Medical Marijuana


#1

Hey everyone. Would using Medical Marijuana be moral according to Catholic teaching? I know it is a mind altering drug but then again, many narcotic pain medicines also alter the mind and can even cause one to experience a sort of “high” even if they are used as directed. Also, what about legalizing Medical Marijuana?

For a long time I have been for the legalization of Medical Marijuana but only for serious health conditions like cancer. However, I want to know for sure whether or not my stance is in accordance with Catholic teaching. If my stance is not the same as the Church’s then I will happily change my stance.


#2

I’m going to answer this way: The notion of a “medicinal” use for Pot was dumb before I became a Catholic and it seems just as dumb now. Why do you think they call it dope?

Glenda


#3

I was the primary caretaker of a 20-something cancer patient for a year. Chemo was awful. My husband was missing work (which we couldn’t afford), losing weight rapidly (think 10-15 lbs every two weeks), and was constantly having to go to ER for IVs of saline because he couldn’t keep anything, including water, down.

Our pot head neighbor noticed the sickness and hair loss, and knocked on my door with a small bag of marijuana. He explained that his grandmother used it when she had cancer and it helped a lot. It took a lot of convincing, but I got my husband to try it. There was a pretty rough adjustment period, but once he learned to handle his high, things turned around. He stopped losing weight, he was able to work from home, he could stay hydrated, he could enjoy visits from family. Those things made a huge difference in his recovery. Although medicinal marijuana was not legal in our state, he had his oncologist’s full support. Our neighbor kept him well stocked, and we always joked that he was our other pharmacist. Zofran (very expensive, top of the line anti nausea drug given to chemo patients) has NOTHING on cannabis.

The idea of my husband smoking pot for fun is laughable. Like really, really laughable. I do on occasion, but he has no interest in it. But if he relapsed he’d use it again in a heartbeat. It was the difference between a warm Christmas with his family, and sleeping and vomiting in bed all day while his mother and I dried each other’s tears.

I just can’t imagine how this sort of help for someone who is suffering could be wrong. And it’s my understanding that the CCC allows for it as well. To me, telling an AIDS victim or cancer patient that they can’t relieve their suffering and enjoy time with their loved ones because irresponsible people sometimes have problems with that drug is far more morally problematic. You wouldn’t take my benzodiazepine away from me on those grounds, would you? Or tell someone coming out of surgery that they can’t have morphine because some people have an opiate addiction?

There’s a regular (conservative catholic) poster who uses it legally for her own health problems. If you PM me and you’re interested in speaking with her, I’ll ask her if I can reveal her identity and put you in touch. Her experience and perspective is very interesting. I’m also happy to answer questions privately. I’m pretty limited in what I reveal about this here for the sake of my husband’s dignity and our anonymity.


#4

Using marijuana was wrong before, is wrong now and will be wrong in the future. Slapping an additional word in front of it like “medicinal” can’t change anything anymore than it would change meth, shrooms or Budweiser.


#5

I have worked in the medical field for for 28 years and have seen it work wonders on patients with Cancer, AIDs and chronic pain sufferers. For some reason the world feels its ok to take other plants and make highly addictive pain medications such as opiates but “pot” gets such a bad rap. Its a shame.


#6

You are obviously poorly informed about the medical benefits of marijuana. It has been shown to decrease pain, help patients undergoing chemo and to stop severe seizures.

Whether people like it or not, most of the anti-marijuana hype comes from the big oil companies and I believe the pharmaceutical industry as well. There are enough good uses for “pot” and hemp that it eats into their profit margins.

One of the reasons growing hemp is illegal is the fact that the oil companies make big money on the production of synthetic materials for making ropes. Hemp used to be used, but is now illegal. Oil companies also make money on synthetic materials like polyester for our clothing, plastics etc…all petroleum products. Hemp is an excellent fiber for making clothing and is a natural fiber.

I am for the legalization of marijuana across the board. People should be able to get this under safe conditions and certainly medical uses. We would also have at our disposal a natural product to use for making ropes again, material for clothing and other useable products. Time to get over the “pot” phobia folks.

Sound, fair regulation of the product does need to be included, but that needs to come about via a new regulatory group outside of the pharmacies and tobacco industries. They already make enough money.


#7

Taking drugs (whatever they may be) prescribed by a doctor is not immoral or sinful.

CCC 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.


#8

Right there with you. I have had chronic pain issues for 30 years. They are very glad to give me opiates with warnings about addiction (thankfully I am not prone to addiction at all), but let me ask about “pot.” Wow, they are ready to call the cops!!!

My sister is on morphine, codeine and hydro-codone for pain. (End stage of Crohns). She dare not ask about medicinal pot. No way! She is dying from her illness, but God forbid she be pain free.

I am more concerned about drunks than I am about those using pot. Time to get over the dribble about the uses of marijuana and start making it available and legal.


#9

There may be some medicinal aspects to it but the idea of smoking anything to improve health is ludicrous. Marijuana extracts can be taken orally but all we keep hearing about is the “right to smoke pot”.


#10

It’s not sinful to use drugs for medicinal purposes. Morphine, for example, has stronger side-effects than marijuana but that doesn’t stop doctors from using it and the Magisterium does not condemn the prudential use of painkillers with side-effects, provided that it isn’t used in an unnecessarily abusive manner. In the ancient world, other than aspirin, lots of alcohol was pretty much the only available option for a person in severe pain from physical injury or a lethal disease, and it continued to be commonly used even into the 19th century.

Proverbs 31-4-7:
It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.


#11

If marijuana was subjected to the same sort of processing that opiates are, isolating the effective components to measured doses and distributed by pharmacists and doctors under the same strict controls, I don’t see a problem.

Giving someone an open ended ‘script’ to take to a dope dealer and ‘legitimately’ stock up for your friends and family is an obvious ploy to undermine the law by using sick people to guilt trip good people into backing down.

When abortion entered into legal practice it was strictly qualified as a lifesaving medical procedure for a mother. How quickly it became a legitimate lifestyle/contraception choice. There are other ways and avenues to solve problems through the amazing medical ingenuity of clever scientists that can do just about anything. Even the incredible leaps and bounds in cancer treatment have made some cancers now completely curable which was hard to have foreseen even a short time ago.

When something is classed as a medicine, it should be accountable to the same strict controls that all other medicines are subject too.


#12

Can I just go to an opium den and smoke my pain relief?


#13
  1. Uncontrolled substances aren’t nearly as safe as prescribed ones
  2. You’d be funding drug dealers
  3. You can’t use ‘medicinal’ as an obvious excuse. You don’t need an opiate if you have a bit of a headache.

Alcohol was used in the past because that’s the best you had to work with, and it didn’t fund people that sold drugs to addicted souls in destitution and were involved in other activities like human trafficking and what have you.

I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist. I’m not going to comment about the practical implications of how marijuana can be applied as a drug, but in principle, there’s nothing wrong with it.


#14

But as I understand it,

  1. smoking marijuana is an uncontrolled substance.

  2. medical marijuana scripts can’t be filled with anyone but an illegal dealer.

  3. It is medicinally prescribed not predominantly for cancer treatment… but for insomnia, anxiety, depression and the like, which are ironically compounded by the aftermath of usage.


#15

Yes. It would be moral if it were prescribed for a theraputic purpose.

It is a plant like any other from which medicine and medicinal treatments can be derived. From the poppy, we get morphine and we get opium/heroin. One is moral, the other is not.

Marijuana is no different.

That is legitimately within the purview of the state.

There is no moral problem with your stance.


#16

hello Cricket.

Not to be trite, but if you were scheduled to leave on a flight from New York to Paris and had three stops to make along the way and stepped onto the plane, glanced to your right and saw your captain taking a pre-flight toke with a few of the Stewardesses, do you think you’d finish your flight without any anxiety at all? Legalize pot and you’ll find it in such places.

Glenda


#17

These type of fear-based what-if scenarios are feeble at best. Industries have rules and regulations for employees. Legalizing does not insinuate that everyone will use just because it is legal.


#18

On my Iowa Dr’s recommendation I moved to Colorado for medical marijuana under the supervision of an Internist MD in Colorado. Primarily for chronic nausea, vomiting and weight loss due to Diabetic Neuropathic Gastroparesis (Paralyzed Stomach). After two years of smoking medical marijuana my Colorado internist took me off of 3 FDA Drugs. One for Diabetes (Metformin/Glucophage) one for high BP (Lisinopril) and one for high Cholesterol (Symvastatin). You can’t argue with the doctor and test results. So after these great positive test results from the doctor I need some help on a few questions. 1) Did God Create the Cannabis Sativa Plant (Marijuana)? Or did Richard Nixon create marijuana? As God did create the Cannabis Sativa plant (GEN 1:29) what were His intentions for that plant and the rest of His Creation? Also do we preach God’s word or man’s political ideals? Thanks for your insight. I’m not troubled at all about ‘altering my conscious’ with marijuana for medical needs even though the church in the 1950’s-90’s told me it was a sin. After this experience I do not even believe it’s a sin to use marijuana on any personal adult level. He Created this plant and He put it here. I suppose you could then interpret that anyway you want but would that make it right. Are we able to even look at the medical benefits from the Cannabis plant fairly without previous political or personal feelings? I am curious as to how other Christians from other areas think about this. Thank you for your insight and if you need to you can just refer to me as the degenerate one. I know He doesn’t think that. BTW I am a 61 year old man.


#19

Wow, there are so many beautiful stories like this but everyone is so focused on misuse that they cant see the forest. If people would just be open to listening to these types of stories, but :frowning: most are closed minded on the issue.


#20

No citations?

The Vatican Pharmacy won’t prescribe it.

catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=18206

It is not approved by the FDA, which, if it were, means it would be sold in pharmacies.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine presents information about using it and its effects:

asam.org/for-the-public/marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Agency has issued the following fact sheet:

justice.gov/dea/pr/multimedia-library/publications/drug_of_abuse.pdf#page=68

Pope Francis is against drug legalization:

dioceseofcleveland.org/popecondemnslegalizationofmarijuana/

Peace,
Ed


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