Is Marijuana use mortal sin? I say YES... (and it's now legal in my province.)
#31
I think smoking out of a bong would be sinful since it would get you too high. If you're drugs are shipped over the border and money funds cartels it's probably a mortal sin.
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#32
(10-17-2018, 01:48 PM)FultonFan Wrote:
(10-17-2018, 01:18 PM)originalscreenname Wrote:
(10-17-2018, 08:24 AM)FultonFan Wrote: I obviously don't partake of Marijuana.  But is it a mortal sin?

To me it would seem like a big YES.  I think it's pretty clear to say that most people want to smoke Marijuana to get high.  Period. 

I believe it's a very evil substance, that opens your imagination to demonic insanity. 

As of 12:01 AM this morning, people can buy Marijuana in my province.

This is a joke right ? Of course it isn't a  Mortal sin, and of course MOST people do not only take it to " get high , PERIOD "  People with chronicle deadly diseasies use it///// what kind of stone age back world thinking is this ? An fyi it is all over the news that Canada has legalized Marijuana, big deal.  Do you have any idea how many people go out an get drunk and drive, and not only kill themselves but others ? Go do some real reasearch on your own on real statistics before damning everyone to your way of thinking.

Oh not to mention parts of Europe that administer other illegal street narcotics, in a legal manner in a hospital setting to alieviate the pain and suffering of those who have uncurriable problems and are facing death.

But this is the mind set that started prohibition, and the mind set that stopped the legalization of Marijuana in the first place, was the smear and fear campaigns back in the day,  Until the government figured out they could make a profit and tax booze, but still to this day Marijuana is some evil thing from satan himself, where the reality is, the paper industry was threatened by it, the government didn't know how to control, manufactor, or tax it and the medical community couldnt decide how it could be properly be used.

Like anything in the world,  items are not inherently evil, it is how one decides to use, or misuse inanimate objects that thus makes something evil or wrong.

Grow up.

Calm down buddy.  Just calm down.

I think I know what might help him to mellow out ... but it might make him a touch hungry ...
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#33
(10-17-2018, 09:16 PM)For Petes Sake Wrote:  If you're drugs are shipped over the border and money funds cartels it's probably a mortal sin.

I agree that funding gangs and violence probably makes it a mortal sin, which is why I pointed out that that was one of the results of prohibition. However, that's not a factor in FF's case, since marijuana is now legal in Canada.
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#34
I've never smoked it, never will.  I'm more of a beer and Scotch man.

That being said, I tend to agree with those saying using it in moderation (much like alcohol) isn't evil.  As far as the concept of legalizing it leading to me living next to a patchouli-reeking hippie commune, one could make the same argument that I'd not want to live next door to a drunkard who pukes and passes out in his front yard every other night.  
Regarding legalizing it, again, I'd rather see it legalized and regulated, so a) we can quit wasting money and resources locking people up for using something probably no worse that tobacco, b) so people know what they're getting (MJ vs MJ laced with something else), and c) I hate to say government, but yes, I think it could be beneficial for the government to tax it like anything else, then use that money to help better society.  Granted, Congress would probably allocate that revenue toward programs for modern theatrical presentations of Medieval lesbian feminist literature, but I can dream...

This thread needs a soundtrack:



Or for something more mellow:



Or for humor:

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#35
I'm sure cocaine will be legalized next. I think most guys my age have done it.
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#36
(10-17-2018, 05:27 PM)GangGreen Wrote: The biggest strike against Marijuana is that you can't not get high if you smoke it unless you've built up a tolerance. With alcohol you can have a drink, two, maybe even three or four depending on your tolerance and not get drunk, maybe a bit of a buzz, but not drunk to where your ability to make a good judgement is compromised. I've never smoked weed, so I have no idea if there's such thing as a light buzz, but I'd assume not. At the end of the day it comes down to the person's state of mind as far as I know. If one's state of mind is altered to the point that they can't make a proper judgement in regards to their actions then it must at least be sinful, whether it's mortal or venial I'll leave to the theologians.

You can definitely have a light buzz.
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#37
So, here's my reasoning as to why marijuana use is a mortal sin in itself, but could in certain cases be considered a venial sin or perhaps in a few more rare cases, no sin at all.

In passing, this is the same as with lying : a mortal sin in itself, but when the matter is light, it might be venially sinful.

First we have to distinguish between use and abuse with any drug. 

Using a drug can be for therapeutic purposes (for a real medical condition under the supervision of a doctor or equivalent authority, e.g. OTC drugs) or recreational purposes (without medical justification or supervision and only for psychoactive effects but in a moderate quantity inflicting no serious damage to one's body or rational power). Abusing a drug is use in a way which may cause physical, psychological, legal, economic, or social harm to oneself or to others. Addiction is simply compulsive abuse. Abuse and addiction clearly are grave sins.

In marijuana the principle psychoactive component is THC. Its effects vary from person to person and from use to use. Most natural marijuana before modern use as a drug had a THC content from about 0.5 to 3 percent. (This amount is similar to the alkaloid content of the coca leaf, from which cocaine is made, and this leaf is commonly used and chewed without major deleterious effect). Modern cultivars of marijuana have increased THC upwards of 30 percent, though some have approximately 7 percent THC content. Clearly marijuana today has been specially cultivated to produce a "high" and is not simply the same substance it was 100 years ago, nor is it the same as a standard hemp plant.

The effects also vary based on the quantity used, how it is used, one's physical condition, the environment, and one's psychiatric state, among other factors. Even from use to use people may have different experiences. 

While there are physical effects (increased heart rate, muscle relaxation, vasodilation, blood pressure changes), most of the effects are psychoactive and particularly hallucinogenic, but not to the extent of true hallucinogens like LSD. It produces euphoria, relaxation, altered sensation especially towards visual and auditory stimuli, changes in emotional responses and fear, reduction of pain stimuli. At high doses true hallucinations, loss of voluntary coordination, disruption of memory and learning functions, increase in episodic memory with disruption to continuous memory. Long term, marijuana has been shown to lead to irreversible cognitive impairment especially in adolescents, risk of psychosis and depression, possible addiction though much lower than even nicotine and only at very high and long-term doses. Regular use, however, can create physical dependence and withdrawl symptoms. 

Effects depend on the method of ingestion, but peak 15-30 minutes after use and can last, depending on dosage, up to 4-6 hours. Because THC is fat soluble, however, while the "high" wears off relatively quickly the THC will remain and cause effects for days to weeks after use.


The morality of an act depends on several factors, the object, the intention and the circumstances as well as the moral duties that might be violated. In the case of marijuana we can see that it does have possible harmful effects on body and mind, if used recreationally the intention is pleasure not the good of the body or soul, the circumstances are not benign (often it is an illegal action with fairly stiff penalties, it can easily cause scandal, the environment in which it is used is not usually one dispositive towards traditional Catholic morals, there is risk of greater sins quite easily especially because of the manipulation of our emotional faculties and dulling of our reason). Recall also that we have a duty of Justice towards God who is has absolute dominion over us and our body, we have a duty of Justice towards neighbor and society and drug use has societal effects and harms and we also have a duty toward the use of pleasures with temperance and prudence.

As an added circumstance, marijuana production is illegal in most places, and even where legal is a "fruit of a poisonous tree". The marijuana culture we have that is becoming more permissive is built off of decades of highly illegal actions which have resulted in thousands of deaths, the ruination of countless lives and a drug-trade in which terribly sinful actions have been the norm. This cannot be separated from marijuana use any more than medical procedures developed by Nazi eugenics can be separated. The Catholic who freely accepts marijuana use is also in a certain way approving of this culture which has been the foundation of the modern drug culture. This is a reason for a great part of the scandal.

Given this, and that the precepts mentioned above bind under pain of grave sin, I find it hard to suggest that marijuana use is anything but mortally sinful in itself. Since it is the willful choosing of pleasure over our duties, with significant harm possible, especially the damage to physical health and the normal use of our rational faculties, and for no really proportionately grave reason. The intention is a high, and the effects are not merely a short term "relaxation" but last for a long time after the "high" and therefore, it really cannot be use "in moderation." Further, the culture that lies behind its use is so tainted that the scandal that will be given is always a serious evil, it is, in a great way the modern world's "mysticism" like in Eastern cults—not an encounter with God, but an escape into nirvana or dissolution of self into the mystical "god" of nothingness.

That said, hypothetically, I could see there being only light matter, like a "white" lie. A one-time or extremely occasional use with low-grade marijuana ("natural" levels of THC), with limited exposure (a few puffs), and there being no risk of scandal in obtaining or using. Practically, I don't see those conditions as often happening since most marijuana is fairly high-grade and often mixed with other substances, and is not just a one-puff incident. If one uses alone to avoid some scandal, then he will probably consume a full joint, but among a group there is risk of scandal and also usually it is not just one joint passed around so everyone has one puff, plus there is the second-hand effects. Finally, the illegality in many places adds a level of scandal and malice.

Now, that is without speaking about alcohol and tobacco, the typical go-to objections of those who favor marijuana use. Indeed both have physical and psychoactive effects and both are properly drugs, but it is apples and oranges, really.

Firstly, there is a cultural and societal acceptance of tobacco and alcohol use, meaning that there is no serious risk of scandal except in the case of inordinate use, where as marijuana does not have that acceptance. Think about Fr John Doe. If you saw him sipping a glass of whiskey and puffing away at his favorite cigar with his fellow priests, you would not be scandalized. You might want to sit down and join them for some good Catholic conversation. If he were puffing on joint and passing it to Msgr MacGillicuddy? If you would be shocked at the latter, why would you ever make the comparison between tobacco and alcohol and marijuana as if they are equivalents?

With tobacco if you look at the actual effects, marijuana is far worse. While tobacco is far more addictive and open to abuse, the damage is far worse with marijuana. The Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care in a 2012 study showed that a joint causes the damage equivalent to 5 cigarettes, also the carcinogenic agents in marijuana are more numerous and because the smoke dilates the bronchial passages more and is held for longer is far more damaging. The reason cigarettes actually cause more damage is more because of frequency, since marijuana use is not typically the equivalent of a pack-a-day habit. Five cigarettes a day is mild use for tobacco. Five joints a day is not mild marijuana use. Finally, tobacco does not produce the alteration of consciousness or behavior.

With alcohol, clearly we do see that with abuse there is serious harmful effects, but there are actual health benefits for moderate use in both ill and healthy persons. Marijuana does show some pain- and nausea-relieving effects but only for the sick, and show no beneficial medical effects for otherwise healthy people. A serving of alcohol per day, particularly wine, has been shown to help protect from heart disease, blood clots, helps normalize blood pressure, and raises HDL levels. Psychoactive effects are relatively minimal and appear only at about a 3-drink equivalent (about 24 g of alcohol) for the average person. The same Pontifical Council report shows that a joint is the equivalent of about 2 full-sized drinks of an 80-proof liquor. With moderate use, even up to about 6-7 drinks weekly, there are no negative accumulative effects in the body. That obviously has to be distinguished from abuse, since many with absolutely no problem with alcohol can easily use it in moderation without risk.
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#38
(10-17-2018, 11:08 PM)Jeeter Wrote: As far as the concept of legalizing it leading to me living next to a patchouli-reeking hippie commune, one could make the same argument that I'd not want to live next door to a drunkard who pukes and passes out in his front yard every other night.  

Regarding legalizing it, again, I'd rather see it legalized and regulated, so a) we can quit wasting money and resources locking people up for using something probably no worse that tobacco, b) so people know what they're getting (MJ vs MJ laced with something else), and c) I hate to say government, but yes, I think it could be beneficial for the government to tax it like anything else, then use that money to help better society.  Granted, Congress would probably allocate that revenue toward programs for modern theatrical presentations of Medieval lesbian feminist literature, but I can dream...

Legalization, of course, is a separate argument from the moral one. Not everything immoral is illegal, nor should it be.

I would not be in favor of legalization for recreational purposes, or possession of it by any Tom, Dick, or Sally (used to be Harry, but you know these days ...). I think that leads to all kinds of worse moral problems and probably will lead more to try it who otherwise would be pushed away. Still, that legal argument is really an argument of prudence in the toleration of an evil. Is it better to tolerate the evil, especially if the worse effect is that legitimate laws are not enforced, leading to a disrespect of other laws? A fair question, but perhaps it's an imprudent time to ask that question.

The real problem with the draconian prohibition of marijuana as Schedule 1 in the U.S. and equivalent elsewhere is that it stopped legitimate medical research. Imagine if research determined that certain drugs and extracts produced from marijuana were medically helpful, and we made such products in such a way as to derive the beneficial effects without the harmful effects of smoking marijuana or the hallucinogenic effects or the immoral aspects. 

Recreational users just jump on the medical bandwagon. Notice how none call for more medical research and the production of drugs, but for the legalization of the plant. That is not because of the medical benefits, but a step-wise strategy to eventually legalize recreational use. But that exists, along with the cartels, because instead of a rational policy there was wholesale prohibition.

Prohibition of recreational use : good, in my opinion.

Prohibition of medical research : a terrible shame, because it leads to the stupidly of thinking that smoking dope is good medicine.
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#39
Well MM, it looks like there's no point in giving my 2 bits, since you answered it in detail. I will say though that those complaining about the prohibition of "medical" marijuana is frankly fooling themselves. It's called Marinol. Marinol is a synthetic form of THC in the pill form. There are other THC/Cannabis based medicines that are approved by the FDA. There is no prohibition of cannabis-based medicines. The US allows such things, it's just it is not the dirty joint that the red-diaper-doper-babies want to toke up. The reality of those shouting for "medical" marijuana are frankly just dope fiends who want to smoke pot under the guise of "medical issues."

No doctor in their right mind would say to a patient that it's okay to not take a safer pill form, in favor of smoking a combustible joint that fills people's lungs with tar.
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#40
MM, that is probably the best, most succinct argument against marijuana use I think I've heard.
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