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

But this is the heart of the problem. The catechism says “drugs” but WHAT drugs? caffeine is a drug, so is the cup of coffee I’m drinking right now sinful? if they simply mean “illegal” drugs, then what if marijuana becomes legal? then it’s ok?

Breaking a law that is not unjust, made by a legitimate government authority, is indeed sinful according to Church teaching.

You seem to be saying that some aspects of the marijuana laws are unjust, and with regards to they being prohibited for valid medical use, you may very well have a valid point of view (although it is very much disputed how much it helps).

Nevertheless, the prohibition of Marijuana use for recreation uses does not seem to me to be an unjust law at all (it may be an unwise law, that is a different matter). Hence, I think smoking marijuana for recreational use is certainly sinful.

Come,on, Madtom,…you have common sense! It’s all about being impaired. A cup of coffee or one beer along with a juicy steak will not impair anyone, so wouldn’t be sinful.

So, you were just being funny…right. :rolleyes:

so then it’s the amount? several beers certainly would impair. and a cup of coffee may not impair but it does have an affect. but anyway, thanks for acknowledging that I have common sense! :wink:

unintended consequence of drinking coffee is many bathroom breaks. So if I have to drive a long distance & need perking up, I take caffeine pills. The ONLY reason to take the pill is to keep awake; when I drink coffee I enjoy the flavor AND keep awake.

Both caffeine pills and coffee are as legal as marijuana here, but the reason I use one over the other is the effect.

I believe that legality does affect the morality of some actions. For instance, it is illegal in this country to drive on the left side of the road. In England, it is illegal to drive on the right. To disobey the law would be sinful, but the law is different in each country.

That the CCC uses the word “drugs” by itself is a problem. I remember a local teenager who was schizophrenic. He stopped taking his medication and killed his father. The mother later said they had agreed to his not taking the meds because they wanted him off “drugs.” Many people have difficulty distinguishing between drugs that are useful and drugs that are harmful.

No, because you’re just restating intoxicating effect by matters of degree. “To relax” is putting a positive spin on self-medication. There are many natural ways to reduce stress that have no negative side effects, and if they aren’t enough, you need to speak to your doctor.

Your statement about “the whole point of alcohol” is concerning, and IMO reflects very unhealthy outlook. If everyone you know drinks for the intoxicating effect only, that’s not a good sign, either.

This is silly. Clearly I was referring to food as a general category, including drinks.

Any adult that keeps in good shape factors in the caloric intake of beverages. Whether it’s wine or Sprite or milk or ice cream, you can only burn so many calories in a day. And if you’re going to consume that 120 calories, a nice Cabernet is a much better tasting drink to wash down a steak than a Sprite.

I use cannabis, legally and by prescription, as medicine. It controls my seizures, and it helps me deal with severe pain from advanced osteoarthritis. It replaced a number of other medications I was taking which had much more severe effects on my mental state. I went from getting poor grades in college and dropping classes to getting all “A’s.” I cannot effectively use less psychoactive varieties of cannabis either, so I have become somewhat of an expert on how it affects me. I have found that I function quite well on it, retain and process information well, and it does not make me lazy at all. I believe that it really depends on your intent and state of mind when it is used.

As it increasingly becomes legal for recreational use, the church may have to evaluate what effects it is having on people, or just leave it to personal experience and morals. Nothing is good to use as an escape, but I would rather see people use cannabis to relax than alcohol or many prescription substances. Cannabis is much friendlier to the body and brain in the long run than many other medications, but not using any substances and finding peace in prayer would be ideal.

Caffeine is another mixed bag. But it’s a stimulant, not an intoxicant. So it’s only partially analogous.

well, it’s completely analagous in that they are both drugs, and that is the only word used in the Catechism. I really wasn’t arguing either way on this issue, just merely pointing out that the Catechism needs to be less ambiguous.

I can support that. Less ambiguity is never a bad thing.

It is ambiguous - people do tend to get confused over which drugs have good effects and which have bad effects.

Years ago, a local teenager stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia; he ended up killing his father. Later, his mother said they agreed to his ending the meds because they wanted him off “drugs.” Because, you know, drugs are bad.

A substance which is ordinarily regarded as an illicit drug (and typically mind-altering) may also be therapeutic. Consequently, it may have a medicinal, licit purpose, and in such cases it is not wrong to take it (as the Catechism states). Is that what you mean by saying it is not “objectively” wrong? I would agree with that - because the “human act” of taking medicine, in a supervised and therapeutic manner, is not the same as “choosing a high”!

*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 idea that the state has a right to control substance seems to me fairly modern and one I don’t accept. Do you have any evidence that ancient Rome or the kings of Europe jailed you for growing certain plants? They may have taxed plants or given a monopoly to someone or a corporation, but I can’t imagine they outright prohibited it. It seems to me the state that will interfere with such intimate details of our lives is a state that might not be very favorable to the Christian faith.

Which is why non-alcoholic beer is so popular? Decaffeinated coffee and tea are fairly common. But non-alcoholic beer is not. I agree that you can have one alcohol drink and not be intoxicated, but it doesn’t seem to me the vast majority of Christians are willing to take it to the next step and just drink non-alcoholic versions of drinks. That is because even one drink can make you feel nice. Can’t there be levels of other substances that have a similar effect?

I use medical marijuana and I find that it promotes love in me, especially for God. On the negative side it disrupts short term memory, but promotes my religiosity. I can’t imagine that it would be sinful.

It doesn’t matter whether you accept it or not; the state does try to control certain things that can be grown or manufactured and does make laws prohibiting those things.

If you grow or smoke marijuana anyplace besides Washington or Colorado, you will be in violation of the law and treated like the law breaker you are. Similar laws prohibit smoking or drinking alcohol until one is a certain age.

If you don’t like those laws, you can work in your state to change them.

Yes very true, but don’t forget that we don’t have to follow unjust laws. The state had a just right to regulate the death penalty, but if they abuse that right and pass a law that you are to kill everyone you see over age 70, then you should not follow it.

In a similar way the government can regulate plants and medicine, but if they unjustly regulate it, it’s not a sin to disobey it. So the parents whose 5 year old daughter has 100 seizures a day and is becoming brain damage despite giving her dozens of dangerous benzos and barbiturates, find marijuana oil stops all seizure activity, are fully able to give that medicine to their daughter with no sin (real case).

I really recommend people watch CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “Why I changed my mind on weed”.


Exactly. And the modern state seems to focus mostly on unjust laws by my way of thinking.

what does the catechism mean by “love of speed”?

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