The Morality of Legal but Non-Therapeutic Drugs


#1

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

Respect for health

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2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

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2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

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2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

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.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm#2288

I notice in paragraph 2290 that it says that the virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess such as the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco and medicine. Further it seems to say that if one is drunk and causes danger to other people whether it be on the road, at sea or in the air that they have committed a grave sin. But I have a question. Does this mean that the abuse of food, tobacco, and medicine are not ever considered to be grave matter (they are venial sins)? Also, does it mean that drunkenness is a venial sin unless one causes danger to others because of it?

I also noticed that in paragraph 2291 the Catechism says that the use of drugs, except for non-therapeutic reasons is grave matter. And I have another question. When they talk about "drugs" are they talking about all drugs or just illegal drugs?

Thank you in advance for your reply. I am trying to understand the issue but it is confusing to me.


#2

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:325449"]
Does this mean that the abuse of food, tobacco, and medicine are not ever considered to be grave matter (they are venial sins)? Also, does it mean that drunkenness is a venial sin unless one causes danger to others because of it?

[/quote]

They are considered grave matter if they cause serious danger to oneself or others. (losing the use of reason is serious harm)

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:325449"]
I also noticed that in paragraph 2291 the Catechism says that the use of drugs, except for non-therapeutic reasons is grave matter. And I have another question. When they talk about "drugs" are they talking about all drugs or just illegal drugs?

[/quote]

The legality of something does not have an effect on its effects on health, ergo all recreational drug use is proscribed.


#3

[quote="devoutchristian, post:2, topic:325449"]
They are considered grave matter if they cause serious danger to oneself or others. (losing the use of reason is serious harm)

The legality of something does not have an effect on its effects on health, ergo all recreational drug use is proscribed.

[/quote]

Oh okay. Well that certainly makes sense. Thank you DevoutChristian! :thumbsup:


#4

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:325449"]
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm#2288

I notice in paragraph 2290 that it says that the virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess such as the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco and medicine. Further it seems to say that if one is drunk and causes danger to other people whether it be on the road, at sea or in the air that they have committed a grave sin. But I have a question. Does this mean that the abuse of food, tobacco, and medicine are not ever considered to be grave matter (they are venial sins)? Also, does it mean that drunkenness is a venial sin unless one causes danger to others because of it?

I also noticed that in paragraph 2291 the Catechism says that the use of drugs, except for non-therapeutic reasons is grave matter. And I have another question. When they talk about "drugs" are they talking about all drugs or just illegal drugs?

Thank you in advance for your reply. I am trying to understand the issue but it is confusing to me.

[/quote]

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

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 section you draw from is respect for health...

Notice the virtue of temperance.

1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72 Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites."73 In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74

So, this is an issue with morality

and the moral life disposes you to the gifts of the spirit

1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.109 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

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.

Drugs can harm and note that their is therapeutic use and clandestine use. It is possible to use drugs prescribed therapeutically as other than therapeutic and that would then be not in keeping with the virtue of temperance nor lead to a moral life that predisposes you to the gifts of the spirit and showing fruits of the spirit. It goes without saying that illicit drugs are equivalent in measure to the use of thereapeutic drugs that are used for recreation and not for the prescribed purpose...


#5

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