RELIGION

Rhode Island bishop: Legal pot leads to 'land of oblivion'

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2008 file photo, Bishop Thomas Tobin speaks during an interview in his office in Providence, R.I. In an essay published Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Tobin wrote his opposition to legalizing marijuana in the state. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2008 file photo, Bishop Thomas Tobin speaks during an interview in his office in Providence, R.I. In an essay published Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Tobin wrote his opposition to legalizing marijuana in the state. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)  (The Associated Press)

Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop says he wants to smell holy incense, not cannabis, in Providence's cathedral and warns state lawmakers against transporting young people to "the land of oblivion" by legalizing marijuana.

Bishop Thomas Tobin shared his opinions in an essay titled "Nope to Dope." The essay was published Tuesday hours before a hearing on a bill to legalize pot.

Tobin says he's heard about "zombie-like" people who are "completely stoned" filling public places in Colorado, where marijuana is legal. He says young people already addicted to electronic devices and "attached to their virtual umbilical cords" would become more detached if the drug were legal.

Tobin says his viewpoints are purely theoretical because he's never smoked pot.

Polls have found Rhode Island to be the nation's most Catholic state.