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Author Topic: Is smoking marijuana a sin?  (Read 41361 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mo the Ethio
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« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2005, 06:52:29 PM »

For the record, I never accused anyone personally on this forum of getting high.
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« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2005, 08:12:55 PM »

For the record, I never accused anyone personally on this forum of getting high.

I know, and I appreciate that fact. 

I think this topic has pretty much run its course.

Peace.
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« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2005, 09:18:53 PM »

Last post of mine on this topic: I just want to apologize to Cinzinec for losing my temper and becoming angry.  Please forgive me.

I know the Internet doesn't really allow for nuanced statements, or even humor in some cases, and a stupid post I made was just interpreted differently than I intended.  I'm sorry.  I don't want to become angry at Orthodox Christians (or anyone else for that matter.)  Sometimes, you just want to communicate with like-minded people, whatever that means, and I like this board.  So, again please forgive me if I've given offense.  None was intended.  I'm sorry I let things get out of hand.


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« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2008, 12:54:02 AM »

After taking an abnormal psychology class (Psychopathology), we had a unit on drug abuse and dependency. As we looked in depth at the different drugs, their effects on people, how addictive they are, side affects, etc... it was clear alcohol was much worse for a person than marijuana. Now, I am by no means encouraging anyone to smoke weed, I do find it interesting many people who consume alcohol are against the legalization of marijuana or think that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol. My theory to this attitutde comes from a sociological point of view (primarily a symbolic interactionist/ labeling theory). Let me explain...

In the U.S, most people do not think of alcohol as a drug; therefore, when one consumes alcohol, they aren't thinking they are doing a drug (though they really are). Marijuana, on the other hand, is illegal and labeled a harmful drug. Most, therefore, internalize this labeling of marijuana and become convinced it is bad or evil because of how it is perceived or labeled by society. There is a stigma attached.

The conflict theorists also make a good point about this issue, but the symbolic interactionists view resonates the most with me on this particular topic.
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« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2008, 11:18:05 AM »

After taking an abnormal psychology class (Psychopathology), we had a unit on drug abuse and dependency. As we looked in depth at the different drugs, their effects on people, how addictive they are, side affects, etc... it was clear alcohol was much worse for a person than marijuana. s view resonates the most with me on this particular topic.
Was that another part of the university's anti-alcohol bias? Roll Eyes

It seems from what you've said that this was part of a survey course. Who were the authors of your textbook, and whom did they categorize, and what were the criteria for such categories?
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« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2008, 01:45:50 PM »

^^ This wasn't a survey course, it was Psychopathology (Mental disorders.....which include substance abuse/dependency in the DSM IV). The text is  "Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology" by Dr. Ronald J. Comer. This is a secular text (most of my texts are secular even though it is a religious university).

This was not part of the Universities anti-alcohol bias (I'm sure the university would disapprove of marijuana even more than alcohol). Again, the class or text is not "pro-marijuana" (neither am I). I just find the topic interesting from a sociological point of view.

If you would like to borrow my text, I'll be happy to lend it to you.
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« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2008, 10:33:18 PM »

^^ This wasn't a survey course, it was Psychopathology (Mental disorders.....which include substance abuse/dependency in the DSM IV).
Then why the text entitled thus:

Quote
The text is  "Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology" by Dr. Ronald J. Comer.

Whenever you see "Introduction" or "Fundamentals," or another such word, it's a survey course.

As far as the bias, I'm aware that they disapprove of marijuana, but saying "Alcohol is worse than marijuana, and marijuana is illegal" could be used as an argument for prohibition (as I'm very well aware that prohibition is the official position of that university, being a graduate of it myself).
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« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2008, 10:51:19 PM »

^^Ok, I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. Yes, this argument could be used for prohibition by the university (or other like minded groups or individuals). The sociological aspect to the debate is what intrigues me the most. For example, Conflict theorists in sociology would argue alcohol is an accepted drug because those in the dominant group like to use it while those in subordinate groups like to use marijuana. This would be a way (according to the conflict theorists) of the dominant/powerful group suppressing the subordinate group.

And for the record, again, I am not encouraging the use of marijuana, I just like to examine the various sociological aspects of this debate.
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« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2008, 11:27:06 PM »

This is an interesting bit of info- the timeline of marijuana in the United States.  Just a few interesting tidbits: Looks as if the negative views on marijuana began with the fear of immigrants and the loss of jobs during the Great Depression.  There's also a study from the 20's or 30's stating that marijuana isn't addictive, nor does it make one commit violence or sex crimes.
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« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2008, 11:45:57 PM »

Way to resurrect a ancient thread, dude.
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« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2008, 11:48:07 PM »

^^Ok, I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. Yes, this argument could be used for prohibition by the university (or other like minded groups or individuals). The sociological aspect to the debate is what intrigues me the most.
Naturally. Wink

Quote
For example, Conflict theorists in sociology would argue alcohol is an accepted drug because those in the dominant group like to use it while those in subordinate groups like to use marijuana. This would be a way (according to the conflict theorists) of the dominant/powerful group suppressing the subordinate group.
I'm just saying this is an oversimplification, but then again, such things can be useful in a survey course. Grin
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« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2008, 12:36:31 AM »

Way to resurrect a ancient thread, dude.
Is there something wrong with that?  Whether or not we agree with him, Bono Vox has at least offered up something for substantive discussion.
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« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2008, 03:28:48 AM »

Quote
There's also a study from the 20's or 30's stating that marijuana isn't addictive, nor does it make one commit violence or sex crimes.

Modern marijuana (since the 1980s) has been bred to contain many times more (at least ten times more) THC than the dope of old, yes, even that of the 1960s hippie generation. In other words, marijuana today is a MUCH stronger drug than it used to be, so using a 70-80-year-old study to justify its use, or to argue that it is basically harmless is pointless and dangerous.

There has been a major spike in the last 25 years or so in the incidence of major psychiatric disorders among young people, including manic-depressive disorders. Heredity can only account for a small number of these cases. A much larger proportion are due to marijuana use.

Let's not kid ourselves, folks. Dope ain't a "harmless recreational drug" any more. Look into the stats of your local psych hospital, you might learn something.
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« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2008, 03:46:44 AM »

Quote
There's also a study from the 20's or 30's stating that marijuana isn't addictive, nor does it make one commit violence or sex crimes.

There has been a major spike in the last 25 years or so in the incidence of major psychiatric disorders among young people, including manic-depressive disorders. Heredity can only account for a small number of these cases. A much larger proportion are due to marijuana use.

Corelation does not mean causation. In fact, I'm willing to take a bet without pulling out any of my textbooks and I'll say that the psychological disorders lead to the marijuana use more than the marijuana use leads to the P.D.

Edit: It has long been known that a person with schizophrenic personality disorder is more than twice as likely to be a cigarette smoker. Are you willing to draw parallels and say nicotine causes schizophrenia?
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« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2008, 04:06:59 AM »

^^Brother LBK, thank you for your clarifying thoughts.  Although I thought it interesting that a study was put out that conflicted what we were being told at the time, I certainly didn't mean to imply that there are no dangers to marijuana usage.  I would agree with many of you that using marijuana is a bad idea (both from a legal and spiritual standpoint), at the same time I still would not condemn those who have or continue to use it.  We are all weak and frail and, to varying degrees, use bad judgements.  This, then, is why we need to continue to pray for one another.

In addition, as I understand it, there are several different meanings in Greek to the word 'sin'.  I guess depending on which one we employ, maybe marijuana usage could be sinful.  I say this not to judge others, but maybe to caution those who do (or are considering) using it.  I'm not an expert on these things, but it seems that it would be difficult to 'keep watch' if we are drunk or high.  As one who has used marijuana, I can tell you that I wasn't able to focus on very much.
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« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2008, 05:24:12 AM »

Modern marijuana (since the 1980s) has been bred to contain many times more (at least ten times more) THC than the dope of old, yes, even that of the 1960s hippie generation. In other words, marijuana today is a MUCH stronger drug than it used to be, so using a 70-80-year-old study to justify its use, or to argue that it is basically harmless is pointless and dangerous.

There has been a major spike in the last 25 years or so in the incidence of major psychiatric disorders among young people, including manic-depressive disorders. Heredity can only account for a small number of these cases. A much larger proportion are due to marijuana use.

Nice theory, but, please, can you present a double blind scientific study that demonstrates both that these are actual direct results of marijuana usage AND that it's dose dependent as you claim?

Quote
Let's not kid ourselves, folks. Dope ain't a "harmless recreational drug" any more. Look into the stats of your local psych hospital, you might learn something.

Please don't tell me you just refered to weed as 'dope'. Bro, this ain't the fifties, doing dope means slamming heroin.
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« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2008, 05:31:44 AM »

Modern marijuana (since the 1980s) has been bred to contain many times more (at least ten times more) THC than the dope of old, yes, even that of the 1960s hippie generation. In other words, marijuana today is a MUCH stronger drug than it used to be, so using a 70-80-year-old study to justify its use, or to argue that it is basically harmless is pointless and dangerous.

There has been a major spike in the last 25 years or so in the incidence of major psychiatric disorders among young people, including manic-depressive disorders. Heredity can only account for a small number of these cases. A much larger proportion are due to marijuana use.

Nice theory, but, please, can you present a double blind scientific study that demonstrates both that these are actual direct results of marijuana usage AND that it's dose dependent as you claim?
LBK, I'm with GiC on this.  You've made a bold claim that you need to substantiate from authority other than your own.
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« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2008, 06:07:15 AM »


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« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2008, 07:50:18 AM »

Corelation does not mean causation.
This was the argument used by tobacco companies for decades against the suggestion that smoking increases the risk of cancer.
According to a recent (2004) study, cannabis use increases the risk of an individual developing schizophrenia twofold, and at a population level, cannabis is the cause of 8% of cases of schizophrenia.
Source: The British Journal of Psychiatry
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« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2008, 08:58:18 AM »

It might be instructive to study not only American populations which supposedly are secretly rife with marijuana use, but cultures where marijuana is accepted as an ordinary thing. When I stayed in Morocco for a while last winter, I saw that just as France has a wine culture, the north of Morocco has a hashish culture. Yet, I saw no descent into barbarism with schizophrenics wandering the streets. And just as with wine one can drink to feel glad, but stop before serious drunkenness, so hashish smokers there understood the concept of restraint.
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« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2008, 09:43:28 AM »

It might be instructive to study not only American populations which supposedly are secretly rife with marijuana use, but cultures where marijuana is accepted as an ordinary thing. When I stayed in Morocco for a while last winter, I saw that just as France has a wine culture, the north of Morocco has a hashish culture. Yet, I saw no descent into barbarism with schizophrenics wandering the streets. And just as with wine one can drink to feel glad, but stop before serious drunkenness, so hashish smokers there understood the concept of restraint.

How much THC is there in Moroccan hash, compared to modern western varieties?
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« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2008, 10:06:51 AM »

It might be instructive to study not only American populations which supposedly are secretly rife with marijuana use, but cultures where marijuana is accepted as an ordinary thing. When I stayed in Morocco for a while last winter, I saw that just as France has a wine culture, the north of Morocco has a hashish culture. Yet, I saw no descent into barbarism with schizophrenics wandering the streets. And just as with wine one can drink to feel glad, but stop before serious drunkenness, so hashish smokers there understood the concept of restraint.

How much THC is there in Moroccan hash, compared to modern western varieties?

I've never smoked the stuff so I can't talk about effect, but having spoken with locals in the course of coming up growing areas (which are everywhere in the hills there), they also breed for potency.
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« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2008, 02:19:49 PM »


Here
are just a few to keep you out of mischief. And, Peter and Greeki, I expect a thorough literature review by the end of the week.  police

Come on, you can do better than a google search...at least pick one or two of our favourites. I might read through the abstract, statistics, and conclusions of one or two articles. But sifting through 16,000 is asking a bit much for a doctoral dissertation, much less a casual internet discussion. Wink

But a quick review of the first few pages shows several studies conclude little or no causal relationship, for example:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120131475/abstract
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120136671/abstract
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376871603000644

But of even more interest to me are these articles:

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/092099649400053B

This one found that a group of cannabis using patients with acute psychosis had a 'significantly greater familial morbid risk of schizophrenia' amongst first degree relatives than a control group (7.1% vs. 0.7%). While it could be argued that relatives of cannabis users are more likely to use cannabis than relatives of non-cannabis users (there is a notable cultural component tied to cannabis use, at least in the United States), no study has suggested a 1000% increase in risk of schizophrenia from cannabis use, genetics and other environmental concerns (e.g. early childhood development) seem to be a far more realistic explanations.

And when also considered with this study

http://www.springerlink.com/content/yaal2jhavu8kqta5/

which has some interesting data, but a rather absurd conclusion, actually suggests that there may be a causal relationship between cannabis use and schizophrenia. But I would argue one where a type of schizophrenia increases the propensity towards self-medication and psychological addiction. Considering that after about five years the number of subjects that had switched to alcohol was statistically equivalent (for the size of the study) to the number of subjects that contined use of cannabis. Unfortunately most these studies fail to take into account those who use other drugs, I wonder how many switched to something much stronger. The logical conclusion from this data is that those with a type of schizophrenia (apparently those whose schizophrenia is worse judging from the higher scores on the BPRS and AMDP) are more likely to self medicate; the prevelence of the use of cannabis for self medication in the follow up is also probably skewed as a result of choosing a group consiting exclusively of cannabis users. It would be interesting to see other drug using schizophrenics brought into the equation and the sample size expanded.
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« Reply #68 on: December 23, 2008, 02:45:24 PM »

From what I read, drug use exacerbates symptoms of mental illness; The person already has a mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and the drug use substitutes for "real medication" which could treat the symptoms.  Such persons are "dual diagnosed" and the underlying drug addiction has to be treated before the mental illness.  More information on Dual Diagnosis and Mental Illness can be found on NAMI's website.

I feel that smoking marijuana is a sin. <Insert 'no' nodding smiley here>
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« Reply #69 on: December 23, 2008, 03:26:20 PM »


Here
are just a few to keep you out of mischief. And, Peter and Greeki, I expect a thorough literature review by the end of the week.  police



If you're not going to post excerpts here, why should we click any of the huge plethora of links to read the articles?  After all, I don't know about GiC, but I have a feast to celebrate tomorrow and Thursday, and I would much rather spend the time with my church and biological families. Wink
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« Reply #70 on: December 23, 2008, 03:33:44 PM »

From what I read, drug use exacerbates symptoms of mental illness; The person already has a mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and the drug use substitutes for "real medication" which could treat the symptoms.  Such persons are "dual diagnosed" and the underlying drug addiction has to be treated before the mental illness.  More information on Dual Diagnosis and Mental Illness can be found on NAMI's website.

I feel that smoking marijuana is a sin. <Insert 'no' nodding smiley here>
But how does marijuana fit into this, except that you have labeled it a drug and lumped it in together with all the other drugs?
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« Reply #71 on: December 23, 2008, 04:08:35 PM »

From what I read, drug use exacerbates symptoms of mental illness; The person already has a mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and the drug use substitutes for "real medication" which could treat the symptoms.  Such persons are "dual diagnosed" and the underlying drug addiction has to be treated before the mental illness.  More information on Dual Diagnosis and Mental Illness can be found on NAMI's website.

I feel that smoking marijuana is a sin. <Insert 'no' nodding smiley here>
But how does marijuana fit into this, except that you have labeled it a drug

Did you read the link before jumping down my throat?  Do you know how many people with mental illness use alcohol and drugs in a futile effort to mask symptoms of mental illness? 

I can't believe that my benign and helpful statement has opened up a can of worms.  Now I'm in trouble in that I have to prove marijuana isn't a drug.   Sad

and lumped it in together with all the other drugs?

Why am I on this forum if you and others think marijuana isn't a drug and that marijuana use is somehow condoned by Orthodox Christianity because you see it as a benign plant?  So I guess meth isn't a drug because meth is prevalent on the West Coast even though meth requires tons of controlled substances for its manufacturing?   Huh
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« Reply #72 on: December 23, 2008, 04:43:04 PM »

From what I read, drug use exacerbates symptoms of mental illness; The person already has a mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and the drug use substitutes for "real medication" which could treat the symptoms.  Such persons are "dual diagnosed" and the underlying drug addiction has to be treated before the mental illness.  More information on Dual Diagnosis and Mental Illness can be found on NAMI's website.

I feel that smoking marijuana is a sin. <Insert 'no' nodding smiley here>
But how does marijuana fit into this, except that you have labeled it a drug

Did you read the link before jumping down my throat?  Do you know how many people with mental illness use alcohol and drugs in a futile effort to mask symptoms of mental illness? 

I can't believe that my benign and helpful statement has opened up a can of worms.  Now I'm in trouble in that I have to prove marijuana isn't a drug.   Sad

and lumped it in together with all the other drugs?

Why am I on this forum if you and others think marijuana isn't a drug and that marijuana use is somehow condoned by Orthodox Christianity because you see it as a benign plant?  So I guess meth isn't a drug because meth is prevalent on the West Coast even though meth requires tons of controlled substances for its manufacturing?   Huh
Step back, take a few deep breaths, and calm down, dude.  I'm not jumping down your throat.
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« Reply #73 on: December 23, 2008, 08:00:24 PM »

Step back, take a few deep breaths, and calm down, dude.  I'm not jumping down your throat.

Two days before Christmas and here we are debtaing whether marijuana is a drug or not.   Huh

If this forum and its moderators accept marijuana use as benign and not sinful, I'm posting in Prayer Forum and Random Topics only.  I really don't care what people do in their own homes; However, I'm not going to spend one more second in this forum when a moderator challenges me on whether or not marijuana is a drug.
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« Reply #74 on: December 23, 2008, 08:40:42 PM »

Step back, take a few deep breaths, and calm down, dude.  I'm not jumping down your throat.
First off, have you followed the above advice?  You really should do so before you continue posting on this thread, since you are so obviously riled up.  As for me, please forgive me for causing such a misunderstanding that has left you so offended. Embarrassed

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Two days before Christmas and here we are debtaing whether marijuana is a drug or not.   Huh
No, we are not debating whether marijuana is a drug or not.  I have neither seen nor consciously offered any indication that anyone here takes issue with our society's association of marijuana with other drugs.  You made a very general statement of how the mentally ill often use drugs to self-medicate, but you did not identify any specific examples of such drugs.  You may have also noticed that the OP of this thread addresses specifically the use of marijuana, not the use of drugs in general.  I consider marijuana a drug, just as I consider the caffeine I consume everyday a drug.  I had just hoped to draw from you specific examples of how the mentally ill use marijuana to self-medicate, since that is more appropriate for this thread than a discussion of drug use in general.

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If this forum and its moderators accept marijuana use as benign and not sinful, I'm posting in Prayer Forum and Random Topics only.
I do not accept the use of marijuana as benign and sinless, nor do I condemn it without condition.  Even if I did feel strongly one way or the other, I have a responsibility as a moderator to encourage discussion of faith-impacting issues, regardless of my personal opinion on the issues.  You have no doubt seen that we moderators are not about making sure only the Orthodox or acceptable point of view is expressed in discussion.  Why have a discussion forum, then?  Some people here deem marijuana use acceptable; some do not.  We need to encourage discussion of these two opposing points of view (and the many different shades in between) so that those who have no clear opinion may form one based on the flow of information and so that those who have opinions may understand the other point of view better.  Would you wish that we moderators squelch this in order to protect your dogmatic point of view that the use of marijuana is sinful?  If you deem marijuana use sinful, please tell us why, for we may want to learn from you your point of view.

Quote
I really don't care what people do in their own homes; However, I'm not going to spend one more second in this forum when a moderator challenges me on whether or not marijuana is a drug.
Again, please take some time to cool off so you can understand more correctly what I DID say.  You may have noticed that I did not post in green or red text; I spoke only in the standard black text, which indicates that I spoke only as another poster and NOT as a moderator.
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« Reply #75 on: December 23, 2008, 09:27:28 PM »

If this forum and its moderators accept marijuana use as benign and not sinful, I'm posting in Prayer Forum and Random Topics only.
I am a Global Moderator on this forum. Did you see my post on this thread before this one? Clearly I don't see Cannabis use as benign. Other's opinions disagree with mine and with the findings of the study from the British Journal of Psychiatry I sourced. That's OK- that's what a forum is for. Rather than threaten to take your bat and ball and go, I'll try and show you another way of arguing the case that THC use is not benign and is a sin.
This topic is in Faith Issues, so we need to address it as a Faith Issue from the Orthodox viewpoint. Firstly, Cannabis use is hardly a Dogmatic topic in the Orthodox Church, so being dogmatic is not going to help. We have posters on this forum who make dogmatic claims about men having beards, but that doesn't make it a dogmatic topic in the Church, it just makes them bad rhetoricians.  From a moral point of view, Cannabis intoxication would clearly be on par with alcohol intoxication in that it produces a state which is the opposite to the Christian virtue the Fathers call "nepsis" ("sobriety", "vigilance"). Therefore Cannabis is a hindrance, not a help to the Orthodox Spiritual life. Added to this is the increased risk of triggering psychotic mental illness. All of us have a predisposition to developing psychosis, but some more than others. There has been some headway made into being able to identify those at higher risk of developing schizophrenias (eg, the startle response, eye movements etc) but not enough to be able to conclusively determine who will or won't develop schizophrenia. Studies have shown that those with higher predispositions increase their chances of triggering their first psychosis with Cannabis use (which makes perfect sense, since THC belongs to a category of drugs known as hallucinogens). Studies have also shown that the duration and recurrence of psychotic episodes lowers their chance of recovery. But all this is beside the point of whether THC use is a sin. If sin is "to miss the mark", and, if the mark is nepsis, then THC use misses the mark and is a sin.
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« Reply #76 on: December 23, 2008, 09:38:15 PM »

^ ozgeorge, I agree with the above post totally; I know and I respect your role here.   Smiley  When I posted the link to NAMI, I ended that post by saying marijuana use was a sin even though I didn't justify why using marijuana was a sin.  The link to NAMI was meant to show how mentally ill people self-medicated with "street drugs" when people were posting stuff saying the reverse ... using "street drugs" caused mental illness.  If anything, I tried to educate and inform.   angel

In PtA's response, I felt he ignored me and we had miscommunication.  I was afraid of moderation (e.g. Because I labeled marijuana as a drug; therefore, prove it or get a colored dot) and the strong reply.  I jumped the gun and I'm sorry.   Cry  angel

If I have been deemed too "dumb" for this forum, I can always make Prayer requests, post Random stuff or engage in Political discussion.   Smiley
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« Reply #77 on: December 23, 2008, 09:40:34 PM »

ozgeorge,

Thanks for the above information. Really interesting! You have helped me formulate a more definite opinion on this subject.
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« Reply #78 on: December 23, 2008, 09:45:15 PM »

First off, have you followed the above advice?  You really should do so before you continue posting on this thread, since you are so obviously riled up.  As for me, please forgive me for causing such a misunderstanding that has left you so offended. Embarrassed

I forgive you as well and Please forgive me for I'm sorry.   Smiley
I was posting from my own experiences regarding how the mentally ill use all kinds of drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.  Your initial response was taken as a slap to my face; hence, the reaction.

No, we are not debating whether marijuana is a drug or not.  I have neither seen nor consciously offered any indication that anyone here takes issue with our society's association of marijuana with other drugs.  You made a very general statement of how the mentally ill often use drugs to self-medicate, but you did not identify any specific examples of such drugs. 

Did I have to be specific?  I felt the link to the advocacy website was adequate enough.  I know of people who've taken every kind of drug to self-medicate from a mental illness and the "street drugs" didn't make things better.  Personally, I've never used any illegal drug.

You may have also noticed that the OP of this thread addresses specifically the use of marijuana, not the use of drugs in general.  I consider marijuana a drug, just as I consider the caffeine I consume everyday a drug.  I had just hoped to draw from you specific examples of how the mentally ill use marijuana to self-medicate, since that is more appropriate for this thread than a discussion of drug use in general.

Specific examples on how the mentally ill use marijuana to self-medicate?  All you had to do was ask.   Wink

Quote
Persons such as yourself who have (judging from your medicines) problems with anxiety, mood swings and psychotic symptoms should NEVER NEVER EVER go near marijuana. Your brain is already having some problems staying stable. All those medicines you are taking are there to try to hold your brain together in a reasonable semblance of normalcy. If you take these medicines as prescribed, you can have a good chance of remaining reasonably healthy. If you smoke or eat marijuana you will be sabotaging your treatment - hurting the chances of your medicines to help you remain stable, and forcing your brain to get even more whacked out than it already is. If you even hang around with other people who smoke, you're going to want to smoke yourself. Only thing is - you can't afford to smoke because your brain will blow a gasket. If you care about yourself - if you care about other people around you (your family, your friends, your loved ones, a therapist you respect, anyone at all who you might care about and who might care for you) then please ditch those pot smoking friends, and stay away from marijuana.

I do not accept the use of marijuana as benign and sinless, nor do I condemn it without condition.  Even if I did feel strongly one way or the other, I have a responsibility as a moderator to encourage discussion of faith-impacting issues, regardless of my personal opinion on the issues.  You have no doubt seen that we moderators are not about making sure only the Orthodox or acceptable point of view is expressed in discussion.  Why have a discussion forum, then?  Some people here deem marijuana use acceptable; some do not.  We need to encourage discussion of these two opposing points of view (and the many different shades in between) so that those who have no clear opinion may form one based on the flow of information and so that those who have opinions may understand the other point of view better.  Would you wish that we moderators squelch this in order to protect your dogmatic point of view that the use of marijuana is sinful?  If you deem marijuana use sinful, please tell us why, for we may want to learn from you your point of view.

ozgeorge provided one explanation which I'm in total agreement; hence, I'll allow what he said to be my reasoning.   Smiley

Again, please take some time to cool off so you can understand more correctly what I DID say.  You may have noticed that I did not post in green or red text; I spoke only in the standard black text, which indicates that I spoke only as another poster and NOT as a moderator.

I understand better and I'm deeply sorry.   angel
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« Reply #79 on: December 23, 2008, 09:59:12 PM »

Well, let me offer a counterexample to get you all thinking.  The voters of the state of Oregon recently passed a law to permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes (e.g., management of the pain caused by cancer, Crohn's Disease, glaucoma, etc.).  Granted, the user must have a prescription from a licensed physician to smoke marijuana for such a purpose.  Is this proper within the light of the Orthodox perspective Ozgeorge attempted to explain above?
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« Reply #80 on: December 23, 2008, 10:01:33 PM »

^ ozgeorge, I agree with the above post totally; I know and I respect your role here.   Smiley  When I posted the link to NAMI, I ended that post by saying marijuana use was a sin even though I didn't justify why using marijuana was a sin.  The link to NAMI was meant to show how mentally ill people self-medicated with "street drugs" when people were posting stuff saying the reverse ... using "street drugs" caused mental illness.  If anything, I tried to educate and inform.   angel

In PtA's response, I felt he ignored me and we had miscommunication.  I was afraid of moderation (e.g. Because I labeled marijuana as a drug; therefore, prove it or get a colored dot) and the strong reply.  I jumped the gun and I'm sorry.   Cry  angel

If I have been deemed too "dumb" for this forum, I can always make Prayer requests, post Random stuff or engage in Political discussion.   Smiley

Firstly, you're not dumb.
Secondly, unless a moderator is posting in green font, they are not acting as a moderator, but as another poster, just like you.

Well, let me offer a counterexample to get you all thinking.  The voters of the state of Oregon recently passed a law to permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes (e.g., management of the pain caused by cancer, Crohn's Disease, glaucoma, etc.).  Granted, the user must have a prescription from a licensed physician to smoke marijuana for such a purpose.  Is this proper within the light of the Orthodox perspective Ozgeorge attempted to explain above?

Now, let's examine this question of the morality of Cannabis use a bit further. As you can see, I agree with the notion that Cannabis intoxication "misses the mark" as far as nepsis goes. However, what about it's medical use? We actually use quite a few medications which reduce nepsis, especially in Palliative Care (treatments whose aim is symptom control rather than curative, eg in the end stages of terminal illnesses). For example, is it a sin to use Morphine to control the pain of end stage cancer because Morphine produces a state opposite to nepsis? Clearly, context is what is important here. Someone who doesn't need morphine, but is using it to produce intoxication is sinning, but someone who needs morphine prescribed to control pain is not sinning. It is the agent, not the act, which determines the morality of the act. Similarly, THC is actually a powerful anti-nauseant. Many people on chemotherapy, radiotherapy and anti-retrovirals experience intractable nausea and vomiting which even powerful anti-nauseants (such as Ondansetron) are unable to control, however, Cannabis is able to control it, and I have actually heard doctors recommending it to patients. So Cannabis also has medical uses. But, in many countries and states, it's use is illegal, so what do we do? Is it a sin to use it medicinally because in doing so we are disobeying Civil Authorities, or, as Christians, should we disobey a law in cases where to obey it causes the increased suffering of terminally ill patients?
So while I think Cannabis intoxication "for the hell of it" is sinful, I don't think we can absolve ourselves of the responsibility of examining it's medical uses. Even Cocaine has medical uses (it is used to stop bleeding during nasal surgery).
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« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2008, 01:17:17 AM »

Here is a passage from St Basil's Homily "The Germination of the Earth" that, while not mentioning cannabis, still provides some useful and applicable perspective in my opinion:
Quote
What shall I say? What shall I leave unsaid? In the rich treasures of creation it is difficult to select what is most precious; the loss of what is omitted is too severe. "Let the earth bring forth grass;" and instantly, with useful plants, appear noxious plants; with corn, hemlock; with the other nutritious plants, hellebore, monkshood, mandrake and the juice of the poppy. What then? Shall we show no gratitude for so many beneficial gifts, and reproach the Creator for those which may be harmful to our life? And shall we not reflect that all has not been created in view of the wants of our bellies? The nourishing plants, which are destined for our use, are close at hand, and known by all the world. But in creation nothing exists without a reason. The blood of the bull is a poison: ought this animal then, whose strength is so serviceable to man, not to have been created, or, if created, to have been bloodless? But you have sense enough in yourself to keep you free froth deadly things. What! Sheep and goats know how to turn away from what threatens their life, discerning danger by instinct alone: and you, who have reason and the art of medicine to supply what you need, and the experience of your forebears to tell you to avoid all that is dangerous, you tell me that you find it difficult to keep yourself from poisons! But not a single thing has been created without reason, not a single thing is useless. One serves as food to some animal; medicine has found in another a relief for one of our maladies. Thus the starling eats hemlock, its constitution rendering it insusceptible to the action of the poison. Thanks to the tenuity of the pores of its heart, the malignant juice is on sooner swallowed than it is digested, before its chill can attack the vital parts. The quail, thanks to its peculiar temperament, whereby it escapes the dangerous effects, feeds on hellebore. There are even circumstances where poisons are useful to men; with mandrake doctors give us sleep; with opium they lull violent pain. Hemlock has ere now been used to appease the rage of unruly diseases; and many times hellebore has taken away long standing disease. These plants, then, instead of making you accuse the Creator, give you a new subject for gratitude.
Personally, I think it is abused more often than not, however I think adults should have the freedom to decide for themselves about this God-created seed bearing plant with their own very capable God-created minds.  Also, we'd be better off ending the useless and expensive drug war (as far as marijuana is concerned).  The non-psychoactive qualities of hemp in and of themselves are so valuable that it could be a great boom to the US economy.
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« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2008, 01:40:41 AM »

Personally, I've never used any illegal drug.

Once you've tried a few we should try this conversation again. You seem to have certain preconceived notions that demonstrate a lack of experience with not only the drugs themselves but, probably of even more importantly, also with communities where their use is prevalent. You really have no right to condemn certain people for self-medicating when you haven't lived their life.
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« Reply #83 on: December 24, 2008, 02:25:42 AM »

Once you've tried a few we should try this conversation again.

The consequences of my taking "street drugs" outweigh the benefits.  That may not apply for everyone and I know how that applies to me.

You seem to have certain preconceived notions that demonstrate a lack of experience with not only the drugs themselves but, probably of even more importantly, also with communities where their use is prevalent.

I can give you a tour of inner city Baltimore if you're interested.   We can see the "street drug" trade up close and personal.  Last time I gave a friend a tour of inner city Baltimore, a number of young people thought my friend and I were police officers and took off.  Smiley

There is no need for me to take "street drugs" to know the consequences.

You really have no right to condemn certain people for self-medicating when you haven't lived their life.

I don't believe I condemned anyone; All I said was that taking "street drugs" didn't help people with mental illness.
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« Reply #84 on: December 24, 2008, 02:39:02 AM »

Here is a passage from St Basil's Homily "The Germination of the Earth" that, while not mentioning cannabis, still provides some useful and applicable perspective in my opinion:
Quote
What shall I say? What shall I leave unsaid? In the rich treasures of creation it is difficult to select what is most precious; the loss of what is omitted is too severe. "Let the earth bring forth grass;" and instantly, with useful plants, appear noxious plants; with corn, hemlock; with the other nutritious plants, hellebore, monkshood, mandrake and the juice of the poppy. What then? Shall we show no gratitude for so many beneficial gifts, and reproach the Creator for those which may be harmful to our life? And shall we not reflect that all has not been created in view of the wants of our bellies? The nourishing plants, which are destined for our use, are close at hand, and known by all the world. But in creation nothing exists without a reason. The blood of the bull is a poison: ought this animal then, whose strength is so serviceable to man, not to have been created, or, if created, to have been bloodless? But you have sense enough in yourself to keep you free froth deadly things. What! Sheep and goats know how to turn away from what threatens their life, discerning danger by instinct alone: and you, who have reason and the art of medicine to supply what you need, and the experience of your forebears to tell you to avoid all that is dangerous, you tell me that you find it difficult to keep yourself from poisons! But not a single thing has been created without reason, not a single thing is useless. One serves as food to some animal; medicine has found in another a relief for one of our maladies. Thus the starling eats hemlock, its constitution rendering it insusceptible to the action of the poison. Thanks to the tenuity of the pores of its heart, the malignant juice is on sooner swallowed than it is digested, before its chill can attack the vital parts. The quail, thanks to its peculiar temperament, whereby it escapes the dangerous effects, feeds on hellebore. There are even circumstances where poisons are useful to men; with mandrake doctors give us sleep; with opium they lull violent pain. Hemlock has ere now been used to appease the rage of unruly diseases; and many times hellebore has taken away long standing disease. These plants, then, instead of making you accuse the Creator, give you a new subject for gratitude.
Personally, I think it is abused more often than not, however I think adults should have the freedom to decide for themselves about this God-created seed bearing plant with their own very capable God-created minds.  Also, we'd be better off ending the useless and expensive drug war (as far as marijuana is concerned).  The non-psychoactive qualities of hemp in and of themselves are so valuable that it could be a great boom to the US economy.
But this thread isn't about whether marijuana should be legalized.  This thread is about whether the smoking of marijuana, legal or not, is a sin.
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« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2008, 02:43:07 AM »

I can give you a tour of inner city Baltimore if you're interested.   We can see the "street drug" trade up close and personal.  Last time I gave a friend a tour of inner city Baltimore, a number of young people thought my friend and I were police officers and took off.  Smiley

I think that demonstrates my point. You have observed some of these populations as though they were in a zoo. If your presence caused people to flee at your very sight, I seriously doubt got to know members of this community and understand their lives and perspectives.

If you have some medical condition that would make various substances exceptionally dangerous to your health, fine, that's a reasonable excuse not to try them yourself (though I seriously doubt that cannabis would cause an allergic, allergies to cannabis are, while not unheard of, quite rare...then again, the stuff ain't all that good either IMO). But, if you're going to opine on the moral quality of their use, it's not an excuse to fail to understand the communities that use them to be so far removed from these segments of society that they flee at your very presence. (Oh, and be careful with that one, in some places people may flee, I've been in others where they'll just shoot.)
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« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2008, 02:52:26 AM »

I don't believe I condemned anyone; All I said was that taking "street drugs" didn't help people with mental illness.
Something I just thought about:  I'm curious to know how you conclude from the fact that some mentally ill persons self-medicate with marijuana that the smoking of marijuana is by itself a sin.  The logic doesn't follow.  Now, if you want to conclude from your example that self-medication with street drugs is a sin, I would buy your reasoning as sound.  But how does your example lead one to conclude that marijuana smoking for ANY reason by those NOT struggling with mental illness is a sin?
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« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2008, 02:53:21 AM »

I think that demonstrates my point. You have observed some of these populations as though they were in a zoo. If your presence caused people to flee at your very sight, I seriously doubt got to know members of this community and understand their lives and perspectives.

I can't explain why people flee from my very sight and that's not my concern.
I have interacted with members of the community and understood their lives and perspectives.

If you have some medical condition that would make various substances exceptionally dangerous to your health, fine, that's a reasonable excuse not to try them yourself (though I seriously doubt that cannabis would cause an allergic, allergies to cannabis are, while not unheard of, quite rare...then again, the stuff ain't all that good either IMO).

There's not much that I'm allergic to and tempting fate isn't my idea of Christmas holidays.   Wink

But, if you're going to opine on the moral quality of their use, it's not an excuse to fail to understand the communities that use them to be so far removed from these segments of society that they flee at your very presence. (Oh, and be careful with that one, in some places people may flee, I've been in others where they'll just shoot.)

I've been in rough neighborhoods elsewhere (like Roxbury or the former Combat Zone in Boston) and had no problems.  One time, someone in the Combat Zone offered my friend drugs and I ignored the person making the offer.  Later, my friend asked me if I heard the drug deal and I told him that I was in lala land.
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« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2008, 03:03:04 AM »

I don't believe I condemned anyone; All I said was that taking "street drugs" didn't help people with mental illness.
Something I just thought about:  I'm curious to know how you conclude from the fact that some mentally ill persons self-medicate with marijuana that the smoking of marijuana is by itself a sin.  The logic doesn't follow. 

Well, on one hand, both underlined statements are mutually exclusive statements.  On the other hand, a mentally ill person who self-medicates with marijuana feels that taking marijuana doesn't expose one to stigma or other misperceptions of obtaining mental health treatment.  Some people don't like talking to therapists and think that rugged individualism will take care of the mental illness.  Haven't we seen threads where too much self-reliance tends to place God in the back seat?  If I say that self-medicating with marijuana puts God in the back seat, even if He created marijuana for some unknown purpose and marijuana has been around for a very long time, then why do we believe in God in the first place?

Now, if you want to conclude from your example that self-medication with street drugs is a sin, I would buy your reasoning as sound.  But how does your example lead one to conclude that marijuana smoking for ANY reason by those NOT struggling with mental illness is a sin?

The last two sentences of the above addresses your question.  When God created the Marijuana plant, some animal could eat it and live without any ill effects.  If man partakes of the marijuana plant, he experiences hallucinations and other relaxed feelings.  Why would God wish for man to live in an altered mental state whether this state was beneficial to man or not?
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« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2008, 03:16:42 AM »

Something I just thought about:  I'm curious to know how you conclude from the fact that some mentally ill persons self-medicate with marijuana that the smoking of marijuana is by itself a sin.  The logic doesn't follow. 

Well, on one hand, both underlined statements are mutually exclusive statements.
How so?  I don't see this.

Quote
On the other hand, a mentally ill person who self-medicates with marijuana feels that taking marijuana doesn't expose one to stigma or other misperceptions of obtaining mental health treatment.  Some people don't like talking to therapists and think that rugged individualism will take care of the mental illness.  Haven't we seen threads where too much self-reliance tends to place God in the back seat?  If I say that self-medicating with marijuana puts God in the back seat, even if He created marijuana for some unknown purpose and marijuana has been around for a very long time, then why do we believe in God in the first place?
Well, then, this says that self-medication is a sin.  What about those of us who use marijuana for purposes other than self-medication?

Quote
Now, if you want to conclude from your example that self-medication with street drugs is a sin, I would buy your reasoning as sound.  But how does your example lead one to conclude that marijuana smoking for ANY reason by those NOT struggling with mental illness is a sin?

The last two sentences of the above addresses your question.
Actually, they only say that the smoking of marijuana by the mentally ill for the purpose of self-medication is a sin.

Quote
When God created the Marijuana plant, some animal could eat it and live without any ill effects.  If man partakes of the marijuana plant, he experiences hallucinations and other relaxed feelings.  Why would God wish for man to live in an altered mental state whether this state was beneficial to man or not?
Now that this looks at the effect of marijuana smoke on members of the general population, mentally ill or no, THIS statement answers my question. Wink  You just need to expand your example to talk about how marijuana smoke affects the average, mentally healthy person.
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