Why is smoking pot a sin, but other substances like nicotine, alcohol, caffiene, and medicine not a sin

What makes smoking weed and doing other drugs a sin, but drinking alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and medicine, not a sin. I am not at all for it I was just wondering mainly out of scrupulosity and wonder.

Also why wouldn’t sleep or calm inducing tea, (example: Valerian root or camamele ) be a sin as well. Hope you all can help me out

Who says using marijuana is actually a sin? It may be illegal under the laws of man, but that does not necessarily make it sinful.

who says smoking cigerettes isnt a sin?

I wouldn’t think that the actual act of smoking weed would be a sin but if it is illegal in said area then it would be a sin. For instance if you live in Colorado I since it’s legal there, would it still be considered a sin in regards to drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes?

If you are trying to get high it is grave matter and mortal sin if it is done with full knowledge and consent because it impairs your reason. That is why getting drunk on purpose is also a mortal sin. If you had a small amount of alcohol or marijuana and only got some of your reason impaired that is a venial sin. I don’t know if there is an exception to using marijuana for medical reasons. If it is the person would have to use the smallest amount they can. Nicotine does not impair your reason and neither does caffeine. Medicine helps the person.

:thumbsup: This.

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.

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.

I don’t know why someone would smoke marijuana (or if it’s possible to do so, even in a small amount) without getting high, you don’t really do it for the taste…anyone with more experience care to comment?



As another note, we are morally bound to obey just laws. Since the government does have the right to control substances such as marijuana, using it where it is illegal would be a sin, even if it were possible to do so without impairing our reason.

To address the medicine portion of the question in the OP, giving up control of our will is allowable if there is a grave reason for doing so (anethesia, for example), so even medicines that impair our reason can be legitimate when taken for medical reasons. Whether marijuana for medical reasons falls under such category is something I do not know.

doesn’t the bible say that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and not to put anything unclean into it…I know when I was a Pentecostal this verse was used to discourage people from smoking cigarettes

To clarify: none of these things are intrinsically evil. It is not **objectively **a mortal, or even a venial, sin, to smoke weed.

However, because of the surrounding causes of weed, it is very often a sin, because it is very easy to get high and completely wipe out reasoning faculties for a time.

It is a sin to obstruct the use of our reason by any means, because it is one of the greatest gifts God has given to man. Therefore, all of things above which you listed could be mortally sinful if consumed to such an extent that they caused the effect of a man losing some of his reasoning faculties.

With caffeine, this doesn’t happen very easily. With alcohol, it happens much more easily. With marijuana, it happens very easily. All of these things can be sinful, but the illusion that marijuana is worse is only due to the fact that the substance causes its affect more effectively.

this is a great question. we are to “avoid every kind of excess” and refrain from “abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco,” but who decides what excess and abuse are? is it excess or abuse to have 4 or 5 beers at home while watching a game with friends and not driving anywhere? there is even some evidence that alcohol in moderation is good for us. and regarding 2291, man has decided which drugs are legal (alcohol, nicotine) and which aren’t (marijuana, cocaine), so what drugs does this refer to?

amazingly, this even ties into the “controversial” religous freedom law that is being debated in Indiana. The main driver beind the federal law that came about over 20 years ago was over the use of of peyote by Native Americans. Peyote was an illegal drug, but Native Americans claimed to use peyote in religous practices, so this law was put in place to protect Native American religous freedom. In other words, a substance was deemed to be an illegal drug by some and a perfectly normal and even religous substance by others. It just shows that this is a really difficult question to answer. I think it really comes down to intent. In my example, having a few beers in a social setting and having a harmless good time with friends should not be considered excess or abuse even you become drunk. But if it’s a recurring thing, where you drink with the purpose of impairing yourself, to deal with depression or boredom or whatever, then that’s a sin. And I think it would be hypocritical to view marijuana any differently.

IMO because you glossed over a key difference. Non-medicinal marijuana only has one purpose - its intoxicating effect. When you use it, you directly intend to intoxicate, to impair your faculties. For beer, wine, etc., however, the principle of double effect applies. If consumed as a food product, the direct effect is sustenance and flavor, and the intoxicating effect is the indirect effect.

yes, but wouldn’t intent still come into play here? is it sinful if you smoke pot just to relax vs. someone who smokes pot because they want to be in some altered state of being? I smoked pot a few times in my college years, but ultimately stopped because I really hated the way it made me feel and act. to this day I can’t undertsand why anyone would want to feel that way, so believe me, I’m no advocate, but I’m not so sure it’s automatically sinful to smoke pot. I do get the key difference you outlined, and I agree, I’m just not sure that difference is enough to make one a sin and the other not.

I don’t know anyone who drinks any kind of alcohol who thinks of it as a food. The whole point of alcohol is to relax, get a buzz, or get drunk.

Marijuana is legal in my state. I think it’s funny that, while I smoked it when much younger, I don’t want to now. The only thing it did for me was make me sleepy, and I can get a pill to do that much more cheaply! :slight_smile:

Almost anything (maybe everything) that is ingested, including food, is mood altering to a degree.

The principle of double effect can apply to marijuana in the same way it applies to alcohol; if one is consuming either in a social situation, it can be consumed primarily for social reasons, not “just” to get high.

I agree…You can have one beer, wine, or hard drink & enjoy the taste. You won’t be intoxicated. This is not sinful.

No one smokes a joint just to enjoy the flavor. The purpose is to get high & impair your thinking. …Sinful!

I would argue are marijuana laws are extremely unjust. It was put on schedule 1 of controlled substances based on prejudices, racism, and perception, not science.

Marijuana can be used as a valuable medicine, and the THC can even be removed so you don’t get high but get the medicinal benefits. You can also take it without smoking it.

Since it is on schedule 1 there is no funding for research and it remains controversial, but most people leaving the ER walk out with far more dangerous and powerful drugs (narcotics) in their little pain control goody bag.

It’s really sad because marijuana has been proven to help a lot of people and we need to lessen the regulation so that people can use it safely under a doctors direction.

The medical reasons should not be part of this discussion…Even morphine is prescribed by doctors in a hospital.

The catechism says differently:
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.

LOL…beer consumed as a food…right!!! Hops, Barley, Malt…hey, its just Cheerios in a can!

And something you don’t hear to often is…"Boy I’m really hungry…pass me that jug of wine, will you?

Intoxication is not necessarily a sin…its the degree and intent of intoxication that might be problematic…science shows how very minimal traces can impair, but is that level intoxication?

Biblically, this low level intoxication might be argued as an intended effect of alcohol, thus hardly sinful…especially if we consider the Psalms claiming that God created wine to gladden the hearts of man…“gladden” might be this low level intoxication…perhaps being “gladdened” is quite acceptable in the eyes of God, where being “falling down glad” might not be!:smiley:

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