Discouraging Recreational Drug Use

I have a young co-worker who claims it’s OK for him to use marijuana. He cites as his justification 1 Tim 4:4, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”

Now, I’ve seen that verse used to justify alcohol use (in conjunction with Jesus’ own example of drinking wine). I know that this is different, I believe because the effects of the substance on the mind and/or body are not entirely benign. The same way that being drunk is not OK because of what it does to your mind.

How can I explain this in a clear way without resorting to saying “I feel like” while I explain it? For instance, I’m sure he’ll ask what level of harm to the body counts as a sin, because he’d love to come after me for eating a lot of fried foods and try to change the subject on me.

Thanks for your help!

At the moment the “easy out” is to point out that recreational marijuana isn’t legal in Texas. Christians are supposed to obey the government as long as the law doesn’t promote evil. There is no way one could say that refraining from recreational marijuana is evil!

At the moment the “easy out” is to point out that recreational marijuana isn’t legal in Texas. Christians are supposed to obey the government as long as the law doesn’t promote evil. There is no way one could say that refraining from recreational marijuana is evil!

Now that is an angle I didn’t think of, but you’re absolutely right!

Right, it’s OK to drink alcohol, but not OK to get drunk. And it’s possible to do the former without the latter.

The only purpose behind recreational use of marijuana is getting stoned.

Now, one thing you could do is admit that gluttony is wrong if he brings that up. But food is basically nutritive, and pleasure from food is fine, but yes, gluttony is wrong.

I say this as someone who has never smoked pot, but my understanding is that there are degrees of stoned just like there are degrees of drunk. So, it’s permissible to drink alcohol to the point of feeling relaxed and maybe a little silly, but not to the point that you have no self control or are unaware of what’s going on. I’m sure he’ll argue that he’s not going to get stoned to the point of becoming completely out of his mind.

God made lots of things and they all have purposes in nature, but it is not always good to use these creations in whatever way we please. He made poisonous berries for instance, but that does not make it okay for us to eat them. The effect of marijuana on our body is also bad and should not be used in a way that affects our judgement.

You could say the same for alcohol. You can moderate marijuana use.

Also - alcohol has zero medicinal function, whereas marijuana is used by modern medicine.

Tho in an EOTWAWKI event, such as a zombie apocalypse, having some vodka put away would be a good idea. :smiley:

If I have a couple of beers, I’m a little more relaxed than when I was before having them. If I was thirsty, I’d drink water. But I like feeling a little relaxed so it’s two beers (or more). Not to the point where I am impaired to any great extent (I won’t drive after three or more).

Same with a joint. I rarely smoke one, but if I do, it’s not because I want to smoke (I don’t), it’s because I want that feeling of relaxation.

In any case, if I drank until I was drunk or smoked pot until I was stoned, then quite frankly, that’s my business anyway. Same with your friend. None of your business.

While I neither use marijuana or drink alcohol, I don’t understand the idea that it’s OK to get a bit tiddly with a couple of drinks but not with a bit of marijuana - even where it’s legal.

But anyone who does decide to use marijuana should be aware that it’s much more potent now. Back in the day we didn’t know the difference between stems & buds, so we didn’t get very high. But it’s more pure now, so use caution.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.”

mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

In any case, if I drank until I was drunk or smoked pot until I was stoned, then quite frankly, that’s my business anyway. Same with your friend. None of your business.

On the contrary, it is my business. Notice I called him a young co-worker. His performance on the job very much affects me, and I believe he’s being affected in ways he doesn’t notice. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but it’s worth finding out, don’t you think?

Beside that, helping to steer people away from harmful behavior shows that you care about them. I don’t know why people get all up in arms at every suggestion they might need to change something. It’s not like I harp on it or make a nuisance of myself.

Anyway, thanks for all the input guys.

When you say “I know this is different” – what is different? Alcohol is not entirely benign to the body either. They both are drugs, they both can be argued to have benefits when consumed in moderation, they both have gradations of intoxication. I don’t smoke pot or drink alcohol…but I don’t understand when people compare them as apples and oranges.

Have you told him that his work seems to be affected? That might do more to convince him if his job is on the line because of it.

I assumed the that the co-worker was voluntarily discussing it with the OP. Like, had asked for and was open to hearing his opinion. Not that OP was putting his nose in another’s business.

Alcohol is literally poison to the body, but our livers can handle occasional consumption.

Having partaken in both in the past, I feel it should be treated the same as alcohol. The effects are about the same level of imparedness, however alcohol can lead to false senses of ability which can be dangerous - marajuana usually makes you more cautious, so I see it less dangerous.

I applaud your loving concern for your co-worker. Here are some references to the Catechism which may aid you in your discernment:

Cooperating in the sins of others:

"1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

  • by protecting evil-doers."

The use of drugs:

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.”

The point of drug use is to get high. Getting high surrenders your will. To surrender your will on purpose is sinful because you are not in control of your will and cannot unite it to God. Rendering any attempt to be holy while high, impotent.

Where does recreational alcohol use fit into that?
Cigarettes?
Coffee?
Marijuana?

I hear you saying that intent is the bigger part of the equation, not merely the substance itself.

Is marijuana illegal in your state?
That is one moral issue. It is immoral to disobey just laws.

If it is legal, does he smoke it at work or other places where it may harm others?
Does he smoke enough to harm himself?
It is immoral to abuse created things such that we harm others or ourselves.

If it’s legal, and he smokes it responsibly, I would mind my own business.

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