Is it ethical to sell marijuana?


#1

As a Catholic, is it an ethical thing to sell marijuana in a marijuana store if it has become legalized in your state?


#2

No.

It’s unethical and immoral. That is independent of whether or not it’s legal. Also, the absence of a state law making it illegal does not change the fact that it is illegal under federal law—therefore anyone who sells it is still violating the law.


#3

It could be ethical to sell medicinal marijuana, if it is truly medicinal. It is not ethical to sell recreational marijuana.

The Catechism:

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.


#4

Some places have legalised marijuana for medicinal use, while others have legalised it for both recreational and medicinal use. That said, just because something’s legal, doesn’t make it morally right! Used medicinally, either as a treatment in itself or to help patients withstand the effects of other treatments (such as pain, nausea or seizures), it’s use is, in some cases, morally justifiable. However, recreational use (and abuse) is something which is immoral in itself and undoubtedly harmful to individuals, families and communities. This is set out in the Catechism (para 2291).

As I see it, the problem with selling marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is that the dividing line between medicinal and recreational is not always clear, and there’s a risk that medicinal use could be seen as normalising recreational drug use and abuse. I think that there’s a good argument to be made for medicinal marijuana being morally acceptable in some circumstances, but only in a way that clearly separates it from recreational use and I’m not convinced that selling it over the counter achieves this.


#5

The same could be said for the selling of booze.

:shrug:


#6

Except:

  1. The legal rubrics are already there for booze; there are no ambiguous grounds; and,

  2. Our LORD himself drank wine and presumably bought it someplace; to now question its morality would be trying to improve on HIM. Not a great idea.

ICXC NIKA


#7

Pot makes people get caught up in their own thoughts. In other words they are not dying to self to be alive in the Lord, but dwelling within their own egos.


#8

No, it would not be morally permissible to sell marijuana even if it was legal under state law.


#9

Marijuana is far, far less harmful than alcohol in just about every conceivable way… Selling marijuana where it is legal cannot be more morally evil than selling alcohol.


#10

Prostitution is legal in Nevada.
Doesn’t make prostitution ok :wink:
Marijuana is absolutely a gateway drug


#11

It absolutely is not a gateway drug-- that research has been thoroughly discredited.


#12

Disagree, with all due respect.


#13
  1. So we write legal rubrics for marijuana.

  2. The Temprance movement and Prohibition were therefore immoral? A person could take this so far as to say that any change from Jesus’s diet is an immoral attempt to improve.


#14

The Temprance movement and Prohibition were therefore immoral? A person could take this so far as to say that any change from Jesus’s diet is an immoral attempt to improve.

Asides from communion, Jesus never commanded anyone to drink alcohol. It is perfectly fine for a person to choose not to drink alcohol.


#15

I couldn’t agree more.

If we apply CCC 2291 to marijuana, then I think to be consistent it must also be applied to alcohol – unless someone wants to argue that alcohol isn’t an injurious drug.

In addition, arguing that selling marijuana in states where it has been legalized is immoral just because marijuana is still illegal under federal law seems to do some violence to the principle of subsidiarity.


#16

To my knowledge, subsidiarity is not a concept in US secular law however (I have only heard this in the context of EU community law). Even if I am wrong, it does not imply that no powers are reserved to the central authority.


#17

From a moral theology point of view: we have what we call “positive commands” in both the Old and New Testaments to drink wine. In the OT, the most important being the Passover meal. In the NT, the Last Supper.

It cannot be immoral for us to do what God Himself has commanded.

For that reason, alcohol is not objectively sinful.

Can we abstain? Yes. Christians may choose to abstain.

Can it be a sin? Yes, depending on the circumstances it can be a sin, and drinking to excess is (usually) a sin. Of course there are plenty of other examples.


#18

10th Amendment.


#19

It seems that the most that’s been demonstrated is that drinking wine in a sacramental/religious context may be morally permissible.* I’m not convinced, however, that that focused use exempts the drug alcohol in its other forms and uses from CCC 2291.

Tangentially, in view of the above, would you grant that Rastafarians and some Native Americans also have a right to use marijuana and peyote, respectively, for religious purposes?

  • I think it can be argued that, for those who struggle with alcohol abuse, drinking wine – even in a sacramental context – could be objectively sinful.

#20

Not “may” but “must be.” It is a positive command.

I’m not convinced, however, that that focused use exempts the drug alcohol in its other forms and uses from CCC 2291.

Put into the broader context it does. Wine is mentioned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments, in positive ways.

As I already said, it can be sinful to mis-use it. There’s no doubt about that.

Tangentially, in view of the above, would you grant that Rastafarians and some Native Americans also have a right to use marijuana and peyote, respectively, for religious purposes?

That depends on the question.
A purely civil legal right according to the principle of freedom of religion? Yes. With limitations and qualifications that I don’t see a need to expand.

A moral right? No. Those religious practices are not divinely revealed. Everyone has a moral right to choose a religion, but there is no moral right to engage in a particular act which is objectively sinful.

  • I think it can be argued that, for those who struggle with alcohol abuse, drinking wine – even in a sacramental context – could be objectively sinful.

No, it cannot be. It cannot be objectively sinful because it is done in obedience to a positive Divine Command (as I have already articulated).

You are confusing two opposite words: objective and subjective.

What you are describing is (or “might be”) subjectively sinful, not “objectively.”


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