Skip to comments.To Puff or Not to Puff: Catholic experts weigh in on the morality of legalized marijuana
Posted on 06/10/2013 2:44:17 PM PDT by markomalley
Lighting up pot has its moral pitfalls.
The dawning of legalized marijuana across the states in recent years has prompted Church experts to try to clear the haze about the much-debated drug.
Since last Novembers elections, Colorado and Washington passed unprecedented laws making legal recreational use of marijuana, and lawmakers and state boards are formulating ways to shift it from a black market to a regulated and taxed commercial enterprise. Medical use alone has passed in 18 states from Alaska and Arizona to Delaware and Vermont.
These laws contradict federal law, but states are not obligated to enforce federal regulations on personal consumption. In addition, President Barack Obama has stated that prosecution of marijuana users in the two states will be a low priority for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Often, those with a moral conscience rejected pot use because its against the law.
In the wake of pots decriminalization and growing acceptance...
After considering the effects of marijuana use, moral theologians said a users intention is crucial to determining its morality. Cannabis is not intrinsically evil, so an analysis of the morality of smoking pot is found by determining the object of the act of smoking, said Christian Brugger, a moral theologian and seminary professor in Colorado.
Recreational pot smokers use marijuana to induce themselves into a state of euphoria. So the object is to get high and to alter their consciousness.
Yet consciousness is needed to make choices, and to impair the human mind is to impair the ability to make choices, he said. Therefore, if a person is high, its more difficult for them to make good choices.
Sacred Scripture doesnt address getting high, but it is filled with warnings about drunkenness.
Scriptures are pretty harsh about it, Brugger said.
(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...
“After considering the effects of marijuana use, moral theologians said a users intention is crucial to determining its morality.”
Ah, those moral theologians are a bunch of buzzkills. Last time I invite them over to a party!
how do they deal with cigarettes?
i get a “buzz” when i first started, but that disappeared after 1-2 weeks... then i promptly quit cold turkey.
It used to grow on the side of the road.
It’s pretty benign.
If old folks use it to aid pain or Adults use it to unwind, I don’t think it is that big of a deal.
That said, Kids should not use it during formative years.
Of course it's morally wrong.
There is always the body is a temple aspect.
Then there is the aspect that God created it.
Ben Franklin always said God made Beer because he wants us to be happy.
It’s a dilly of a pickle of a problem for the theologian that smokes an occasional spliff to commune with God LOL
What is the intend of Alcohol?
When is the church going to decide on something important...like denying communion to politicians who support the murder of the unborn.
When are they going to get serious about something serious?
“There’s more to alcoholic drinks than getting high”
I was mis-informed, then.
Can you imagine the apostles having a toke to calm down on the evening of Good Friday? Or to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit? Just doesn't seem in keeping with Christian behavior IMHO.
If getting high is “morally wrong”, then so is smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and sex using the “natural method” of contraception, the one allowed by the Catholic church.
Dope Fiends need healing.
Many of the priests at my old catholic school smoked, so I'm guessing this is new.
Personally, I would get a different confessor.
To be a mortal sin, you must have three conditions:
* there are certain things, like murder, that are obvious matters of natural law where feigned ignorance is not an excuse, obviously.
So, is smoking tobacco objectively grave matter?
The Catechism mentions the word tobacco at only one place:
2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.
Doesn't say "grave matter," does it?
Maybe it says it is grave matter someplace else...
How about here:
Human maturity is an indispensable premise for a life of priestly chastity. Priests should have control of their affective life and, if necessary, should seek expert help, preferably from priests; they should have friendships with other priests and should be happy to live in common with them, avoiding isolation for too long a time; they should not expose themselves needlessly to danger; they should be moderate in their use of food, and especially in their use of alcohol and tobacco; they should be prudent in their reading, the shows they attend, their use of audiovisual media, and their choice of entertainment.
So why would they counsel priests to be "moderate in their use of … tobacco" if the use of tobacco was grave matter?
Now, even if the CCC said that it was grave matter (and, as I've shown you, it clearly doesn't), if you honestly were not aware of that, how could you have knowledge? How could you have consent?
Like I said, find a different confessor. This one is full of crap....making up his own little version of Catholicism.
Alcohol makes you belligerent and foolhardy, pot makes you chill and mellow. Guess which one war making societies approve of?
I guess smoking a pack a day at this stage of history when the consequences are so well defined could be construed as a sin, just as drinking two bottles of jack a day and destroying your liver could be. Whether it’s an ongoing mortal sin- well, it depends. Person actively fighting a recognised addiction but not yet sucessful: not much sin there. Uneducated person, lots going on on life, not really aware of what they’re doing to themselves: venial sin, at worst. Inveterate chain smoker, neglecting responsibilities to further their habit: now you’re into mortal sin territory. Cigar after dinner once every couple weeks, the odd cigarette or pipe here and there- you’re pretty safe on the sin front.
Scripture also does not address what the secular laws should be on this question. There was no drug or alcohol prohibition in the OT or NT. Nor was there any suggestion that there should be such laws. AFAIK, the Catholic Church has been silent on the matter of secular drug laws for the entirety of its existence.
So what is the biblical justification for prohibition laws?
Okay, I can follow your logic for the first two, but the last one makes absolutely no sense. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that there is anything morally suspect about sex inside of marriage. The joy and the pleasure, even the euphoria, is a feature, not a bug. :-)
It bypasses the intended purpose of sex, which is reproduction. Abusing a body not ready for reproduction and doing so while knowing it, would be “morally wrong” by the same extension.
I’m not saying I agree with the above being morally wrong, but that it is an extension of the argument against the former two indulgences.
The West has always been against cannabis use as an intoxicant, long before the Crusades even before Christianity, and of course during and following them as well.
During the Crusades the Catholic church condemned it’s use for that purpose since the issue came up while fighting the people’s of Cannabis and Hashish.
My doctor tells me it is the only drug proven to increase appetite when all feelings of hunger are lost either from chemotherapy or the type of anesthesia used for open heart surgery. According to him (and he has been practicing for 35 years) there is no other drug that works for this purpose. He does not support it for recreational use. He does not believe any drug should be taken for recreational purposes.
There are thousands of natural variations of pot. Every flavor, color and appearance. From pink bubblegum to blackberry. The plant is extremely easy to breed. Many people collect and travel the world to try different breeds.
People also like to smoke for fun. If you go into a headshop there are hundreds of pipes with different functions and designs. Some pipes are hand made by famous artists and are worth thousands If it was “only about getting high”, they would smoke a $1 glass pipe like crackheads.
Award for the most misguided post of the day.
A lot of good info at the link on the subject of alcohol, that is applicable here:
May 6, 2013
Cause for Mirth: The Return of Abbey Brewing to the United States
by R. Jared Staudt
An occasional smoke isn't going to ruin your lungs, any more than occasionally enjoying an unhealthy dessert will make you fat. If you do something so much that it damages your body then its not good. IMHO.
I suppose the occasional toke is harmless, too. But so many hippies and fruitcakes and dropout losers and lefties make marijuana their cause celeb that I can't make myself support it.
This doesn't seem that complicated.
The act remains open to life thus your argument is fecal, at best.
Especially when you're demolishing buildings in Philadelphia.
same rules as alcohol etc. Small amounts ok. Getting smashed and losing your ability to reason is a no no.
the problem? The halflife of marijuana is longer...so if you use it regularly, you get a “steady state” high...so it has implications for driving or using heavy machinery etc.
Man, I can't have ANY fun!!
I can't make myself support it.
Speaking of lefties, think about obamacare for a moment. How much sense does it make to raise everyone's premiums to cover smoking cessation as a preventive service and then legalize pot? We're going to pay to help people quit smoking nicotine but legalize pot and essentially encourage smoking a different substance? Or will space brownies be the preferred method of ingestion?
In half the world to this day you're better off sticking to beer or wine instead of drinking the local water.
I don't even trust the bottled water in a lot of the chitholes where you can buy everything from affection to zygotes on a street corner. Clean water gives people the luxury of morally condemning alcoholic beverages which, when not used to excess, have beneficial effects in addition to purifying the water contained in the beverages.
You smoke weed to get high, not to purify the air you're breathing and not because it provides a way to make a necessity safe.
And even in the cases where drugs don't lead to a constantly growing dependence drugs they're the gateway to the accepting an ever increasing degree of personal moral decay along with accepting immorality in others.
Interesting sounding guy. Ping for later.
Often, those with a moral conscience rejected pot use because its against the law.
I do not use the stuff but if i wanted to i believe i have the God given right, law has nothing to do with it.
But the point is i believe what was said is true, so many of the so called moral conscience people are not moral conscience at all but just mans law conscience.
Any one who believes the law can make something moral or immoral should talk to some of the millions of Jews who perished under Hitlers law.
” But the point is i believe what was said is true, so many of the so called moral conscience people are not moral conscience at all but just mans law conscience.”
Possibly, but the pertinent passage from the Catechism talks about illicit drugs. If marijuana was legalized, it would no longer be an illicit drug.
One might wonder if the Catechism is taking about ALL mind-altering drugs...if it was, then one could claim that the Church is opposed to the licit use of anti-depressants, tranquilizers, pain killers (like opiates), etc.
That’s clearly not the case.
Any illicit drug has got some nasty stuff that goes with its trafficking and use , and that’s not just the effect of the drug.
So I don’t think that it should be brushed off so much as “man’s law versus God’s law”
Note that I am ignoring your appeal to Godwin.
My confessor told me that smoking (cigarettes) is a mortal sin. Is it the addiction that makes it so? Or is it sinful because any intentional pollution of a temple of the Holy Spirit is sinful?
I don,t know if they had tobacco or not but if so i would say that Jesus would have enjoyed a good cigar once in a while.
So I dont think that it should be brushed off so much as mans law versus Gods law
From a health point of view, I probably see marijuana as slightly better than cigarettes. However on a social level, and I may be prejudiced by perceptions rather than reality, I see marijuana addiction as worse than cigarette addiction due to its side-effects on the person
I work with Ph.Ds and engineers who smoke marijuana occasionally and have been doing so, for decades. I haven’t seen any serious side effects that have prevented them from being accomplished individuals with strong values and loving families.
The act remains open to life even with condoms, as they are not 100% reliable. The argument is fecal only because the original “moral” argument in the article is straight out of a cesspool.
Ok that’s all very well and good but it doesn’t seem to answer mylife’s question, at least not the spirit of the question.
So in developing countries where water may be questionable in quality fine, consumption of alcoholic beverages may have a beneficial effect that outweighs any deleterious effects. So it’s “moral” there. But here in the US there are no such concerns so let’s get real.
In the US where the water is safe to consume, is consuming alcohol moral? Even just one drink?
I ask because I have a similar question/point as mylife. I have always wondered if pot became fully legal would it then become moral to consume it on a leisurely basis. It seems to me that it comes down to a question of potency. One drink won’t make one as intoxicated as one joint. Anyone who has smoked knows that.
But what about literally one puff, compared to one drink. It really gets hazy, no pun intended, as to what constitutes an “immoral buzz”. Because let’s be honest: people in the US who come home from a hard days work and have one or even two drinks aren’t drinking those drinks to avoid contaminated water. They are drinking them to relax.
So, couldn’t the same be said about one puff of marijuana? Literally one.
As I said — those are my perceptions.
I agree, but since we see a spectrum of behaviour among marijuana users, it tends to convey the opinion that marijuana is not a major factor in determining life outcomes in any significant way.
So, what’s the immorality of marijuana, then?
Pointing out that the there is no comparison with drunkenness is the answer to the question.
There's no legitimate comparison between the abuse of something that enables the safe use of a necessity and something that is pharmacia ( see Galatians) that is of no value other than to distort the senses and wallow in getting high.
Anyone who refers to the Bible as warning against drunkenness for their comparison rather than just reading the direct statement made regarding pharmacia needs to know that they're already off on a tangent and why it's a tangent.
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