What is the Churches postition on marijuana?
#1
Is it viewed like alcohol is where it is OK as long as it is done in moderation?  I know that there are people who abuse marijuana but what about the people who use it to calm down, battle insomnia, or other medical uses?  Is it viewed as a venial sin, or is it sever like a mortal sin?  I ask because my brother smokes marijuana to relax after a hard day of work.  He has anger management issues and gets made fun of a lot while at work.  He says that coming home and smoking helps him relax and calm down so he doesn't flip out.  Is he committing a sin?  I'm interested so I can inform him, and also because I'm interested to know.  Sources would be appreciated.  Thank you for your time.
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#2
I don't know the full answer, but I'll guess that the Church's position is based at least in part on the assumption that civil laws, so long as they are just and not contrary to moral law, are due obedience.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02137c.htm
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#3
Some civil laws do not bind in conscience. If you break them you do not sin BUT if you are caught you are obliged to submit to the penalty. Driving above the speed limit is like this (provided you weren't doing so in a reckless manner. Going through a 35 mph zone at 2 a.m. at 50 mph when no one is arouond would be an example.) Another possibility is going through a red light where you have stopped and there is absolutely no one around  (I really wouldn't recommend this though, it could lead to bad driving habits.) Certain tax laws do not bind in conscience.

So, the question is, do the anti-marijuanna laws bind in conscience. I so not have an answer. One would have to talk with a confessor. Personally, as conservative and grumpy as I am, I do not have a problem with people smoking pot so long as they get out of bed and to work the next day. I would advise people NOT to smoke pot because of the moral dangers that come with the "pot culture" but  I don't think the actual firing up of a joint and smoiking it is a sin.

I think other drugs are sinful because of their potency. 


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#4
Thank you both for your replies. I feel the same way Brennus. My brother smokes but still gets up for work the next morning (he's a plumber). When he's stoned he doesn't really do anything different then when he is sober. I will ask a confessor about this. I wanted to find something in Church documentation though. Maybe I could look it up in my moral theology book. If anyone has more to add please do.
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#5
Brennus Wrote:Some civil laws do not bind in conscience. If you break them you do not sin BUT if you are caught you are obliged to submit to the penalty. Driving above the speed limit is like this (provided you weren't doing so in a reckless manner. Going through a 35 mph zone at 2 a.m. at 50 mph when no one is arouond would be an example.) Another possibility is going through a red light where you have stopped and there is absolutely no one around  (I really wouldn't recommend this though, it could lead to bad driving habits.) Certain tax laws do not bind in conscience.

So, the question is, do the anti-marijuanna laws bind in conscience. I so not have an answer. One would have to talk with a confessor. Personally, as conservative and grumpy as I am, I do not have a problem with people smoking pot so long as they get out of bed and to work the next day. I would advise people NOT to smoke pot because of the moral dangers that come with the "pot culture" but  I don't think the actual firing up of a joint and smoiking it is a sin.

I think other drugs are sinful because of their potency. 
There are also the issues of thei higher tar/nicotine concentrations and the brain plaque that some studies indicate. Chronic use in my friends has resulted in lack of drive and social engagement - rather like TV. 
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#6
Drinking isn't a sin, getting drunk is. Why?  Because you lose inhabitions and thereby put yourself in an "occasion of sin". Not all who drink, do so with the intent of getting high.  With such an intent however, it would likely be sinful.

Those who take dope almost always do so to get high - lose inhabitions - hence wrong.
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#7
TraditionalRomanCatholic Wrote:[What is the Church's position on marijuana?] Is it viewed like alcohol is where it is OK as long as it is done in moderation? [...] Is it viewed as a venial sin, or is it sever[e] like a mortal sin? I ask because my brother smokes marijuana to relax after a hard day of work. He has anger management issues and gets made fun of a lot while at work. He says that coming home and smoking helps him relax and calm down so he doesn't flip out.

Marijuana as such, like tobacco as such, is not something the Church has any authoritative teaching about, so far as I've ever seen. If marijuana were legal, it would have to be rationally evaluated like any other legal drug: are the supposed benefits great enough to outweigh the possible bad effects of smoke inhalation, psychological dependence, hormonal change, gradually turning your brain to mush, etc.? I would strongly suggest that the answer is "no," but other people (at least imaginably) might disagree on rational grounds. Depending on the circumstances and the degree of avoidable abuse, legal marijuana smoking might be a mortal sin, a venial sin, or (imaginably) no sin at all; the same goes, I suppose, for tobacco smoking, which is bad for the body but apparently not for the mind.

The prior question, where marijuana is not legal, is whether the laws against it should be obeyed. Objectively, I do not think there is any reason weighty enough to establish that they shouldn't. Whether it is a mortal or a venial sin to disobey these laws doesn't appear to be established by any universal rule, but (to say the least) there would be no basis for confidence that it isn't a sin at all.

Marijuana users, like alcoholics, tend to engage in "stinkin' thinkin'" about whether they need to kick the habit and (in the case of marijuana users) obey the law. At the very least, it's highly desirable not to risk needless involvement with the criminal justice system for the sake of illegal self-medication. There are other ways--lawful, and better, ways--to calm down and avoid "flipping out." People whose thinkin' isn't totally stinkin' can recognize this and, with help from God and maybe from man, they can act accordingly.

Pray for your brother to recognize this, and to accept the help he needs. (By the way ... dare I ask whether part of the reason why people make fun of your brother at work is that they can tell he's a hemp-head?)

Blessings,

Don McMaster
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#8
TraditionalRomanCatholic Wrote:Is it viewed like alcohol is where it is OK as long as it is done in moderation?  I know that there are people who abuse marijuana but what about the people who use it to calm down, battle insomnia, or other medical uses?  Is it viewed as a venial sin, or is it sever like a mortal sin?  I ask because my brother smokes marijuana to relax after a hard day of work.  He has anger management issues and gets made fun of a lot while at work.  He says that coming home and smoking helps him relax and calm down so he doesn't flip out.  Is he committing a sin?  I'm interested so I can inform him, and also because I'm interested to know.  Sources would be appreciated.  Thank you for your time.
not to be a wiseguy......but,would you see our Lord smoking grass?i mean we all know he turned the water into wine(and not fruit-juice like them loony born-agains proclaim [Image: eyes.gif] )and there is references in Scripture about the use of alcohol,for good and evil,but the use of any kind of narcotic(dope?) probably isn't the best intention that God intended for us.as a matter of fact, i have heard there is some kind of demonic influence through the use of pharmaceuticals,maybe that's too medieval for some,but i see a whole generation around me wack-ed out of their minds on dope and pills and something definitely have some kind of eeery grip on them or their view of reality.being high i'm sure is probably a sin as much as being drunk,even the termed getting "stoned" doesn't sound good to me in the eyes of an almighty God.i see guys who smoke regularly and their mood swings are incredible,without that stuff their miserable or unpredictable,that can't be normal or healthy.maybe your brother is just making matters worse smoking that crap,if he's got serious problems he should get get some professional help,although sometimes doctors tend to be the biggest drug pushers,he's got to be careful.how bout his spiritual life?does he attend mass?does he even believe there is a God?get him some spiritual counsel ling if he needs some.if he needs to release some anger maybe he should do something physical like join a gym or martial arts,that would also help him with his abusive co-workers and teach how how to deal with them knuckleheads.there's a lot he can and should do without "tuning out" the world , smoking your self into oblivion,that never helps and only makes things worse.you can help by building his confidence in himself and be a good example as an (older?) brother he can look to for support....... good luck and may God help both of you.
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#9
There isn't any question but that smoking pot will wreak havoc on your spiritual life. Stay away from it.
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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#10
Jacafamala Wrote:There isn't any question but that smoking pot will wreak havoc on your spiritual life. It's a fact. Stay away from it.
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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