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Author Topic: Is smoking marijuana a sin?  (Read 40031 times) Average Rating: 0
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emmanuelmelo
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« on: September 27, 2005, 09:42:05 PM »

Recently, the OCF at my college was debating whether smoking marijuana was a sin.  I was wondering what any of your thoughts were regarding "smoking poit"

thank you
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 09:49:53 PM »

Maybe... This discussion is somewhat different from the alcohol discussion in that with alcohol you have a choice as to how far you want to go. To the point of being drunk...or just a glass of wine at dinner? It would seem that the purpose of marijuana is to attain a high. A question we might ask then is if the high experienced by the marijuana user is in any way parallel to the drunkeness of the alcohol user. I guess the answer to that depends on who ask...

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 09:55:30 PM »

btw, should this thread be in the Board News forum?  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 10:20:17 PM »

Well I would say yes it would be a sin because it endangers others.  Regardless of what people say, you don't always have control over your actions especially when drunk or high.  I think the only acceptable excuse would be for medical reasons, but I think the marijuana used for medical reasons arent supposed to be used to excess of getting disorientented.  I've known of people who smoked pot, drove and then crashed into someone's home....I can't see it not being a sin when you endanger other people through fully knowledgable actions.
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 10:27:14 PM »

I have no thoughts as to the moral obligations a Christian has regarding not using weed. However, it is against the law in America, and certainly Scripture and the Fathers emphasise that we are to obey the laws of the land that we find ourselves as far as possible (ie. unless following the law would force us to do something unChristian). Maybe it is (or maybe it isn't) fair that something like pot is illegal while other drugs like alcohol and tobacco are legal. However, as far as I've read, there isn't a principle in Christian theology that permits you to break a law which you think is unfair just because you want to have a pleasurable experience. Medicinal use is a different case, though my conclusion would probably still be the same. I wouldn't judge someone for smoking pot, or tell them they're going to hell, but I wouldn't stick around and hang out either.
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 10:28:06 PM »

ISTM that in America it would be a sin in that it is illegal and we are to be obedient to our lawful authority.  In countries where marijuana is legal, I'd say it's questionable if it is a sin; on the one hand, excessive mood alterations are sinful, on the other hand, caffeine, nicotine, and moderate alchohol buzzes (NOT drunkenness though) are not considered sinful; hence, I think it depends on what exactly happens when one smokes marijuana.  Given that I have never had that experience I wouldn't know Smiley

Anastasios

PS Board news is only for board news, not for questions about faith.  I am going to move it to the proper folder.
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2005, 07:52:00 PM »

Perhaps the black and white language of sin isn't the best way to look at this.

Could you concentrate on the Jesus Prayer while stoned?  Would you want to have a joint in your hand at the moment of the second coming? 
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2005, 09:27:31 PM »

If you did one hit at a party, something you only do like, maybe once a year, would that be something you would need to confess?  (The answer may seem self-evident, but you're not really going to get stoned and in a state of impairment that might lead to sin, and it certainly isn't habitual use, so this seems like kind of a grey area.)
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2005, 09:54:46 PM »

Perhaps the black and white language of sin isn't the best way to look at this.

Could you concentrate on the Jesus Prayer while stoned?ÂÂ  Would you want to have a joint in your hand at the moment of the second coming?ÂÂ  

I don't think this is the only way to look at it.ÂÂ  You could spin this a lot of ways: would you want to be eating a hamburger at the moment of the second coming? Watching tv? I wouldn't. Neither of these things is intrinsically sinful but the fact is there are better things we could be doing.

Anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2005, 10:21:17 PM »

Note: in my above posts I am *not* encouraging the smoking of marijuana. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2005, 10:42:39 PM »

But eating a hamburger is quite natural - assuming it isn't a fast day!  And watching TV in moderation (and quality programming) isn't entirely so bad either as everyone needs some relaxation - even monastics.  But when done properly a little relaxtion, literature, music, good food etc. facilitates the spiritual life.  I don't know if the same could be said for Marijuana.  It may not be sinful, but I don't think it is helpful. ÂÂ

But let's both ask our Gerondes, Anastasie, for a blessing to go smoke a joint and see what happens  Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2005, 10:48:10 PM »

I should clarify that I don't think it's a "good" thing.  I'm just kind of wondering where it falls in the scale of "badness."  I've certainly known people who have become very dependant on the substance, and at that point, I think it falls into the realm of sinfullness, of course.
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2005, 10:49:13 PM »

Quote
Note: in my above posts I am *not* encouraging the smoking of marijuana.


Yeah we believe you.... so does the GOC celebrate 4/20 on the old or new calendar?
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2005, 11:07:59 PM »

Uh, I believe 4:20 refers to the time of day, not the date on the calendar Smiley

And btw, I don't think my Geronda would approve Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2005, 11:41:59 PM »

Your body is to be treated as a temple........ and if you are abusing it that is a sin (in my eyes), just like gluttony.
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2005, 01:56:20 AM »

In a country where marijuana is illegal, buying it contributes to illegal activity of all sorts. Some drug money even goes into the coffers of terrorists. Considering that the trade in illegal drugs contributes to violent crime I would say it is sinful.

Our bodies are a temple...not an amusement park Wink
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2005, 03:26:37 PM »

St. Paul specifically list drunkards among those who "will not inherit the kingdom of God". If smoking pot is done in such a way as to compare to this, I imagine this is a grave sin. I will not comment in depth on use of pot in general, however I will say that it has been common sense to me not to even try it, or tobacco, for that matter. Marijuana sometimes causes schizophrenia and can be a gateway to other drugs. It also contains some of the substances found in drugs and as a mind-altering substance, it may cause you to - generally put - lose control, even if you are not "addicted". So I will just say that it is my opinion that it is not something people should indulge in and I can see how it can be a sin, though I will not say that it automatically is one as I don´t know for sure. But there is strong suggestion that it - and smoking tobacco - are.

The argument that buying illegal drugs supports other crime and even terrorism is also a good one.

I would like to make a digression, however. Who here believes that Orthodox have a duty to obey ANY and EVERY non-sinful law? St. Paul did say "to be subject to the governing authorities" but he also said that the law is not a cause of fear to those who obey the law of God. It seems to suggest here that the purpose of the earthly authorities is to enforce the law of God, I.E. to incarcerate criminals etc. St. Paul seems to be viewing the "rulers" as an instrument of this when he says they are not a cause of fear to those who obey God. Because if they introduce arbitrary rules or very strict rules prohibiting people to exercise their freedom, they DO give people cause for "fear" - I.E. they punish things that people want to do for personal pursuit of happiness. Here are some laws that have been enacted at times which seem to have nothing to do with Christian morality:

-in the middle ages, there were laws in England and France restricting what colors and furs one could wear, depending on class¨.

-similarly, only the king could use an eagle when hawking and one English law said that "no meane person may keep greihounds but freemen (non-serfs?) may..."

-as late as the 1840s, there was a law in Bavaria against civillians wearing mustaches

-there is a state in the USA which may still have a law on the books that says everyone must take a bath once a day or something like that. Many jurisdictions have such laws still hanging around (probably not enforced, some would probably be considered unconstitutional) and one legislature actually spent a session cleaning them out of the statutes.

Though I do not say this on any authority, I will say that from what I understand, my spiritual fathers have guided me not to worry about minor things, that the duty to obey laws is not absolute (but probably subject to common sense and some practical issues). At least that is a rough understanding of their advice, I don´t give this as advice, just as food for thought. Certainly one must do things like in general drive carefully, pay reasonable taxes, not steal or murder, park cars where they are supposed to be, respect others´ property rights and such logical laws, but accept any restriction on one´s personal freedom (even to the point of not keeping greyhounds so as to satisfy the upper classes)? It seems a bit extreme, as if to say that one has a duty to submit to, ultimately dictatorial rules, so long as they don´t make one sin.
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2005, 09:57:33 PM »

No, I don't think using marijuana is a sin.ÂÂ  I think of it as morally similar to strong alcohol.ÂÂ  It can be used morally -- for recreation as well as for medical purposes.ÂÂ  

However, using marijuana can be sinful if it is misused.ÂÂ  Like abusing alcohol, abusing marijuana is sinful if a person becomes "drunk" on it or addicted to it (psychologically or phsycially) or if a person endangers oneself or another while under the influence of it.

Of course, sadly, marijuana is illegal in the U.S.ÂÂ  So for that reason only, I don't encourage it to be used.ÂÂ  Instead, I encourage its use to be legalized and taxed or, at minimum, to be treated as a minor crime which warrants treatment rather than prison.

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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2005, 11:09:14 PM »

can someone chek this thread? It's about the Ethioopian Church and marihuana use.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7227.0
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2005, 07:02:32 AM »

I don't buy any of the "smoking weed is okay" apologists.  I can have a shot of slivovice, which I do on a rare occasion, and not get a buzz at all.  Taking a hit on a joint at a party ONCE A YEAR will cause you to get a much greater effect (unless you've been working up a tolerance - oh wait, it's just once a year). 

That's not the only problem.

1.  Why are you going to a party where there is known illegal activity that, if discovered by the authorities, could land your butt in the can?

2.  Why are you engaging in an activity that will be tested the next time you have to get a job and will likely keep you from being able to be a productive member of society?  Oh wait, you're only dong it once a year.  Just lie when they ask you the question about using dope after it's worked its way out of your system.  After all, that's not a REAL lie.

3.  Why are you engaging in an acitivity that, if seen by others, would bring scandal and shame on your family, faith and church?

4.  Will you share your annual pot smoking fun with your kids (when they get to be the appropriate age, of course)?

Answers:

1.  After you take a hit, you don't give a crap about that or anything else.  What fun.

2.  After you take a hit, who gives a crap about work anyway?

3.  After you take a hit . . . . you get the idea.

What a wonderful way to witness for Christ and His Church!

Go sell that bull to somebody who doesn't know better.  It's a sin and if you stop laboring to convince yourselves otherwise you'd agree.
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2005, 11:42:56 AM »

Quote
But eating a hamburger is quite natural - assuming it isn't a fast day!  And watching TV in moderation (and quality programming) isn't entirely so bad either as everyone needs some relaxation - even monastics.  But when done properly a little relaxtion, literature, music, good food etc. facilitates the spiritual life.  I don't know if the same could be said for Marijuana.

Even if you don't think smoking marijuana is natural (which I do think it is; mankind has been smoking various plants ever since he first threw some hemp, poppies, or tobacco on a campfire and noticed the smoke both smelled good and made him feel different), you can hardly argue that eating it isn't natural, and it's perfectly possible to get stoned by that method. There's even a traditional drink in the far reaches of northern India and Nepal called bhang, which is a sweet drink made with butter, milk, and marijuana. You can't get much more natural than that.

Quote
Marijuana sometimes causes schizophrenia and can be a gateway to other drugs.

Marijuana by itself does not cause schizophrenia. At most, it can make manifest symptoms in someone who is already afflicted with that disease. And marijuana by itself has no power to compel a user to use other drugs; rather, its status as a "gateway" drug is due to the fact that those selling marijuana are often selling other drugs as well. If marijuana was bought in liquor stores or at coffeehouses, this effect would not exist.

Quote
The argument that buying illegal drugs supports other crime and even terrorism is also a good one.

Much marijuana is grown at home, and sold by small-time dealers. Unlike drugs like cocaine and heroin, it requires no processing other than picking off the buds and drying them. If marijuana were legalized, I can see most of it being grown at home, as it is ridiculously easy to do so. It's not called "weed" for nothing.
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2005, 12:31:26 PM »


1.ÂÂ  After you take a hit, you don't give a crap about that or anything else.ÂÂ  What fun.

2.ÂÂ  After you take a hit, who gives a crap about work anyway?

3.ÂÂ  After you take a hit . . . . you get the idea.

What a wonderful way to witness for Christ and His Church!



According to that logic, alcohol should also be banned . . . and tv . . . and the internet.    Wink
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2005, 06:30:09 PM »

Cizinec,

Since you don't know me, let me clear up a few things: I have NEVER in my life bought or owned marijuana.  The last time I had some was New Years Eve, 1999.  I asked if that was a sin, because what am I going to do, ask a priest that question??  Do you want me to pee in a cup for you??  How can you accuse me of a sin I haven't even committed?  I went to that party before I came to the church.

I love the Church and Orthodoxy, but you encounter so many judgemental, angry, and yes, hateful people on Orthodox boards.  I'm outta here.  I'm sorry you think you can judge someone from one stupid post.  I thought you could ask a somewhat awkward question without being attacked.    I don't even like marijuana, I don't use it, I don't buy it, smoke it, or GROW it, ok? Are we clear now??
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2005, 11:23:51 PM »

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You can't get much more natural than that.

No one argued whether or not it was natural.  The question was whether or not it's a sin.

Quote
According to that logic, alcohol should also be banned . . . and tv . . . and the internet.

Such a statement is so silly that I'm assuming you were only joking, somewhat like my own silly answers to some serious questions.  Alcoholic beverages, television and the internet can all be used without raising the questions I raised above. 

Suzannes,

Don't take it personally.  Anything I wrote was a response to a mixture of what a lot of folks were saying.  I hope I didn't run you off.  However, I WOULD suggest that you discuss it with your spiritual father.  That's what they are there for.  We're all just a bunch of e-hacks with the unfortunate inability to properly express mood and emotion.

BTW, if you think I'm throwing stones at you I'm not.  I'm a great sinner myself.  A hypothetical question was asked and I thought it was pretty removed from anyone's emotional screen.  If I've offended you, I aopologize.
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« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2005, 11:47:04 PM »

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No one argued whether or not it was natural.  The question was whether or not it's a sin.

I was responding specifically to an assertion that marijuana differed from eating a hamburger in that the latter was natural and the former was not.
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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2005, 11:54:11 PM »

And for your other points...

Quote
1.  Why are you going to a party where there is known illegal activity that, if discovered by the authorities, could land your butt in the can?

This objection has nothing to do with marijuana itself, but is predicated on marijuana being illegal. If one lives in Amsterdam, for example, this point is moot.

Quote
2.  Why are you engaging in an activity that will be tested the next time you have to get a job and will likely keep you from being able to be a productive member of society?  Oh wait, you're only dong it once a year.  Just lie when they ask you the question about using dope after it's worked its way out of your system.  After all, that's not a REAL lie.

Again, this objection is only based on the societal stigma attached to marijuana use, not marijuana itself. And FWIW, I have never heard of an employer asking about past drug use; all they care about is current use, hence the drug test.

Quote
3.  Why are you engaging in an acitivity that, if seen by others, would bring scandal and shame on your family, faith and church?

Yet again, this has nothing to do with marijuana itself, and everything to do with how people react to it.

Quote
4.  Will you share your annual pot smoking fun with your kids (when they get to be the appropriate age, of course)?

I neither smoke marijuana nor intend to have children, but if I did both, I would have no problem consuming it with them when they reach the appropriate age.
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« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2005, 04:38:44 AM »

re: Marijuana being natural. 

Antiquity does not equate something being natural.  Cain slew Abel long before recorded history - surely that doesn't mean murder is natural.

Whether Marijuani is sinful or not - I don't know.  I have never tried it nor do I have any desire to.  I've been around enough stoned people to realize that is a state I never want to consciously put myself in.  I've seen some pretty good people seriously mess up their lives.  Of course most potheads end up growing up eventually and becoming productive members of society.  Frankly though I find it quite disturbing that you would comsume Marijuna with children.  I can understand not making an issue of it or turning a blind eye to kids smoking pot - but encouraging?
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« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2005, 08:53:52 AM »

Such a statement is so silly that I'm assuming you were only joking, somewhat like my own silly answers to some serious questions.ÂÂ  Alcoholic beverages, television and the internet can all be used without raising the questions I raised above.ÂÂ  

I meant it partially in jest and partially seriously.

Abuse of alcohol can have terrible effects on a person and all the people whom are affected by an alcoholic.  That is so obvious I don't think I need to elaborate. 

As for tv and the internet . . .   Clearly, those things are not physically drugs.   Those things are machines.  Yet, they can be used like drugs.  There are millions and millions of people who spend HOURS --every day-- sitting in front of a box and staring at it.  They plan their lives around it.  They even decide when to go to the bathroom by it: a box.   Now, if I put a plain old cardboard box in the center of a family's living room and asked them to stare at it for hours upon hours, they would think I am insane.  But, if that box is a tv or a computer monitor, people happily spend huge amounts of their precious time just sitting there, watching a box.  TV and the internet are not drugs, but people often use them as drugs.

I'm not advocating that everyone go out right now and smoke some marijuana.  It is illegal. 

But, it’s also just a plant.  And like many plants, it can be used for good or for ill. 

We in America are missing the real issue:  the use of drugs overall.  We are often conditioned to say that all drugs are bad.  Yet, we fail to see that we routinely use certain drugs:  alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and so on, plus the drug-like devices of  tv and the internet.  If we as a nation would practice a modicum of fasting, prayer and moderate asceticism, we would see right through this.  Some things can be used responsibly to improve our mood and relax our mind -- we already do that.  Yet, once we label something to be a “drug” we think it is per se evil.  Simultaneously, we think that if something is NOT labeled a drug, it’s ok to use without much restraint -- such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar, etc. 

I suppose what I am arguing is this:  moderation.  First, we should recognize that any chemical --legal or illegal--  that changes the mood or the mind is a drug.  We should also recognize that some devices, like tv and the internet, can be used (and abused) like drugs.  Then, we should have a realistic set of criteria for saying what makes a drug good or bad.  The current “scheduling” of drugs in America is a good start, but I don’t think it is perfect and I think it also has much to do with politics.   (And, in my opinion, I think marijuana is about as dangerous --or beneficial-- as alcohol, and it should be treated like alcohol: legalized, taxed, with strong penalties for people who endanger themselves or others while under the influence of it.)  Then, we should live and practice a lifestyle of moderation in all such things. 
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« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2005, 01:48:49 PM »

Arjuna,

While I agree with your argument regarding moderation, I would have to think twice about the legalization of marijuana.

Making it legal would possess some people with an addictive nature to take smoking all too lightly, smoking it like cigarettes.  What about the second-hand smoke?  Innocent bystanders including their children and babies would be affected and stoned outta their minds.  What about a mechanic who goes out to lunch and smokes a couple (well its legal, they rationalize) comes back and works on the family car.  Later the family comes to pick it up and because of some mechanical failure, due to a stoned repair man, the family dies in a car accident?

IMHO i think that marijuana affects more people then just the partaker.

It is illegal for a reason, after all.


In peace

Deb


PS. I'm addicted to the Weather Channel and now more recently to this forum! Heaven help me.
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« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2005, 10:52:15 PM »

Quote
Making it legal would possess some people with an addictive nature to take smoking all too lightly, smoking it like cigarettes.  What about the second-hand smoke?  Innocent bystanders including their children and babies would be affected and stoned outta their minds. 

Two points -- secondhand marijuana smoke isn't going to cause innocent bystanders to suddenly keel over stoned out of their gourds, and as I've pointed out before, there are other ways to consume marijuana! THC will dissolve in any lipid or alcohol-based substance such as butter, milk, or vodka.
Quote
What about a mechanic who goes out to lunch and smokes a couple (well its legal, they rationalize) comes back and works on the family car.  Later the family comes to pick it up and because of some mechanical failure, due to a stoned repair man, the family dies in a car accident?

This objection also applies to alcohol. If this is a sufficient reason to outlaw marijuana, it is also a sufficient reason to outlaw alcohol.

Quote
It is illegal for a reason, after all.

Yes -- it's called inertia. It's illegal, and so people assume that because it's illegal, it must be illegal for a good reason.

Quote
Frankly though I find it quite disturbing that you would comsume Marijuna with children.

I wouldn't consume marijuana with children. I *would* consume marijuana with my offspring once they were of a sufficient age to partake of it responsibly (provided I had offspring and I used marijuana), the same as I would with alcohol.
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« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2005, 11:38:48 PM »

My two cents worth here:
 As a former CHRONIC weed smoker, I just want to say two things here.
If herb is not addictive , why do weedheads always have to have it ? I`ve known people (perhaps myself included) who are along the lines of crackheads when it came to getting high.
 Secondly, despite the popular view that the marijuana trade is harmless, people have been and will continue to be killed over(weed) deals gone bad(yes, it really happens) just like in other "hard drug" transactions. Come on , let`s face it. In the end it`s all about the money and potheads who delude themselves into thinking it`s all good , groovy,and grand are just playing into the hands of major drug kingpins.
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« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2005, 01:19:22 AM »

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If herb is not addictive , why do weedheads always have to have it ? I`ve known people (perhaps myself included) who are along the lines of crackheads when it came to getting high.

All medical evidence shows that marijuana is, at best, very mildly physically addictive. Certainly it's nowhere near alcohol or tobacco in addictiveness. For every person like yourself who had a difficult time stopping its use, there are many former potheads like me who had no trouble ditching it.

Quote
Secondly, despite the popular view that the marijuana trade is harmless, people have been and will continue to be killed over(weed) deals gone bad(yes, it really happens) just like in other "hard drug" transactions. Come on , let`s face it. In the end it`s all about the money and potheads who delude themselves into thinking it`s all good , groovy,and grand are just playing into the hands of major drug kingpins.

If marijuana were legalized and regulated this problem would disappear overnight. Consider the thriving American black market for alcohol.
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« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2005, 08:31:08 PM »

All medical evidence shows that marijuana is, at best, very mildly physically addictive. Certainly it's nowhere near alcohol or tobacco in addictiveness. For every person like yourself who had a difficult time stopping its use, there are many former potheads like me who had no trouble ditching it.

Just how alcohol is more prone to become addictive to certain people because of their family ethnic roots and backgrounds, so is tobacco and many other drugs.
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« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2005, 11:46:37 PM »

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Just how alcohol is more prone to become addictive to certain people because of their family ethnic roots and backgrounds, so is tobacco and many other drugs.

Yep. Doesn't mean they should be illegal.
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2005, 12:03:51 AM »

I was just saying that it is not going to be as easy for some people to quit smoking pot as it was for you. 
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2005, 08:32:52 AM »

Of itself, marijuanna is not a dangerous/harmful substance, no more than hard liquor.  Of course there are different preparations of it - one can smoke it or eat it in it's natural, dried "herb" form, or collect the trichomes in the form of hashish or resin, etc. which is considerably stronger (since it is not being diluted by non-psychoactive vegetable matter.)  This means that the whole notion that the use of cannabis is undifferentiated ("one toke will get you flat out stoned") is on it's face, ridiculous.  This is particularly obvious when you consider the more refined smoking practices common in Europe (where it is quite normal for weed to be cut with pipe tobbacco or other flavoured, non-psychoactive herbs.)

It is not physically addictive, and whatever mental problems (shortened attention span, etc.) heavy use may cause, most of this will go away with the cessation of use (IOW. remnants have worked their way out of your system.)  In fact when compared point for point, there is no doubt that alcoholic beverages constitute far more of a social and medical-health menace.

There is a quickly vanishing culture of moderate pleasures, the consequence both of a growing hedonism, and oddly enough, the downside of long standing puritanical attitudes toward natural goods (and such puritanism should never be confused with virtue - it is to virtue what scrupelousness is to genuine humility.)

Another problem is that the only people you will generally hear speak openly about cannabis use, are either those who have no clue what they are talking about (often they're just parrotting what they heard from the "just say no" crowd; saying they've played  fast-and-loose with the facts on this subject would be an understatement), or conversly are folks who because of their own lack of self discipline and capacity for moderation, developed a problem with the substance in question - this is much like trying to form an opinion about responsible alcohol consumption by canvassing the views/experience of tea-tottlers and alcoholics.

In the U.S. at least, cannabis prohibition was a twin of alcohol prohibition - both arose in the same period, and were in large part supported by the same joyless people.  The real difference between the two, is that the prohibition of one came to an end, largely because it was the "high of choice" of more Americans.

Here in Canada, cannabis use and cultivation is all over the legal map - private usage is in a grey area which, at worst, will get you fined; though if you have a medical exemption, you can grow up to 40 plants (or more) with full approval of the government.  And while technically the distribution of live seed is illegal, there are shops that have been doing this out in the open for years now, with the government collecting tax revenue from them (with the full knowledge that these are cannabis seed shops) - to the point that the government was sending medical-marijuanna patients to these shops.
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2005, 08:58:19 AM »

Augustine,

Would you then say you condone the use of marijuanna?

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« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2005, 09:48:54 AM »


If marijuana were legalized and regulated this problem would disappear overnight. Consider the thriving American black market for alcohol.

 I used to buy into this bit of propaganda too. Fortunately,this will never happen in our lifetime.
Why? Again, it goes back to the money involved here. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar
industry.Do you think for a second that the people who run this illicit trade are going to let go of that kind of cash? There are people at ALL levels of society that benefit monetarily from the import of cannabis. If it were legalized, these folks would get cut out of the action and that my friend is not going to happen.
 Also, as a parent , I am not comfortable with the idea of legalization. Remember when we were kids and how easy it was to get/ smoke cigarettes? I can just see a generation of kids being able to get/smoke a "legal" joint. Or should I not worry about that because it will be "regulated" Roll Eyes.
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« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2005, 11:19:54 AM »

Quote
I used to buy into this bit of propaganda too. Fortunately,this will never happen in our lifetime.
Why? Again, it goes back to the money involved here. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar
industry.Do you think for a second that the people who run this illicit trade are going to let go of that kind of cash? There are people at ALL levels of society that benefit monetarily from the import of cannabis. If it were legalized, these folks would get cut out of the action and that my friend is not going to happen.

Running alcohol was an equally lucrative business for its time, but prohibition still ended. Besides which, your argument here seems to be "vested interests will never allow marijuana to be legalized, therefore marijuana should not be legalized."
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« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2005, 07:00:26 PM »

As a parent, I do not believe that marijuana should be legalized.

 If vested interests never allow it to happen,that`s fine by me.
 
But for the sake of argument,let`s say it is legalized. Do you have kids? If it`s legalized , are you cool with them having easier access to it? Do you stop testing people like airline pilots ,bus drivers,etc..for cannabis because it`s now legal? I don`t think most folks who are in favor of legalization stop and think about all the implications involved. Maybe cause they`re too high to think it through rationally. Kiss

 

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« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2005, 10:24:41 PM »

 
As a parent, I do not believe that marijuana should be legalized.

 If vested interests never allow it to happen,that`s fine by me.
 
But for the sake of argument,let`s say it is legalized. Do you have kids?


No, I don't have kids.



Quote
If it`s legalized , are you cool with them having easier access to it?

Honestly, I don't think they would have much more easier access than kids (and others) have right now.ÂÂ  Marijuana is widely available, even though it is illegal.ÂÂ  

Hence, in my opinion, the issue is everybody behaving with more moderation and temperance.ÂÂ  That, in turn, requires a core set of values which are based upon something more important and more compelling than our own selfish interests and pleasures. And that, in turn (in my opinion) is best provided by religion and religious people living in community with each other -- so as to reinforce their values and community.ÂÂ  In short, I think the issue is not whether we make a plant illegal but whether we all develop self-control, i.e. dispassion, so that any drugs (legal or illegal) will not seem compelling or attractive.



Quote
Do you stop testing people like airline pilots ,bus drivers,etc..for cannabis because it`s now legal?

No.ÂÂ  People who are in positions which affect the safety of others should be required to be sober.ÂÂ  In other words, they should not be under the influence of any performance-reducing drug:ÂÂ  marijuana, alcohol, cold remedies, etc.ÂÂ  If marijuana were legalized, the testing for performance-reducing drugs would still need to be continued.ÂÂ  

However, if marijuana were legalized, we might not be putting people in prison --at public expense-- for possession of a plant.

Legalizing marijuana isn't going to solve the problem of drug abuse.ÂÂ  In a nation which celebrates consuming alcohol and otherwise indulging the passions, only dispassion is the cure.ÂÂ  And the only doctor who can administer the cure of true dispassion is Jesus Christ.

However, I think legalizing marijuana would take a lot of the profits out of the marijuana trade and make it less appealing to organized crime.  I also think it would be much more beneficial to society if we sent abusers to treatment in addition to or rather than prison.  ÃƒÆ’‚ And, it would be better to tax the stuff (like we do alcohol and tobacco) than to continue to be taxed by its underground economy and the crime which it fuels.

Overall, I think legalizing marijuana would be similar to what we currently have with the laws about alcohol:ÂÂ  People of a certain age would be allowed to use it;ÂÂ  but they would not be allowed to drive, etc. while under the influence; and people who are caught while under the influence would get treatment along with or instead of punishment.
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« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2005, 11:36:38 PM »







Honestly, I don't think they would have much more easier access than kids (and others) have right now.  ÃƒÆ’‚  




 




You`re living in la la land my friend





 





   

However, if marijuana were legalized, we might not be putting people in prison --at public expense-- for possession of a plant.




A Coca and poppies are plants too. Should they also be legalized on that basis?
B You are confusing decriminalization with legalization
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« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2005, 01:17:07 AM »

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Do you have kids?

Nope, and I don't intend to.

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If it`s legalized , are you cool with them having easier access to it?

As Arjuna said, it's hard to imagine them having easier access to it (9th grade -- *everyone* knew who could hook you up, and a friend of mine openly peddled joints at lunch. He got busted, but it was his own fault -- he was called in to the principal's office on an unrelated charge, and believing he had been ratted out, tossed the box of joints on the principal's desk with a sigh), but yes, I am.

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Do you stop testing people like airline pilots ,bus drivers,etc..for cannabis because it`s now legal?

Depends on the company. If they want to test, that's their business. I think, though, that in most cases a reasonable approach to take would be only to test for intoxication if the employee has been involved in some sort of accident. If the employee is impaired, it doensn't matter if it's because of alcohol or marijuana.

Quote
I don`t think most folks who are in favor of legalization stop and think about all the implications involved. Maybe cause they`re too high to think it through rationally.

Hey, I haven't had a whiff of marijuana for over 9 years. Believe me, I'm thinking about this rationally. It's my opinion that those whose feelings on this issue run towards "omfg teh devil's weed!!!11!!twentythree!!1"  are the ones being irrational about it.
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« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2005, 09:30:01 PM »

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Running alcohol was an equally lucrative business for its time, but prohibition still ended.

Wow.  You're still in la la land.  Running alcohol and smokes illegally is still one of the best bets for organized crime to make money. 


Quote
Yet again, this has nothing to do with marijuana itself, and everything to do with how people react to it.

Unfortunately, if you're Orthodox and openly claim to be so and openly smoke weed you will bring a bad name to the faith for the sake of your indulgence in a bodily pleasure which is illegal in our country and unacceptable in our culture.  If I'm in a place where drinking alcohol is offensive I don't do it because it is not necessary for the faith.

You may wish our culture was like that of Holland's, but it's not and pretending that this makes it right to violate the law and bring a bad name to your church for the sake of your own pleasure is wrong.
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« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2005, 04:27:32 PM »

Wow.ÂÂ  You're still in la la land.ÂÂ  Running alcohol and smokes illegally is still one of the best bets for organized crime to make money.ÂÂ  


Unfortunately, if you're Orthodox and openly claim to be so and openly smoke weed you will bring a bad name to the faith for the sake of your indulgence in a bodily pleasure which is illegal in our country and unacceptable in our culture.ÂÂ  If I'm in a place where drinking alcohol is offensive I don't do it because it is not necessary for the faith.

You may wish our culture was like that of Holland's, but it's not and pretending that this makes it right to violate the law and bring a bad name to your church for the sake of your own pleasure is wrong.


The two people at this thread who are arguing in favor for legalziing marijuana (or, at least, decriminalizing it) are not smoking it; nor are we otherwise using it.  Your assumption is wrong.

Also, it is not a crime in a free society to discuss matters of politics nor to seek the change of the laws through legal means.

Also, as far as I can tell in Orthodoxy, it is not a sin to discuss matters of morality to determine if, in fact, something is a sin or not.

And, I repeat my position:  I  think that using marijuana is no better and no worse than using strong alcohol.  Therefore, I do not find it to be a sin if it is used responsibly.  What I do find to be a sin is treating the use of marijuana as a crime and putting people in prison when they probably just need treatment.  I would rather legalizie it and tax it, thereby taking the profits and organized crime out of it while rasing some extra tax revenues as is done with tobacco and alcohol. 
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