Illegal and legal drug use

is it a sin to use marijauna in a country where it is illegal?

How grave is it?

what if you use it moderately (like using alcohol) in a country where it IS legal?

God does not want us to cloud our minds; and, unlike alcohol, there is no threshold level of cannabis below which you do not cloud the mind. In fact, clouding the mind is the whole point of using cannabis.

This would make its use a sin even in places where it has been made legal. By inflicting (short term) damage on part of one’s being, namely the mind, one is sinning against one’s life. “Thou shalt not kill.”

In places where it is not legal, the sin is compounded by the need to consort with criminals in order to buy it, contributing financially to an illegal marketplace that generates violence and murder. Again, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Either way, “getting mellow” is not worth it.

Just my MX$2 worth, I am not a priest.


Hi jmphillips,
I agree with GEddie’s post completely.
Cannabis is a “gateway” drug: it can lead to the use of hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and any number of their derivatives.
“Moderate” use is a myth.
God Bless,

Can you give evidence for these claims? Please avoid using sources that have inherent interest in this case, such as jobs to loose, like the DEA. Perhaps a medical journal would be a good source.

Since the offense of breaking a civil law is a civil offense (unless the act is sinful regardless of legality) it has civil, rather than spiritual, consequences. In other words, civil law does not make something sinful that otherwise wasn’t sinful so long as one is capable of dealing with the civil penalties if caught. For example, it wouldn’t be moral for a mother of two children to risk going to jail for a few years, since that would compromise the welfare of her children, but it would be moral for her to risk getting a speeding ticket. That is why driving a few mph over the speed limit isn’t usually sinful.

Hi BobObob,
I will certainly do the medical research on this one.
In the meantime, I know enough anecdotal evidence to post as I did.
God Bless,

It should be noted that virtually everyone who used both marijuana and harder drugs has also used alcohol. This would mean that if you said “most heroin (or cocaine, etc,) users use marijuana”, that same would have to be said for alcohol. The only way to figure out if something is a gateway substance that causes others to be more likely to use another drug than they otherwise would be, would be to control for everything else.

BTW, one should always ask the question, when taking any drug (including alcohol), “Am I self-medicating?” Many people who abuse substances are self-medicating an underlying, emotional issue. That is partly why there may be correlations between using marijuana and using harder drugs.

Eddie - Thanks for the input – your last paragraph is pause for consideration. I do disagree with your input on the ‘Threshold’ perspective as I do feel you can use marijuana at a level equal to a drink or two, which seems to be so acceptable by society. Either can cause one to become addicted should you have a vulnerability or inclination toward addictions and/or you are using to medicate an underlying disorder. Having said that, as a MH worker, I hear story after story of folks, especially with ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, and Bipolar who have tried many prescribed medications that do not address the symptoms as accurately as marijuana does. I have met adults who have used marijuana for this purpose for years and years without it ever affecting their function level, motivation, becoming addictive or leading them to other drugs (all true possibilities but NOT always the case with many people).

it will be curious to see what happens if CA legalizes it

in the context of sin, i see it as an equal to alcohol IF it is legal in the eyes of civic law - both have the potential to do harm to your body if you abuse it

Colmcille - I would love to take a look at any research you uncover as long as it is not from a source like a recovery program who are looking to drum up business (which is what I found a lot of when I quickly scanned the net)

BobObob – Love your “Listen to …” quote / i am not sure about the civil law vs. sin theory - this is the part I am doing the most soul searching with - aren’t we suppose to follow the law of the land unless it (following the law) causes us to sin against God & work toward changing an unjust law? The Catechism says this I believe. I do agree with your ‘Gateway’ logic - how can you tell whether alcohol or marijuana was the ‘Gateway’ - most people start with alcohol, progress to marijuana, then onto other things (maybe - know many who do not go past marijuana and I am hearing that things are shifting among children - seeing more skipping alcohol and starting with marijuana because it is more accessible

Thanks for everyone’s input


I’ve actually heard that tobacco is more of a “gateway” drug than weed is. Ever notice that a rather large percentage of alcoholics and heavy drug abusers also smoke tobacco. I’ve noticed that people who prefer cannabis aren’t as much into the tobacco and only some go on to use heavy drugs (meth, cocaine, etc.).

“Moderate” use is a myth.

Not so. One can consume a small amount of cannabis in order to gain a desired effect (i.e., relief from pain, nausea) without getting “totally stoned, dude!” Actually, one of the great advantages to inhaled cannabis vapors (not smoke but vapors) is that one can regulate exactly how much one receives to obtain the desired effect and not get “totally stoned, dude!” Unlike pills, which are a guessing game, or edibles, i.e., rice crispy treats with marijuana (which are GROSS!), which take up to an hour to take full effect. Smokes or vaporized cannabis takes a matter of second to five minutes to take full effect.

Purely recreational use isn’t a wise thing to do, but I would hardly call it terrible. Alcohol and tobacco both cause far, far more deaths and suffering than weed on its own.


BTW, one should always ask the question, when taking any drug (including alcohol), “Am I self-medicating?” Many people who abuse substances are self-medicating an underlying, emotional issue. That is partly why there may be correlations between using marijuana and using harder drugs.

This is an EXCELLENT point!

I do know that once you mature, smoking pot is a sign of sloth IMO. :eek:

Pain relief and control of nausea are not where the moral issues lie. Such are medical needs, for which cannabis is quasi-legal in USA; and no more a sin issue than the use of prescribed opioids for pain control.

Recreationally, though, cannabis is used to cloud the mind; and as such would be a sin even if fully legal. Tobacco users like to talk about the “taste” of their favorite smoke; ok, although how combustion products in one’s mouth and nose could possibly “taste” good is a mystery to me; but nobody really seems to like the smell or taste of pot, it is used to “get mellow” etc. Recreational use is where the sin lies, whatever happens in 2 weeks in California.

God Bless and ICXC NIKA

I don’t know if smoking pot is sinful, but it’s not the best choice to make a happy and decent life for you. Find other ways to relieve stress-if your insistent upon smoking, try cigars, pipes (two of my favorites) or flavored tobacco.

If you still want to smoke pot, don’t drive, don’t hurt anyone when your stoned, and don’t expect others to pay for mistakes you make when your baked.

As for drinking, while I don’t do it much, knock yourself out-your allowed to have a little fun in life.

Good post, but remember that getting drunk is likewise a sin, because of clouding the mind. Even the NT warns us not to get drunk. So know your limit. ICXC NIKA

Getting drunk is sinful? Jeez, due to my college years, I’m totally not getting a get out of purgatory free card! :smiley:

Very few of us get those, unless we become Saints or Martyrs; so don’t feel too bad.

Maybe HE will let you do your Purgatory in Colorado:):):slight_smile:


i still don’t see the difference between a few glasses of wine, beer, etc., which is practiced by many Catholics, is any different then marijuana (IF it were legal) - they ALL are serving the purpose of helping one relax

can you elaborate on how this is connected to ‘sloth’ and how it is different then the recreational use of alcohol?

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