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To Puff or Not to Puff: Catholic experts weigh in on the morality of legalized marijuana
National Catholic Register ^ | 6/10/2013 | NISSA LAPOINT

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 November’s 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 it’s against the law.

In the wake of pot’s decriminalization and growing acceptance...

(snip)

After considering the effects of marijuana use, moral theologians said a user’s 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, it’s more difficult for them to make good choices.

Sacred Scripture doesn’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS:
Interesting piece.
1 posted on 06/10/2013 2:44:17 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

“After considering the effects of marijuana use, moral theologians said a user’s 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!


2 posted on 06/10/2013 2:48:31 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: markomalley

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.


3 posted on 06/10/2013 2:49:10 PM PDT by VAFreedom (maybe i should take a nap before work)
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To: markomalley

Meh..

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.


4 posted on 06/10/2013 2:49:34 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: markomalley
There's more to alcoholic drinks than getting high. The object of pot use is to get high, if even a little.

Of course it's morally wrong.

5 posted on 06/10/2013 2:50:12 PM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: Boogieman

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


6 posted on 06/10/2013 2:53:24 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

What is the intend of Alcohol?

Medicinal purposes?


7 posted on 06/10/2013 2:54:15 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Boogieman

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?


8 posted on 06/10/2013 2:54:43 PM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

“There’s more to alcoholic drinks than getting high”

I was mis-informed, then.

;)


9 posted on 06/10/2013 2:54:44 PM PDT by dynachrome (Vertrou in God en die Mauser)
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To: markomalley
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?

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.

10 posted on 06/10/2013 2:55:17 PM PDT by PeevedPatriot
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

Matthew... 15-11


11 posted on 06/10/2013 2:58:42 PM PDT by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

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.


12 posted on 06/10/2013 3:02:45 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: markomalley

Dope Fiends need healing.


13 posted on 06/10/2013 3:03:40 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: PeevedPatriot
My confessor told me that smoking (cigarettes) is a mortal sin. Is it the addiction that makes it so?

Many of the priests at my old catholic school smoked, so I'm guessing this is new.

14 posted on 06/10/2013 3:15:47 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Hold the pig steady)
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To: PeevedPatriot
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?

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.

Pastoral Guide for Diocesan Priests in Churches Dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

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.

15 posted on 06/10/2013 3:20:33 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

Alcohol makes you belligerent and foolhardy, pot makes you chill and mellow. Guess which one war making societies approve of?


16 posted on 06/10/2013 3:34:16 PM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: PeevedPatriot

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.


17 posted on 06/10/2013 3:34:33 PM PDT by Eepsy
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To: markomalley
Sacred Scripture doesn’t address getting high, but it is filled with warnings about drunkenness.

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?

18 posted on 06/10/2013 3:36:38 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: James C. Bennett
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.

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. :-)

19 posted on 06/10/2013 3:46:23 PM PDT by CA Conservative (Texan by birth, Californian by circumstance)
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To: CA Conservative

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.


20 posted on 06/10/2013 3:50:14 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: markomalley

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.


21 posted on 06/10/2013 3:51:19 PM PDT by ansel12 (Social liberalism/libertarianism, empowers, creates and imports, and breeds, economic liberals.)
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To: markomalley

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.


22 posted on 06/10/2013 4:02:07 PM PDT by Gabrial (The nightmare will continue as long as the nightmare is in the Whitehouse)
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To: GOP_Party_Animal
Many people smoke for the flavor or simply for the fun of smoking different pipes.

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.

23 posted on 06/10/2013 4:12:18 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: markomalley; SauronOfMordor; Eepsy
Thank you guys, for your responses. Helpful to read :) I obviously won't go into the details I discussed, but based on your reminder of the 3 criteria for sin, markomalley, I think Father made the right call. Whether he believes smoking in a general sense for people in circumstances different than mine would be sinful is something I honestly don't know. I do see now that I worded my initial comment carelessly :( And I wasn't mindful that we talked about smoking in the context of a larger matter. Thanks again for the responses.
24 posted on 06/10/2013 4:33:01 PM PDT by PeevedPatriot
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To: James C. Bennett

Award for the most misguided post of the day.


25 posted on 06/10/2013 4:39:08 PM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: markomalley

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

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/cause-for-mirth-the-return-of-abbey-brewing-to-the-united-states


26 posted on 06/10/2013 4:40:00 PM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: PeevedPatriot
I think frequent habitual smoking could be sinful — but so is frequent habitual consumption of cake.

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.

27 posted on 06/10/2013 5:31:37 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
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To: markomalley
Sacred Scripture doesn’t address getting high, but it is filled with warnings about drunkenness.

This doesn't seem that complicated.

28 posted on 06/10/2013 5:38:05 PM PDT by marron
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To: James C. Bennett

The act remains open to life thus your argument is fecal, at best.


29 posted on 06/10/2013 6:06:02 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
pot makes you chill and mellow.

Especially when you're demolishing buildings in Philadelphia.

30 posted on 06/10/2013 6:11:32 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: markomalley

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.


31 posted on 06/10/2013 7:46:00 PM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
so is frequent habitual consumption of cake.

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?

32 posted on 06/10/2013 8:06:11 PM PDT by PeevedPatriot
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To: LadyDoc
2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.
33 posted on 06/10/2013 9:27:45 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: mylife
"What is the intend of Alcohol?

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.

34 posted on 06/10/2013 10:27:56 PM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; LadyDoc
"They constitute direct co-operation in evil . . . "

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.

35 posted on 06/10/2013 10:34:35 PM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: markomalley
After considering the effects of marijuana use, moral theologians said a user’s 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.

Interesting sounding guy. Ping for later.

36 posted on 06/10/2013 10:49:43 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: markomalley

Often, those with a moral conscience rejected pot use because it’s against the law.


So if something is not considered moral, just make it legal and it will be excepted.

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.


37 posted on 06/11/2013 5:32:02 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

” 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.


38 posted on 06/11/2013 5:42:40 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: PeevedPatriot

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?


It may be sinful to be addicted to something, and that would include anything but Paul explains that adultery is the only bodily sin concerning the temple of the Holy spirit.

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.


39 posted on 06/11/2013 5:44:59 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: markomalley

So I don’t think that it should be brushed off so much as “man’s law versus God’s law”


Probably right, but i was just saying that many people, not necessarily those who believe in God does base their morals on the law of the land, in other words i believe what was said in the article

Often, those with a moral conscience rejected pot use because it’s against the law.


40 posted on 06/11/2013 5:58:48 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: James C. Bennett
Getting drunk is morally wrong. A little alcohol for you to get a little tipsy as per the OT is fine. Ditto with smoking. Now as regards to marijuana, I am in two minds. From a purely religious/moral point of view, you are correct, i see no difference between that and cigarettes as both get you mildly high and have no other benefits (wine can arguably be used to warm you up or add flavor to food, ditto beer)

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

41 posted on 06/11/2013 6:09:39 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Cronos

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.


42 posted on 06/11/2013 8:57:08 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

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.


43 posted on 06/11/2013 9:02:09 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Rashputin; mylife

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.


44 posted on 06/11/2013 9:25:56 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: James C. Bennett

As I said — those are my perceptions.


45 posted on 06/11/2013 10:55:24 PM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Cronos

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?


46 posted on 06/11/2013 11:45:03 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: FourtySeven; mylife
Yes, it does answer the question.

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.

47 posted on 06/12/2013 12:35:10 AM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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