Medical Marijuana

Hi,

I was recently shocked to discover that someone close to me is involved in the production of medical marijuana. I am aware that this is a knee jerk reaction on my part.

Does anyone know of any Catholic principles that might come to bear on the morality of such a business? It has been legalized in Canada for the last year, and from a business perspective, this could be a very lucrative market. I know that many states in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana.

I would appreciate any thoughts or insights. This issue has caught be by surprise, so I am still forming my conscience (and my wife’s) about it.

I found this interesting web site on the pros and cons: medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001325

God bless,
Ut

What, are you too holy to smoke medical marijuana?

So called “medical marijuana” is just as big a lie as “planned parenthood” “euthanasia” “safe sex” freedom of “choice” aka killing the unborn just because. Modern medicine can provide proper treatment, there is no “need” for “medical” marijuana, despite all anecdotal “evidence” to the contrary. In truth, helping to drug the general population is gruesome work. Lord have mercy on those who participate in any of these evils.

Hi Sherry,

I share your sentiment, but if I’m going to have any kind of positive discussion with my friend about his involvement, I’m going to need some hard data to back my claims. So far the website I linked to is confusing.

Canada’s liberal party, not in power at the moment, want to completely legalize Marijuana if they get elected in the next Federal election. I am hoping there are good resources with solid scientifically based arguments about why this should not be done.

Currently, I only have anecdotal evidence from my observations of people using in college and high school, and how it pretty much ruined most of their lives, who got involved in it. There were those who seemed to thrive despite their drug use, but, in my experience, they were not the norm.

God bless,
Ut

Seems to be a non-issue. If medical, then why begrudge your friend any more than any other pharmacy or medical device provider; if recreational, no different than a wine, spirit maker or brewer.

Both depend on whether the “if” statements are true. That is precisely what I am questioning. I am open to being proved wrong about my anecdotal impression on this issue, but I need evidence to back me up either way.

God bless,
Ut

I was unaware of Holly’s thread here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=894327&page=3

I’ll follow along there/contribute. No need to start this new one.

God bless,
Ut

What things does medical marijuana cure? Is it a standard treatment therapy mentioned in the Merck Manual for any condition?

It does not seem to cure anything, just like morphine does not cure anything. It helps manage symptoms. On Holly’s thread, I have read several cases of it being used in palliative care scenarios with regard to managing the side effects of cancer drugs.

God bless,
Ut

It helps separate the gullible from their cash.

If you had chronic pain with insomnia or were taking chemo, your thoughts might be different.

Just curious as to why you would want to discuss this with your friend. While I think medical marijuana is, in fact, no better than a placebo (my wife is family physician and is dead set against it), it is legal in Canada under very restricted conditions, with restrictions on its production.

The College of Physicians of Quebec only allows doctors to prescribe it as part of a research study. I’m not sure about the other provinces.

Provided your friend is doing it above board, and is an adult, (s)he has made their own legal and moral choice. I also don’t believe the Church has made any moral pronouncements on this, or at least nothing infallible. So prudential judgement is what should guide us, and I think you have to respect that your friend made a choice that you may not be in agreement with, just as he or she may do in all other aspects of life.

The Vatican pharmacy will not prescribe it.

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

Peace,
Ed

Ethically speaking; our perception of Marijuana is simply wrong. We appear to categorise it alongside illicit use of cocaine, or heroin; however this view is simply wrong and flies in the face of everything we know about the chemical make up on the plant. First we assume that Marijuana impairs the cognitive faculties at all doses, this assertion is simply not true. Some strains of the plant impair cognitive faculties at higher doses, some strains appear to have no effect on cognitive faculties. This means our categorising marijuana as a stupefying medicative substance like Heroin can not be substantiated; and we are forced to concede that it would be better categorised alongside another stupefying substance that we call Alcohol.

Medically speaking, the circa 23 active cannabinoids in Cannabis each have different, and sometimes contradictory, effects. The two main ones are actually contradictory to each other; the one is psychoactive, whilst the other is anti-psychotic. The NHS in Britain has just applied for a license to research CBD in treatment of Schizophrenia. The research results coming out of Belgium on the same subject matter has shown it to be stronger than any of the current anti-psychotics in use with none of the side effects commonly associated with anti-psychotics.

I see nothing morally problematic here from a Natural Law perspective.

Its pathetic that some people in this country wish to deny people treatment JUST because it comes from a plant, that SOME people use to get high from. LOL I laugh when I hear people make these arguments!

Law enforcement and Govt have done a GREAT job at brainwashing a large percentage of the population.

Btw, Heroin is recognized as having medical uses in the UK and some other countries, yet not so in the US. but we claim to be on the cutting edge of medicine and other treatments…?? I truly dont understand this country anymore.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine disagrees.

asam.org/for-the-public/marijuana

As does the FDA, which has not approved marijuana for medical conditions.

Peace,
Ed

From what I have read it seems to manage pain symptoms for chronic conditions and palliative care as previously mentioned. I don’t think there is any moral issue to producing or using it any more than there is a moral issue to producing hydrocodone or oxycontin. These two pain killers can wreak havoc in an addict but they also improve quality of life for sufferers of things like rheumatoid arthritis. I don’t use it and don’t drink but I see little difference between it and alcohol, really, Excess and escapism is the moral issue. Gluttony, in other words.

Would you fault your friend if he were a pharmacist mixing a cocktail of opioid medications for a sick person with stage 4 cancer? Would you judge him if he were brewing holiday beer and giving it away to friends or sharing it at a party in moderation?

Actually, you will find that this statement isn’t entirely accurate. Addiction is not caused by drugs any more than obesity is caused by food. It triggers the condition but there are underlying issues (in the case of addiction, there are genetic factors in play). One cannot be turned into an addict any more than one can be turned into a kleptomaniac. You are or you aren’t. For more information from the same site on addiction (see the long definition):

asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction

I take misinformation of addiction seriously as my mother is a recovering alcoholic who struggles with our extended family who thinks she is just weak willed and judge her, harshly, based off of what is essentially a disease that she is seeking treatment for in a 12 Step program.

Is that an infallible pronouncement?

Note I too am against MM. As is the local college of physicians that deemed it can only be prescribed as part of a research protocol.

My point rather is that if someone makes the moral decision to produce legal MM, then I don’t see the OP’s point of arguing with his friend.

As I stated in the OP, I am still forming my conscience about this issue. That a substance is legal does not necessarily mean that the legislation making it legal was well thought out. As for respecting my friend’s right to make choices that I do not agree with, I agree with you, but I also think we ought not to neglect our prophetic role as Christians, especially when the person we are discussing is a trusted friend who would not be offended by such comments from me.

God bless,
Ut

Ed, I saw this post, along with some other links on Holly’s thread. Thank you for it.

I don’t think that the Vatican pharmacy is a branch of the magisterium, so I am not sure what value to place in their prescribing it or not. As I have come to learn from others, in Canada at least, it seems like the prescription of medical marijuana will be tightly controlled and may be used for scientific research in many places, to better study the medicinal value of the substance. At least, this is my hope.

God bless,
Ut

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