The authorities in the United States are tooting their own horn: Since they legalized the sale of soft drugs there, their tax revenues have increased and real estate has gone up in value. In short, an all-around boon. But can one really make money on someone else’s misfortune and justify sins with profit?

We are all on the brink of a very dangerous event: In the United States, the states of Colorado and Washington have legalized the sale of marijuana, and 10 more states are ready to do so. For me, such a decision is surprising. Yes, it’s OK to administer a soft drug for medicinal purposes — in order to relieve cancer patients’ pain, for example — but this should be done under the supervision of doctors. If sold freely, where is the guarantee that the drug won’t fall into the hands of young people who don’t know when to stop? The large-scale sale of the drug will turn into large-scale deaths, suicides, tragedies and tears. First the U.S. and then the entire world — if other countries take up the initiative — will lose control over its youth. Generally speaking, at 14 to 18 years of age, teenagers are rebels, and if drugs were to fortify this rebellion ...

Why has the world taken a turn down a path that attempts to justify everything that used to be considered a vice — same-sex marriages, drugs — with generating profit? A serious decline in morality is under way, especially in those strata of society associated with commerce. When I see two bearded men French kissing each other on TV, the sight evokes in me nothing but disgust. When I read about how the sale of marijuana is an opportunity to build new schools and hospitals, an investment in the fight against drug trafficking, such statements evoke laughter from me. It’s the same as if thieves were to give us a lecture on the benefit of theft, claiming that such lectures would reduce the number of crimes. Unfortunately, the world has reached a point beyond the first signs of insanity. Europe and the U.S. are legalizing same-sex marriages, forgetting that love exists in the world and that its highest manifestation — the earthly incarnation of this love — is children, which same-sex marriages will never produce. Nothing is higher than the purpose God has given man to continue the species, and it is being trampled upon. Thus, the future of the family, the country, of the entire world is put in peril. If we forget this, we will doom ourselves.

It’s possible that the moral decline is a consequence of the state of neglect in which serious literature — literature with a person of high moral principles as its central figure — now exists throughout the world. Chichikov and de Rastignac have never been role models, but today they’re proposing we emulate them.