Church definition of "drug"

On another thread, someone asked if marijuana was sinful, and why it was sinful if it was. Most of the responses consisted of “it’s a drug and drugs are sinful” and “breaking the law is sinful”. I won’t address the second one, because there are already states in which it is entirely legal to smoke marijuana.

So my question is, what makes marijuana different/worse than alcohol or caffeine? Both of those subsistances also have an physiological effect on the human body when ingested, and both can be abused to the point of addiction or death.

I the broader question behind this one is what the church considers to be a drug.

Read the articles posted in that thread.

Catechism:

Respect for health

2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

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.

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.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm#2288

Drugs as in what is discussed when one speaks of *drug traffriking *etc.

One does not get into smuggling aspirin across the border.

That may be true, but the US played with the idea of prohibiting alcohol once, too.
We all know where that led.

And then, there are states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, so the “illegality” aspect is shot down too.

How many people use pharmaceuticals in ways that they are not prescribed for or “share” them? Should we prohibit their use also?

And then there is caffiene, tobacco (which BTW, is 1000x more addicting than pot is, and much more harmful), and the aforementioned alcohol.

If you don’t want to smoke pot, don’t.
If you don’t want to drink, don’t
If you don’t want to use tobacco, or caffeine, or sugar, or anything else that can alter your reality, don’t.

But please, stop making rules for other Catholics to follow that the Church does not make for us.

No comparison.

And did you read the CCC full quote?

Your mixing matters.

Where have I done that? I do not make any rules - except for my family.

See the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the morality of drug use.

See the statements of the various Catholic Bishops, see the Statements of Popes on drugs, see the Pontifical Council for on heath pastoral handbook, see the various Catholic Moral Theologians…

And of course medically -see the science as the terrible effects on the person.

The OP question was about what is meant by drug there in the CCC.

The CCC is not referring there to caffine etc but to what people commonly refer to as drugs…the kind of things that are smuggled. That was my point.

The CCC address alcohol and tobacco and medicines under the previous section as a different matter.

See the full section.

I have read them all. They are all opinions.

I will not argue with you about the rest, as it always falls on deaf ears.

Drug use (as opposed to “abuse”) is not something that is regulated by Church. Our prudential judgment (which is a gift from God, BTW) can & must be used.

The Catechism is not opinion.

See above.

And one can find I am sure loads of documents about how bad drug use is.

That may be, but the question came out of a discussion on the use of marijuana.
In many places, both here in the US and abroad, marijuana is not illegal, so how can you use this definition?

Opiate painkillers are more dangerous, but because they are “prescribed” they are OK?
Did you know that they are one of the most widely “smuggled” drugs in the prison system, and in high schools, where most kids get them from their parents & grandparents’ medicine cabinets?
Yet, addiction to them is the leading cause of the uprise in the addiction to heroin.

The fact you can’t see you are making your own rules about this is not helping anyone.

"The Church opposes the legalization of drugs. This includes so-called soft drugs, which it sees as fomenting the same type of dependence mentality and the loss of personal dignity that hard drugs produce.

The manual points out that the state has a duty to protect citizens and promote the common good. Legalizing drugs would be a serious blow to potential users, damaging their health and stunting their lives.

From a medical point of view, the division between soft and hard drugs is hard to draw. In many cases what is more important is the quantity of substances consumed, how they have been taken and whether they have been mixed. Moreover, new drugs are constantly arriving on the scene, along with new side effects and questions about their potency.

The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers also points out that drug abuse has significant non-physical effects. The psychological and behavioral consequences of soft drugs lead to substantial problems, even if their physiological effects are not as serious as those of hard drugs."

from: a manual on drugs and Church policy published this month by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. “Church, Drugs, and Drug Addiction”

catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/where-the-church-draws-the-line-on-drugs.html

See the CCC

Medicine is treated in the earlier section.

Again where have I made any rules?

Where?

I have stated with the Church Teaches and tried to give an example of what is meant by
“drugs” in that section.

In the other tread I provided my thought on the matter and then provided information from the Catechism, Bishops, Theologians etc.

Please cease such statements.

en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/20/pope_no_to_recreational_and_substitute_drugs_/1101975

catholicnewsagency.com/news/drugs-a-new-form-of-slavery-pope-francis-says-87678/

I am not going to argue about this.

“Soft drugs”, that’s a new one to me.

A drug is a drug, it’s all about intention. Smoking a little pot (what started this whole question in the first place) is no more dangerous than having an occasional drink.

Nicotine has been proven to be more addicting than heroin.
I don’t see anyone saying that smoking a pipe or a cigarette is a sin, so just because it’s legal, it’s OK?

It’s threads like this that make me really question whether this forum is a help or a hindrance:rolleyes:.

We are discussing the Catechism use -not some other use of the term.

What you bring up in terms of smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol is covered differently in Catechism…that is the whole point. Different matters.

(Yes smoking pot is very very different than drinking an occasional drink -see the other thread…this thread is not about that)

(no it is not simply ok cause smoking is legal…see again the Catechism).

Whether a drug is legal or not doesn’t really come into it. God created us with freewill and when we abuse drugs we are surrendering our ability to use that freewill and self control rationality. We are basically putting our lives in the hands of something other than God and that is a form of idolatry.

I’m still a little confused. Do you mean that the CCC define drugs based on legality rather than affect on the human body?

I actually looked up the CCC, and it wasn’t any clearer.

[quote=CCC on Drugs]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.

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.
[/quote]

It never explains why alcohol and tobacco are considered as not being drugs (they too “inflict very grave damage to human health and life” - just ask any Lung Cancer Patient or Alcohol Poisoning Survivor), nor does it explain the difference between drugs and medicine (and there is a strong overlap between the two).

You mentioned that drugs are things that are trafficked, but that varies from country to country. Does that make alcohol a drug in Saudi Arabia but not in the United States, and does it make marijuana a drug in the United States but not in Spain?

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