "The concern is that we'll find the Pope sitting in his hospital bed in a few days listening to rap-hop music and raving about murdering nurses."

The Holy See did, however, stress that the Pope's health is tantamount to any snickering he might make during confession.

"The Pope has been prescribed marijuana by the most talented and capable medical officials available, and we will stand by their decision," the spokesman said. "We do, however, hope that he will be able to deliver mass without slipping up and calling communion, 'The body and bud of our Lord.' That would be awful."

While some in the Catholic Church have voiced their opposition to the doctors' advice, many who would normally not pray or participate in Ecumenical rituals have offered their services and hope that the results will be positive.

"We encourage everyone, Catholic or atheist, to put their differences aside and light up a fat one for John Paul [the II]," said a NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) spokesperson who goes only by the name Bobo. NORML has gone as far as to offer officials at Gemelli Hospital some "primo shit" to assist the ailing Holy Father.

"Whatever you've got is probably pretty good," said a NORML member in an email to hospital staff, "but unless it's anywhere near the shit I just got from Humbolt [County, California], which I doubt, you'd better let me pack the next one, if only for the Pope's sake. Let me know if you need my help, and I'll give a totally new meaning to the word 'Smoking Bishop'."

The sender refused to identify himself as anything besides his screen name: godofweed420@hotmail.com.

Still, outside of NORML and other supports of the treatment, such as Cheech and Chong and Bill Clinton, others are urging that more traditional pain medication like morphine or nitrous oxide be administered.

"We do not like the message that this sends to the community," said Timothy Ckrazci of the Boston Center for Catholic Biomedical Research. "If marijuana is okay for the Pope, then it will be okay for cancer victims, MS [multiple sclerosis] sufferers and, worst of all, AIDS patients. Can you just imagine how many queers would be getting high?"

Putting the finishing touches on his three-martini lunch, Ckrazci further added, "What's next -- stem cell research? Contraceptives? Bigamy? Well-documented cases of widespread child abuse? Oh wait, I didn't mean that last one. No comment, I meant."

The Pope, who is expected to make a full recovery with the aid of prayer and some Panama Red, was not directly available for comment, though a spokesman close to him said that "The Holy Father is resting comfortably, though he is unable to talk. Without giggling like a little girl, that is."

Though no estimates were given to the length of his hospital stay, the Vatican has stated that the Pope has his appetite back and is in high spirits. "So high, in fact," read the statement, "that he won't stop waving to pilgrims and calling, 'Boo!' We don't understand that, but we are sure that it is some kind of message from God."

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