Marijuana and the Catholic Church
Thanks to the wonders of site-meter on my blog, I have found that many visitors have come with Google searches wondering about marijuana and what the Catholic Church teaches about it. So I hope the following article will be informative, but if you have questions please ask away.
First of all, marijuana is a mind altering drug and will put one into intoxication always when using it. That is an important point, because that distinguishes marijuana from something like beer which can be used without becoming intoxicated. Marijuana however you will always become intoxicated from.
As Christians we can find in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." Drunkenness in intoxication can be achieved through alcohol or other drugs. The Bible is saying here that those people who engage in drunkenness will not enter Heaven. This makes a very clear statement that marijuana can not be compatible with a Christian as marijuana can never be used without abuse.
Now some people have brought up that intoxication with alcohol is much worse than intoxication with marijuana and that may be true. However just because it MAY (though not necessarily) be a lesser evil, it is still evil and a serious sin that St. Paul said would not allow us to enter Heaven unrepented of.
God has entrusted us to guard our minds and to take care of our bodies. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says: "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour." And in Titus 2:11-12: "For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world..."
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it is obvious that we must take care of our bodies as we do not belong to ourselves: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own. You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Now God didn't tell us that intoxication is evil so that He could outlaw having "fun" and for the sake of making rules. No! God has a reason for every Law that He sets for us. Intoxication is poisoning your body. Important body cells are killed through intoxication and can even lead to death if severe enough or if repeated enough. Affects from marijuana include according to National Institute on Drug Abuse, InfoFacts: Marijuana, April 2006: "Marijuana abuse is associated with many detrimental health effects. These effects can include frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks and tolerance. Marijuana meets the criteria for an addictive drug and animal studies suggest marijuana causes physical dependence and some people report withdrawal symptoms"
and from 12 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Research Report Series—Marijuana Abuse, October 2001. : "Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency toward obstructed airways. Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke. Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke"
Look in The Catechsim of the Catholic Church #2291
When life presents its problems we must remember that intoxication will only leave us with emptiness and only a temporary feeling of "happiness". Turning our hearts to God is the only answer. Many people try to do anything but that and eventually die in unhappiness or find What they were looking for all along--- their Saviour Jesus Christ Who died for us and offers us Eternal Life with Him for those who are willing to follow.