Legal Cannabis and Morality
#1
I didn't really know where to put this, but because it concerns morals primarily I figured this would be a more logical place.

So I live in Michigan where cannabis, or marijuana whatever you want to call it, is completely legal for adult use. Weed stores and social clubs will be opening up in the next couple months. Pretty soon there will be as many pot shops here in Detroit as there are Starbucks. Michigan is far from alone in this new trend, California and Colorado as well as other states have the same thing going on. Marijuana is no longer some illicit street drug, it is becoming socially accepted and mainstream. So now we come to the moral issues...

1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church claims that the use of drugs, except for therapeutic uses, is gravely sinful. Fair enough. But what constitutes a drug isn't really clearly spelled out. Is caffeine a drug? I'd say probably a majority of us use that on a daily basis and it's not exactly done for medicinal purposes. Is alcohol a drug? The church actually permits recreational use of that drug, as long as drunkenness is avoided. Now that marijuana is legal, at least in my state, where does it fit into this framework?

This actually gets extremely complicated. One could say that smoking marijuana is sinful because its intoxicating. Sure that's true; assuming you are smoking a high thc strain of cannabis. But with the legal market there are literally hundreds of different cannabis products, from flower to tinctures to edibles and everything in between. Some strains have high thc and low cbd and can greatly impair the mind. Other strains are low in thc and high in cbd and have a relaxing effect without hardly altering the mind at all. Some are equal parts thc and cbd and cause a sedative effect while mitigating the mind altering effects. Are all of these products in the same category morally? What about hemp products, which contain less than .3% thc? If those are fine, then what about a cannabis product containing 1-2% thc, which is legal in a state like mine? Does that suddenly become immoral? How much of a mind-alteration is necessary to make the use of a cannabis product morally illicit? Could one eat a high-cbd, low-thc edible morally, as an alternative to alcohol after a hard days work? Or is that immoral?

2. What constitutes therapeutic use? I'm sure most of us could agree that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy would be well within the bounds of morality to use cannabis, even high thc cannabis, to relieve nausea and pain. But what about other "therapeutic" uses? Suppose someone has insomnia and has a terrible time getting to sleep and staying asleep. Cannabis, THC especially, is known to have a powerful sedative effect and can help people fall asleep and sleep through the night. Is taking it for that "therapeutic" purpose immoral? Must one have a doctor involved for it to be moral, or can a person assess their own symptoms and use the substance therapeutically? Where do we draw the line with therapeutic use, which even the catechism clearly does permit?

3. Is it morally permissible to work or invest in the legal cannabis industry? In legal states, like mine, the legal cannabis industry is a huge and booming industry that will create countless jobs and tremendous profits. Many people who are currently unemployed or underemployed could get into this industry and make a great living. Would that be a legitimate career choice or a cooperation in evil? What about auxiliary businesses that don't deal in cannabis directly but are nevertheless integrally linked to the industry? What about working/investing in the medicinal side of the industry?

As you can see this is becoming a very complex moral subject, which unfortunately the magisterium of the Church hasn't really addressed. How should we as Catholics in legal states navigate all of this? To be honest I used to use cannabis regularly and it was tremendously helpful in helping me stay asleep all night, it'd be nice to know I can use it for that purpose without committing mortal sin. But I submit myself to what is right and true and not what I may desire. So these moral issues have a personal dimension for me as well, as i'm sure they do for many other Catholics as well. So what are your thoughts on these moral questions?
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Messages In This Thread
Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 01:52 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Some Guy - 09-17-2019, 06:25 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 10:49 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 02:21 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 12:14 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 01:22 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 01:44 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 02:21 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 02:37 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 02:58 PM
Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 01:27 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 02:09 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 02:19 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 02:26 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 03:00 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 02:30 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 02:38 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 06:26 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by VoxClamantis - 09-18-2019, 03:36 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Augustinian - 09-17-2019, 06:37 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 06:42 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Augustinian - 09-17-2019, 06:47 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 06:54 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Augustinian - 09-17-2019, 06:59 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 07:06 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-17-2019, 07:27 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Paul - 09-17-2019, 11:19 PM
Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 07:33 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 09-17-2019, 10:09 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Augustinian - 09-17-2019, 11:14 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Blind Horus - 09-18-2019, 12:40 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by VoxClamantis - 09-18-2019, 04:54 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Melkite - 09-20-2019, 09:51 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-21-2019, 11:14 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Blind Horus - 09-20-2019, 03:35 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by piscis - 09-26-2019, 10:14 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Florus - 09-26-2019, 06:55 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by BigSamoz - 11-03-2020, 12:48 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Ioannes_L - 11-03-2020, 02:16 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Dancing Lion - 11-18-2020, 03:46 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Some Guy - 11-20-2020, 11:23 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by LionHippo - 11-20-2020, 09:26 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Blind Horus - 11-20-2020, 11:26 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by FultonFan - 11-21-2020, 11:49 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 11-23-2020, 10:33 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Harryman9090 - 12-08-2020, 03:33 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Melkite - 12-09-2020, 10:33 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Pandora - 12-09-2020, 12:31 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Melkite - 12-09-2020, 01:03 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by FultonFan - 12-09-2020, 06:53 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by IudicaMe - 03-25-2021, 11:22 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Marmot - 03-25-2021, 11:58 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Marmot - 03-25-2021, 12:59 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 03-25-2021, 11:59 AM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by AlanK82 - 03-25-2021, 01:19 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by AlanK82 - 03-25-2021, 01:16 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by IudicaMe - 03-25-2021, 01:19 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Marmot - 03-25-2021, 05:05 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by J Michael - 03-25-2021, 08:28 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by AlanK82 - 03-25-2021, 01:49 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by IudicaMe - 03-25-2021, 01:57 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by AlanK82 - 03-25-2021, 02:17 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Melkite - 03-25-2021, 02:33 PM
Legal Cannabis and Morality - by 1Faith - 03-25-2021, 02:21 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by AlanK82 - 03-25-2021, 04:35 PM
RE: Legal Cannabis and Morality - by Blind Horus - 03-25-2021, 05:12 PM



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